So this is how it starts, always.

Me waking up half-naked on some hard, cold surface with God knows how much brain trauma trying to remember my name.

The first thing I always realize, besides the fact that my head fucking hurts and that someone should dim the lights in this God forsaken place is that something is wrong.

Of course the nakedness and the headache contribute to this idea, but there's always that feeling that something is off: like a DVD case missing the disk inside, a cell phone without batteries. On the first glance, nothing seems out of place, until you realize something vital is missing.

The first time this happened, I woke up with a shower curtain that, even in unconsciousness, I had managed to drape over myself artistically. The second time, I had a rectangle of tissue paper. Last time it was a shitload of wires.

This time, it was blood.

I sat up slowly, testing out shaking muscles, trying to control the nausea climbing up my throat. The last thing I needed was more bodily fluids skin. My head was splitting—fucking lights—as I tried to remember what happened.

A test tube slowly filling with blue liquid. A warehouse littered with bodies. A man with blue eyes, kneeling to my level, a man in a wheelchair, a little girl, three red dots doctors test tubes needlespainlightsterrorRUNtrappedRUNneedlespainaloneDEADDEADDEADDEAD

I opened my eyes. I could still feel the images flickering behind my eyes, things I knew, things I should know, but nothing I could make sense of now. Things are always like this, I consoled myself. It's easier after you remember your name.

My name.

"Alice." I whispered to myself, and felt the rightness of it, felt it lock into place. It's always odd, coming awake like this, knowing and not knowing. Knowing the routine of waking up, hurt and alone, not remembering how I came to be there or anything before it.

Routine. What kinda of fucking person makes a routine out of waking up half-amnesiac full naked on tile floors?

I screamed out of pure frustration and fear. It helped. Not my headache, but my sanity.

I looked down, deciding I could at least discover who's blood was coagulating on my skin. It was me.

So much for my sanity.