Shivering, I woke with a pounding headache and people calling my name. The early morning light stabbed into me, like daggers thrust into my eyes, and for the life of me I couldn’t remember where I was or how I'd gotten there. It was cold, and everything smelled damp and earthy with just the hint of decaying vegetation. Whoever was calling my name sounded desperate, and I couldn’t reason why.
Is that Tammy?
Placing a hand over my eyes, I tried to answer, but it only came out as a croak. I cleared my throat, and when that didn't help, I attempted to sit up. The sudden movement caused pain to lance through my skull, and I rolled over as my stomach lurched. If there had been anything to throw up, I would have. My body continued to convulse in dry heaves as it responded to the agony in my head.
Mental note: never drink again.
Looking at myself, I noticed that I was nude, and covered in leaves and dirt.
What am I doing outside?
There was a lot of commotion as someone crashed through the brush, and into the clearing. Noticing me, they called out, “I think I found her! Over here!”
The sound made me want to die, and caused blood to leak out of my ears—okay, not literally, but it felt like it.
“Shh…” I hissed.
More people arrived, and Tammy cried, “Jazz? Is that you? Are you okay? What happened?”
“Shh…” I hissed again, “Water?”
Someone handed me a bottle and wrapped something warm and fuzzy around my shoulders. I chugged the liquid. The combination of the cold and the speed with which I drank caused me to throw it all up. It took me several minutes to clear my head and to be able to hold the liquid down. I looked around to see faces I recognized as well as some people in Sheriff’s Department jackets.