A Novel by Geoffrey A. Feller
Copyright 2012 by Geoffrey A. Feller
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Patrick Coyne woke up in a strange place one summer morning in 1987. Right away, he realized that he wasn’t in his own bed. The mattress felt funny and the ceiling was unfamiliar. Patrick flinched and turned onto his left side. There was a second bed a few feet away and alongside the one he was lying on. A hospital bed. There was no sheet on it; the mattress looked like it was coated in plastic or vinyl, which explained the odd feel of what he was lying on.
Warily, Patrick glanced around the room after rubbing his eyes. There were twin sets of lights over the headboards. From their rectangular shapes, it was plain that they were fluorescent tubes instead of bulbs. It so happened that what light there was in the room was coming from the picture window. A shade had been pulled but it wasn’t down all the way and harsh morning sun had broken through to splash over the black linoleum floor.
Two chests of drawers were placed between the beds. There was a door over in a corner of the room, a sink without a mirror, a paper towel dispenser, and then, to Patrick’s right, another door.
His heart was pounding. Hospital! But what for? He reached under the covers, making sure that his thin body was still intact. No bandages, no casts, no stitches. Physically intact. But where had the last several hours gone? This looked like morning, all right. Felt like it. But the last thing Patrick could remember was strolling down a sidewalk near Porter Square under an afternoon sun.