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Rated: ASR · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2055855
A confused man wonders what's going on. And what's that noise?
Keegan heard a grating noise pierce the air. Eeee-oooo, eeee-oooo. Must be close. He opened his eyes, but couldn't see more than light and shadow. Eeee-oooo, eeee-oooo. A red light, blinking, assaulted his eyes, and he closed them again, thankful for the reprieve. He struggled to sit up, to find some way to get his bearings. The bindings across his chest and legs kept him securely in place, even as he bucked against them. Eeee-oooo, eeee-oooo.

"Whoa there, buddy. Just calm down. You're gonna be okay. We're taking you on a little trip." Eeee-oooo, eeee-oooo. It was a man's voice, but Keegan didn't recogize it.

I've been here before, Keegan thought, though he didn't even know where here was. Eeee-oooo, eeee-oooo. Something about the scene was familiar nonetheless, and his body shuddered in reaction to some subconscious memory he couldn't retrieve. Keegan felt himself moving just then, bouncing up and down and being shifted against his restraints. He heard a door slam, and the eeee-oooo, eeee-oooo of the siren became a muffled wailing.

"Let's get him to Jefferson STAT. They're equipped for this, and there's a taco stand right next door. I'm hungry." The disembodied voice wasn't talking to him this time, but the words sounded familiar. There was that feeling again. I've been here before.

Some time later - ten minutes or an hour, Keegan couldn't say - he felt himself being moved again, into an open space with bright lights. He felt a hand on his shoulder. "Hi there Mr. Maxwell. It's Dr. Nadeen. I hear you've taken some more pills. Do you know where you are?"

Keegan realized then why everything had seemed so familiar, and he croaked out a response. "I've been here before. I'm at Thomas Jefferson Hospital. I think I need to commit myself."
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