Liza didn’t know if she’d slept for an hour or a day. She couldn’t move her arms, she couldn’t see, and she heard mens’ voices. Terror tore through her body, further paralyzing her. Maybe she was still asleep. “Wake up, wake up, wake up.” It felt like she was on fire. She smelled smoke. Oh Jesus! “Wake up, wake up.” The ground under her shook. Kids were yelling. The men laughed. Metal scraped. The smoke smell was overwhelming. Liza coughed. Sweat erupted from every pore. She wished that whoever was tormenting her would attack her so she could wake up.
Something pushed against her arm. “You OK?!” asked the disembodied voice of a man.
“Did you just kick her?” asked another voice.
“I didn’t kick her, I nudged her,” said the first voice. “Liza! Wake up.”
She was able to move. Liza tucked her head and flailed her arms. The backs of her hands met with fleecy resistance, but now she could see out of one eye. The other was still bandaged. She blinked. A fog of smoke hung above her head. The blanket was tucked underneath her on all sides. She shifted and yanked it out from under her.
“Is she awake?” It was Jake. Liza tilted her head back. Three sets of eyes stared back at her from the kitchen. Jake was sitting at the table. Sam was making coffee. Bruce was at the stove with a spatula in his hand. Liza looked up and waved some of the smoke away. Blue eyes stared down at her. A little cigar was wedged between a single tooth and a pair of weathered lips.