Collin Phoenix’s eyes fluttered as pain rolled through him like a tidal wave. Bright fluorescent lights glared down at him from the ceiling above. Collin shielded his eyes with his hand as he blinked several times, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the blaring light.
Once he could see without his eyes throbbing, Collin dropped his hand and glanced around. He was lying down on something hard and cold. He knew that at least. The second thing he knew was that the room he was in was fucking freezing ass cold.
Collin turned his head to try and surmise where he was currently at when he saw a small piece of yellow paper sticking out of the edge of the next table over. He gasped again and jackknifed up from the table, the sheet falling away as he looked around the room. That stupid piece of paper was attached to a toe.
He was in the morgue!
Collin started to hyperventilate. He pressed his hand against his chest and tried to breathe normally. He could feel his heartbeat rapidly beating. He knew he wasn’t dead. He had a freaking heartbeat!
Why was he in a morgue, though? What happened? Where was Riojos? Was he here, too, under another one of these white sheets? And why was everything fucking white? The walls, the floors, the ceiling, the sheets? Everything was fucking white!
Now Collin knew why he was so damn cold. He just didn’t know why he was there. And what baffled him even further was the fact that he was laying on one of the exam tables. There were two other tables, and people who were completely nude, not even a sheet to cover them, occupied both. One had a bluish tint to his body. He had to be dead.
Collin gulped and began to shake as he looked down when he felt something pinching at the circulation in his toe. Oh god. He had a toe tag on as well. He wanted to scream, but he couldn’t seem to find his voice.
He wasn’t dead!
Collin’s fingers trembled as he quickly pulled his foot up and yanked the damn tag off and then threw his legs over the side of the table, letting them dangle as he tried his hardest to remember how he had gotten here. He remembered leaving the restaurant with Riojos, but it kind of went fuzzy after that.
Collin jumped down off of the metal table, his knees nearly giving out as he grabbed the edge of the table for stability. His fingers curled around the cold metal as Collin waited out the lightheadedness. How long had he been lying there?
As the dizziness subsided, Collin noticed one crucial thing. He was naked. Feeling the panic setting in, he looked around, trying to find something to cover his nudity so he could get the hell out of there. The only thing at his disposal was the sheet that had been covering him. Collin yanked it off of the floor and wrapped it around his body like a toga.
He pushed the hair from his eyes, and then he walked toward the door. He wasn’t sure why he was here, but there was no way he was sticking around for his own damned autopsy. He was going to run hard and run fast, right out the first exit he saw.
Collin heard voices coming from the hallway. His head snapped around as he looked for a place to hide. No matter how he had gotten there, he was very sure that anyone seeing him walking around would freak out. Hell, he was freaking out.
As the voices drew near, Collin knew he had to find somewhere to hide. He spotted a door across the room, so he ran to it, snatching it open to find a utility closet. Collin quickly closed the door behind him just as he heard the voices come into the room.
“Where’s the other cadaver?” someone asked, sounding totally baffled. “I swear I pulled him out of the freezer just a minute ago.”
“Then where the hell is he?” another nearly shouted.
Collin held his breath, praying they didn’t check the closet he was hiding in. Somehow he didn’t think Hi, I’ve come back from the dead so I’m just going to get going would suffice. Even to him it sounded insane.
“Well, it didn’t just get up and walk away. We need to go see who took it.”
Collin counted to ten before turning the doorknob and peeking out. When he saw no one, he hurried back across the room and through another doorway. It led to an outer hallway. He wasn’t sure which way to go, so he chose left. He darted around a few corners and down several hallways, praying he didn’t run into anyone. He saw the exit sign hanging from the ceiling after two more turns.
Collin ran for it, slamming his hands into the push bar as he shot out of the building and into a fucking cold ass night. He immediately started shivering but got as far away from the morgue as possible. Soon though, his toes began to freeze. If he didn’t get warm soon, he was going to end up back in the morgue.
A blessing in disguise or just plain dumb luck, Collin spotted a homeless shelter several blocks from the morgue. He hurried to the door, numbness setting into his very bones. He reached out and pulled the door open, quickly stepping inside.