The dreams are always the same.  Silas would hear the girl screaming his name, calling for him to save her from whatever torture she was enduring at the moment.  Sometimes he would see her, but never her face.  The sound of her voice was the only thing he would ever have to remember her by.

He couldn’t remember how many times he had had this dream before.  He only knew that last night was the latest in a string of nights where he had heard this girl screaming for him.  In the past month he had fallen in love with her voice, although the pain it conveyed to him was agonizing.  He knew that one day this girl would be special to him, but he never knew when or why.

It was now, as he watched the patient lying on the bed in the ambulance was they sped through the curves towards the hospital, that he felt he was seeing her.  Edith Warren.    The raspy voice she spoke with, punctuated by deep, grabbing breaths, matched the one his dreams spoke with.  The way she dressed looked just like what he had seen when he had gotten close to her. But the face, the one thing he needed to know her by, was unfamiliar to him.

Intuition told him something about this girl that he wouldn’t be able to explain medically.  Whatever it was did not offer itself freely.

“We’re halfway there,” he reassured her as she rolled her head towards him.  It was hard to write while the truck moved through the curves.  But Silas had learned how to move with it in his few years as a paramedic.

“I’m starting to feel a little bit better,” she gasped.  Silas glanced up at the monitor that she was wired to and noted her vitals were improving.  The IV drip that entered her arm had returned some color to her face.  The pain medicine he had given her when they had arrived at her house had turned her pupils into push-pin scars against a green wall.

“That’s good.  Once we get you to the hospital, you’ll feel even better.”

“This is going to sound crazy,” she gasped, then swallowed, “But I think I was seeing things.  What happened to me?”

Silas ran back over the brief encounter with her mother and sister at their home.  Edith had collapsed suddenly, crumpling into a pile on the kitchen floor as she was washing dishes.  When the unit arrived on the scene, someone had propped her head up on a pillow, and she was coming too.  The glucose test that Silas had performed indicated that her blood sugar was normal, something he had assumed when he noted it hadn’t been long since dinner for the family.  He had also ruled the collapse being a result of medicines that Edith had taken in the day; she took a daily cocktail of multivitamins to stay healthy, and the only other medications that she took were birth control in the evenings and an antidepressant for migraines.

“You passed out.  I’m not sure why.  You seem like you’re in fairly good health.  But it’s not my job to diagnose.  Just to get you from point A to the hospital.”  He smiled at her, and she seemed to relax a bit.  “So what did you see??”  Maybe whatever she saw would give him some information for the emergency doctors, or supplement his own visions.  In either case, it was a good question to ask to keep her talking.

“There was… I was… in a basement, and I was being tortured.  It was like a nightmare I’ve had before.  There was a doctor who wanted to experiment on me.  They kept saying I was the most powerful person they had encountered.”  She paused to breathe, and Silas handed her a bottle of water so she could drink.  “Thanks,” she wheezed as she twisted to cap shut.  “I thinking of a man, bursting through the doors at any minute, to rescue me.  It wasn’t like he would be saving me, but he could feel what I was enduring and wanted it to stop hurting him as much as me.  I could feel my mouth moving in shapes, probably calling his name, but there are no sounds coming from me.  Then, you were starting an IV on my arm and getting ready to transport me.”

Silas could feel the muscles in his face betraying him.  Edith had just narrated his recurring dream.  He wanted to keep a straight face.  He was a paramedic; he had seen much worse than a fainting woman, and not so much as gagged.  He knew the color from his face had gone, and he worried that she would notice.  But she didn’t.  Edith had laid the bottle between her breasts, closed her eyes and leaned back into the pillow on the board.  Her heart rate was steadily rising again, and the rapid succession of the beeps on the monitor pulled Silas from his revelation.

“Edith?” he shouted firmly, as he rose, trying to stay professional.  “Edith?  Stay with me now.”

“I’m here,” she gasped.  Her heart rate began slowing.  “I’m very sleepy.  Can I go to sleep?”  Again, she rolled her head to look towards Silas, and the deep green of her eyes seemed to swim.  A stray tear fell from her right eye and snaked its way down her cheek and jawbone.

“Not yet,” he answered.  “We have to get you to the hospital first, and then they might let you go to sleep there.  You fainted.  Do you remember?”

“I remember… torture…” she had closed her eyes.  Ricky had called back to Silas to check on the patient, and Silas told him to hurry.  “I think she’s going to seize.”

The conscious girl that Silas had just spoken with was gone.  Her heart rate had speed up again, and he could tell that she wasn’t all there.

“Edith?  Can you hear me?”  He called.

“Silas…. where are you… I know you’ll come…”

For the second time, Silas felt the color drain from his face.  Edith had just uttered the same call of the girl in his dreams.

As he worked to keep her conscious and aware, he heard himself whisper, as if he were a puppet, “I’m right here.”

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