True Stories from Coma Memories
Emily's eyelids silently exposed her waking eyes. First thing she saw was Uncle Thomas staring at her in profound shock. He shouted for the nurse, then pressed the button by my bedside, and shouted again. The plump nurse with too much coffee in her veins was about to shush Uncle but saw that I was awake. "I'll get the physician on duty. Her doctor won't be in till 5:00 A.M." She disappeared into the doorway.
Uncle continued to stare. Then he took a deep breath and reached into his coat pocket and removed a brand new deck of playing cards. He crinkled the plastic wrap free from the box, stepped on the trash lever, opening the can lid and tossed the wrapper into the receptacle. He shook the cards from the box and replaced it into his pocket. Then he began to shuffle the cards.
Crisp slaps fluttered and clashed one card into the next. It was like a song and dance of cards. A riverdance.
"Want to see some magic?" he asked me.
"You mean a trick? That's what you do, isn't it?"
"Pick a card."
"I already did." I showed him the ace of spades. He searched the cards and found that the deck was missing the black ace in my hand. I tossed it in the air. It didn't fall back. "The card is on top of the deck."
He flipped the top card and it was indeed the ace of spades. "How did you do that trick?"
"You do tricks. That was magic. Not a magic trick. Magic. Like that doctor on night duty. He's gone now. And so's the nurse. This isn't even the hospital anymore."
Uncle's look of shock returned when he saw I was in my own bed at home. "No, that's not possible. It's a trick."
"What if it isn't? What then should we do?"
"I don't know. But you need to go back to the hospital."
"Why, so they can put me back in a coma? That won't work again. No more tricks. I'm not ever going back to sleep. Nor will I eat your drugged food. I'm going back home. To my real home."
Uncle was quickly on his cell phone. I allowed him to contact the tricksters. Let them come. I'm wide awake now.
The nurse checked the patient's pulse. The night physician entered the hospital room. "How's our patient?" The nurse shook her head. "False alarm, I guess." "No problemo. I'm making my rounds."
"What happened?" asked the nurse.
Uncle Thomas answered, "She opened her eyes, and I called you. Then she went back to sleep."
"Are you sure it wasn't just a trick of the eye?"
Uncle Thomas slid the deck of cards back into the box and said, "I'm sure that's all it was. After all, it's medicine, not magic, right?"
"That's right, sir." And then she left the room.
Uncle Thomas resumed his watch. No more close calls, he thought. He trashed the box of playing cards and brought a fresh deck from his other pocket. It was sealed with the same wrapper as the other pack. Just in case. Just in case.