Melted By The Bear

By: Amira Rain

CHAPTER ONE



I’d only been thawed for a day, and now I was going to die.

And actually, it hadn’t even been a full day yet; I’d awoken, only slightly cold, shortly after dawn, and it was now only about four in the afternoon. I could hardly believe it, could hardly believe my bad luck. Thawed after being frozen for hundreds of years, just to meet my end before dinner. Hello again, world. Goodbye.

It was my own fault. I shouldn’t have run.

Possibly because of some anti-anxiety medication I’d been receiving through an IV line, I’d honestly felt quite calm when I’d first opened my eyes. Serene, even. A doctor, a “thawing specialist” named Dr. Moore, who was from a place called DC, immediately asked me if I could recall my name, and I’d stunned her and two nurses by saying that not only did I remember my name, I remembered everything. I didn’t feel as if I’d forgotten a single thing, or had lost a single memory, from my early childhood right up to the time I’d been frozen. Really, I felt as if I’d just woken up from a regular hour or two long nap, with memories just as intact as they normally were after a nap.

After I’d given a very brief, minute-long recitation of my life story, Dr. Moore remarked that I was the first patient out of several hundred she’d thawed to wake up without even the slightest amnesia. One of the two nurses by my bedside said it was astonishing, and the other one concurred.

Dr. Moore said that I didn’t even have any hoarseness typically present in recently-thawed women. “It’s as if you really did only take a nap.”

Feeling lucky and kind of special, I couldn’t help but smile a little, though within a second, I was sure my smile had turned to a frown. I’d experienced a hunger pang so intense it had made me feel ill.

Clutching my stomach, I spoke in a voice that held just the hint of a tremor. “Oh. I may not have amnesia, but something just came over me to where I’m suddenly just starving. May I have something to eat, please?”

To my great relief, the two nurses, whose names were Alice and Jane, bustled out of the room to get me some breakfast.

Dr. Moore assured me that extreme hunger upon thawing was perfectly normal. “It’s expected, even. So, I suppose you’re like a typical frozen woman in at least one way.”

After giving me a brief physical exam and then declaring me perfectly healthy, Dr. Moore said she’d now be returning to her home in DC, though the nurses would take excellent care of me. Not seeming to be a woman for conversation, she then gave me a tiny polite smile, wished me luck, and then left the room, high heels clicking on the hard flooring.

Even though they’d been speedy, by the time Alice and Jane returned to the room, each bearing a monster-sized platter of breakfast, I was so hungry my hands were shaking. They left me alone to eat, and I was glad. I ate so quickly and greedily I would have been embarrassed to have anyone witness the scene.

Not long after I’d polished off a tower of strawberry-topped waffles, two ham-and-cheese omelets, a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries and walnuts, and no fewer than five pieces of buttered toast, two of which I’d stuffed with bacon to make a sandwich, Alice returned to the room, asking if I’d like anything else.

I set down a glass of orange juice I’d just drained, shaking my head. “No, thank you. I’m disgustingly full. I would maybe like a shower, though.”

Even though my stuffed stomach was making me feel like I wanted to stay in bed a while longer, maybe even take a nap, my long blonde hair was crying out for a thorough shampooing. I’d run a hand through it and had found it somewhat greasy and knotty, as if it had been a while since it had had any attention. Of course, it had actually been hundreds of years, not counting if one of the nurses had maybe sponge-cleaned it while I’d still been out.

Jane helped me out of bed and to the bathroom, saying that my muscles and joints might feel extremely stiff for a while, but they honestly didn’t, even a bit.

My shower was nothing short of blissful. During my exam, Dr. Moore had told me that the anti-anxiety medication I’d been given through my IV was fast-acting, something that worked as soon as it hit the bloodstream, and it tended to wear off not long after dosage had stopped; however, I didn’t think I’d hit that point just yet, because while I washed beneath the warm water, reveling in the feel of it and the fresh scent of a bar of hospital-issued soap, the sense of serenity I’d had earlier only increased. I washed my hair in a daze of relaxation, humming.

After my shower, I dressed in a pair of navy blue sweatpants, a gray t-shirt, and some standard-issue white underthings that Jane had given me while saying that I may as well dress in “going home clothes” instead of redressing in a hospital gown, since I’d likely be leaving the hospital after they kept me for just a few more hours of observation. I didn’t even know where the “home” was that I would be going to, but I was too tranquil to care about that just yet.

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