She opened her eyes and couldn't see anything but white. Then she realized that her entire body was covered with a white sheet.

She sat bolt upright and let out a blood-curdling scream. There was no answer, only the echo of her own voice. Looking around, she realized that she was in a small room surrounded by other bodies lying on beds and likewise covered by sheets. She tried to stand and felt incredible pain when one foot touched the floor. Desperately, she grabbed the bed she had been lying on in an attempt to break her fall.

"Easy, easy." She heard voices and felt hands supporting her. She tried to wrench away but couldn't.

"Where am I? What happened?" Her voice shook with fear.

"It's all right," a soothing voice told her. "You were struck by lightning. We thought you were a goner, girl. You almost were."

"Why can't I stand up?"

"You have severe burns on the sole of one foot. That's where the lightening bolt exited your body."

"What is this place? Why am I in here?"

"This is where we keep those whom we believe to be beyond hope. Since you're awake now, we'll transfer you to another section of the hospital as soon as someone gets here with a gurney."

"You mean everyone else in here is dead?" She began to sob.

"There, there." The nurse patted her shoulder. "Here's a gurney now." The nurse helped her onto the gurney and then rolled her to a different room, a public ward with beds lined up against the wall on both sides. The nurse rolled the gurney to an empty bed and helped her onto it. She looked around, terrified. She didn't recognize anyone at all.

After awhile she had visitors, a young Native American nurse and an olive-complected young man with dark brown hair and eyes. The young man's eyes lit up when he saw her.

"Annie!" he exclaimed, rushing to embrace her. Frightened and confused, she pulled away from him.

"What's wrong, Annie?" He looked bewildered and hurt.

"Who are you?" she demanded.

He looked surprised. "You mean you don't recognize me?" he asked softly.

"I've never seen you before in my life."

"Oh, Annie." He looked as if he were about to cry. She felt genuinely sorry for him. The Native American nurse embraced him.

"I think we'd better go now, David," she said softly.