Maybeth’s eyelids slowly fluttered awake as her eyes beneath rolled in search of clarity and focus. The dream of her flying a hot air balloon over a chasm filled with churning lava dissipated as the light reached her. As the fog in her head seemed to thicken, George Harrison started in with the first verse of If Not For You. It was a bit louder than she wanted at the moment and she couldn’t be completely sure that the song wasn’t part of the dream.

She closed her eyes, drifting between the temping allure of sleep and the nagging need to stay awake.

The unpleasant pressure in her shoulder intensified as she tried to shift to a more comfortable position. She tried to turn her head, but stopped immediately when her brain began to scream with pain. Still not fast enough to stop her from wincing against the pounding.



“Babe, I couldn’t even find the door. I couldn’t even see the floor. I’d be sad and blue…”

She instinctively reached out for the button to stop the music. She loved George, but not now. Her shoulder protested with a three-way shot of pain that radiated up her neck down her spine and into her arm. She winced again in response, sucking in air, which also seemed harder to do than usual. She missed.

Blinking, the only thing she did at the moment that didn’t hurt, she tried to focus as her eyes sought her hand. It was wet. Red.

Defying the order of her brain to sleep, Maybeth’s eyes shot open. Realization and recognition flooded her senses as the familiar collided with the unfamiliar. She glanced a little to her right. The gaze of her Perky Petz bobble-head puppy, whom she named Tiger gazed back at her, but the spring that held the head to the body was stretched and bent making Tiger’s head appear as if it popped off into mid air leaving a cartoonish swirl of motion behind it.

But, Tiger was in her car, firmly attached to her dashboard with a serious chunk of two-sided tape.


She shifted her gaze forward into an intense spider web of light.   

“Without your love I’d be nowhere at all, I’d be lost, if not for you…”

She turned her eyes to the left trying hard to keep her head still. Where she suspected glass, she saw dirt. It was then she realized she could not feel her legs.

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