TITLE: Jane Unwrapped
My name is Jane Ezrael. I am seventeen years old.
And I think I just drowned.
I’m on all fours, palms flat on black sand. Only thin rays of purple light allow me to see. I stand and a dull ache spreads throughout my body, as if my bones are rusted pieces of metal grinding together. A dark haze reaches towards me, swirling around my arms and legs. Grey fog shifts in the distance, like a rolling storm.
I wrap my pink hoodie tighter around myself; it’s soaked through, and my dripping bathing suit still clings to my skin. I have an eerie feeling I’ll never be dry again.
This isn’t right – this isn’t how it’s supposed to be! If I were dead, there wouldn’t be anything left. I couldn’t see or feel or hurt. No, I can’t be dead. I have to wake up and take my chemistry test on Monday. I’m not dead.
“Duncan!” I scream. He has to be around here somewhere. When I fell from my tube and was carried down river – I must have ended up in this weird spot. I’m stranded, that’s all. Duncan is probably looking for me now, laughing that his little sister has embarrassed herself again.
I peer through the haze: still nothing but fog in the distance. There has to be something out there. I take a tentative step. The ground is grainy beneath my bare feet, like the banks of Skutz Falls.