Deep, bitter, blackness surrounds my body and soul, it’s pushing, suffocating all I am. It besieges my mind, overcoming my defenses. I struggle against an enemy that knows me better than I do. Every counter attack I attempt leaves a new place exposed. Surrounded on all sides but completely alone. My mouth opens to surrender but my throat is barricaded by the darkness. My skin begins to burn and my bones are broken. Memories flash before my mind, one last time, before abandoning me forever. My childhood home, mother, father, friends, happy moments and better days, what should have strengthened me steals my will to live. Wishing for the end my breath returns and I curse the time that remains.

As I lay in resounding silence a flicker of sound tingles on my hand, the rhythm of my frightened heart changes. For what seams like only a moment the pain subsides. Then an overwhelming gush of despair lands on my chest. It grows to cover my entirely, again. Its weight and discomfort have increased. Hasten the end.

I tried to measure the time but what meaning lays in the second hand of a clock. Time is a curse; it is what holds me between the end and the things I’ve never seen. The knowledge of my condition brings no relief. My ghostly state holds no farther torment for me but my closed eyes haunt my loved ones. Sunrise sees no change and another moon increases their tears.

That flicker of sound returns and rests this time on my head. It remains only a moment longer. The weight doesn’t return but the discomfort remains. This time I hear a word, my name? Some one is speaking to me. I measure the voice but no face appears in my mind. My whole body strains to capture more of this naming voice but it faded to nothing. I lay in that place replaying the sound hoping to regain some lost memory that will define it’s tone.

Swirling in terror, panic battles the inevitable. Who spoke my name, where have they gone? Darkness the only answer, waiting my only action. Will that sweet relief wrapped in a foreign vibrating tongue come to me again.

My soul is alive with thoughts and dreams but my mind is dormant. What can restore my life and draw me back to being? Can I ever be whole? Who can awake me from this accursed sleep? I am walking with nightmare and monsters, my companion is fear, my home despair, I ingest all the loneliness of night and all that awaits me is death.

Burning light pierced my eyes. An angel? Why had this perfect beauty come to take me to eternal torment. Sound, and words flouted in my ears, “Jessica, can you hear me”. The angel was speaking, his voice was tickling my whole body, chasing away the night, the pain, the pressure. My mind couldn’t grip him, but his hands held mine. New sights came, a women wet with tear, my mother. Hell was more heavenly then death, and angel and a friend, but did hell have whiteboards and televisions.

Death had not taken me, but the feeling in my limbs told me why I had wished it. The angel had gone. I had returned to consciousness. This room filled with love was still empty of any appeal. What had brought me back, not the war I wages with the controlling darkness, for I had stopped my fight, wishing the end of all to come. My reward tubes, beeps and a lumpy pillow. Deaths call was more appealing. If only the angel had been real.

I relapsed into sleep. Thought I had laid stagnant for weeks I craved rest. My eyes closed this time without the conquest of fear. My flicker of sound came in the late hours and I pried my weary lids searching for the angel. He was as I saw him before but real now. It was him, he had won the war. He had called me back, it was this man of deity and his touch that had stolen me from death. Would he keep me or release me?