~*~*~A Midwinter Night's Dream~*~*~

Chapter 1

"Emily, sweetie......"

I can hear Monica's voice muffled by the door between us.

"Em?"

And AJ's.

I could answer them--really I know I should. But for some reason beyond me I don't, and I hear the door hesitantly crack open.

"Hey, lunch is-- oh."

I should get up.... I never intended to fall asleep, much-less nap for this long. But before I can even attempt to shake this lethargy off, the door closes, and I can hear an exchange of muffled words.

Cook will be mad if I let lunch get cold....... She's probably yell. But hell, if I went now the odds are good someone would yell anyway.
I should get up.

There's a knock at the door and I wonder if Monica's decided to drag me out of bed.

"Emily?"

A pause.

"Emily?........ Dinner's ready....."

Mentally I shake my head. This is too weird. I feel like time is floating around me, but not in order- with no sense to it-- no feeling. How long has it been? Dinner--wow.
Once again the door cracks open.

"Sweetheart?"

This time her voice is tinged with fear, and I start to feel bad for scaring her. But still I can't seem to answer her. It's like I'm miles below the surface of reality, and frankly, I just don't have the urge to swim.

"Emily...... wake up."

Her voice rises when she gets nervous..... It always has...... right now she sounds like a whistle.

"Emily.... Oh god! Ned, AJ, Reginald! Someone! Get up here and bring my medical bag!"

I'm a horrible person to do this to her. Just because my life sucks right now doesn't mean I should cause her stress on my account.

I should really get up.

"Monica! What's going on?!"

Of course.. Ned...... Always my night in shining armor.

"I don't know! I can't get her to wake up!"

I can imagine the scene right now.....Monica's concerned expression, Ned shooting her a questioning look then--

"Emily? Come on sweetheart, time to get up...."

Yep, there it is.

"Emily, wake up. Can you hear me?!"

He's full-out yelling now, but still I can't rouse myself to respond.

"I think we better take her to GH."

Now I *need* to get up.

A few minutes pass and I hear a car door slam. No wait-- that can't be right....... I don't remember being lifted and carried...... Maybe I really did pass out. But now I can hear sliding doors, beeping, voices-- all sliding in volume-- a property my matured senses have come to associate with movement. How can I be moving if I can't feel it? I feel like a disconnected voice in my body, simply floating around inside, lost.

"Dr. Quartermaine!" I hear someone exclaim, "What have you got?"

They slip into professional tone. I always used to love that...... the way my parents could command authority, the way people's attitudes would change around them. It made me feel special to be associated with them-- more important. But then there was the Dorman thing, and then of course, Alan's long-standing, publicly-known abuse of drugs. I guess the shining Quartermaine name became tarnished to me then..... not that I didn't do my fair share of destruction. God, who knows...... maybe I was a catalyst.

It's quiet now, and it takes me a moment of consideration to finally decide I must be in my own room. Probably laying down....... maybe in a hospital gown. I don't know. Right now I really should be panicking. I mean god! Where the hell is my body? Am I sitting or lying down? Is someone holding my hand? Am I hot or cold? When I went to bed last
night it was snowing.....

This must be how it feels to be a lost soul...... the literal sense.

I feel like I'm playing a trick on everyone. Like I should open my eyes and say, "just kidding!" But I don't...... and I don't know why. I just don't.

I turn my attention back to the sounds of the room and now the voices. Monica's shrill voice alerts me that they are talking about my "condition". A new, stronger male voice dominates the conversation, and I conclude it must be the doctor. He's talking about my pupils. It makes me slightly angry to think about it...... Last time they checked my eyes, they were asking what drugs I took. Oh well-- the fact that they've pried my eyes open and shined a light in them and I didn't notice-- well, let's just say the surprise replaces any offense I could take to the action. I hate to inform them, but I haven't taken any drugs, and I didn't see the light..... pun intended.

I've had this feeling before.... like I'm a fishing lure.... cast out, away from life.... just waiting for someone to reel me back in. I hope someone does soon, before I get swallowed whole.

Until now, I really haven't feared what's happening to me now...... but one word manages to slice through my thoughts from the outside and cause my soul to actually go cold.

"Coma."