I Lay Frozen




Touched by a ghost. Long after she left I lay frozen. The trees rustling outside the window, and the wind angry at the darkness. The slow moving clouds covered the moon and for long stretches of time it was pitch black.

I shifted in bed, but I couldn't move much because It felt like I was tied down. Pain was taking up refuge in my lower back. The bed felt like a piece of concrete slab covered in a thin sheet and my pillow was flat and as hard as a rock. The air around me was saturated with chemicals and of course oxygen. I couldn't understand the reason why I smelled oxygen, but nonetheless I did.

Even though I lay in darkness, I could feel eyes boring into me. Spirits standing there at the foot of the bed, waiting a long time. I thought I caught a glimpse of someone in white, but I blinked and it vanished.

Exhaustion swept over my limbs and filled my body with weakness. Confusion attacked my brain and rushed it into my heart. Although I had not felt it beating, I knew it was there. It was cold, and it felt stored in a chest of ice.

I wanted to end my slumber, but my mind was running along a different track. I felt a chain around my neck shaped like a “Y”. It was loose for a moment, but then it felt like it was penetrating my skin. The “Y” felt permanent.

I didn't remember much of anything, not even going to bed. My thoughts were hazy, and the only thing I remembered was the smell of blood. I also remembered a woman covered in blood. How on earth had she managed to end up in a situation so dangerous that it covered her in blood, and gave me the loss of memory?

I was thinking so hard, but the memories that came back were being tossed up into the air like plates from a juggler at a carnival. Each one tossed up and caught, but my mind was only thinking of the one missed and it crashing to the floor. The shattering plate sent pains through my head and I didn't want to remember anymore.

Then my spirit floated across an old condemned house straining to remain upright. In front there was a human figure dangling from an end of a rope tied to the second highest tree branch. His chin touching his chest and his arms flopped loosely.

Someone was calling my name. I heard it clear and then it faded and became a whimpering stutter. That echoing stutter in the room made my blood run cold. Then there was a pungent smell that filled the air. There was also a dingy white sheet covering my head, but I could not move it away. It kept coming back, covering my face. The pungent smell got stronger and stronger as I covered my nose, but it didn't go away.

I heard a woman describing an autopsy and the nature of the wounds. Then black and white photos on the floor depicting the injuries in detail. I heard another woman talking about the excess of violence. Three gun shot wounds, one with thick powder burns to the side of the face, one to the chest, and the third one into the stomach.

The ghost came back and when I was looking down over her and my body, I realized she wasn't a ghost at all, but a doctor trying to save my life. It was too late, she tried and I still lay frozen...

© 2016 Frank Atanacio

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Comments 47 comments

Jodah profile image

Jodah 10 months ago from Queensland Australia

Wow! Frank this was eerie stuff and I didn't see that coming until close to the end. Loved it.


clivewilliams profile image

clivewilliams 10 months ago from Nibiru

Nice and intriguing frank. Very descriptive of what may happen to persons experiencing semi-consciousness.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Thanks Jodah, and Jive Clive for checking out my frozen :)


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 10 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Excellent. I think spellbinding is the right word. Wow you are a great writer.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Eric :)


billybuc profile image

billybuc 10 months ago from Olympia, WA

The first sentence...touched by a ghost...set the tone immediately. Then to return to it at the end, all tied up in a neat little package....this is excellent writing, Frank!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks for stopping by Billybuc.. bless you


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 10 months ago

Really compelling story. Interesting reading with a great conceptual feel.

It is pulled together so exceptional, just like most of your other work.

One can really think about so many different scenarios of how the man came to be frozen on a cold table. Really enjoy the way your imagination speaks so vividly and you allow the reader wanting more!!

awesome...:-) shared..+++++


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 10 months ago from london

Another one with much suspense. Brilliantly done!


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 10 months ago from LOS ANGELES

This is an exceptional read! I love the way your stories always have a twist. I didn't realize the person was- out of the body- and viewing themselves until the end. I liked the ending " It was too late, she tried and I still lay frozen."


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Jo, manatita and Dana for checking out my flash bless you guys :)


MsDora profile image

MsDora 10 months ago from The Caribbean

This is different--a view from from the other side. What is so strange is that the frozen body could see, feel and smell. Only your pen could do this so effectively.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 10 months ago from Southern Illinois

You got me on this one, anything but an autopsy! This is why I come to read your hub's. I am surprised and full of wonder. Excellent Frank!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so Much MsDora and Always Exploring for reading my Frozen, and good to see you guys writing in 2016..bless you


Besarien profile image

Besarien 10 months ago

This one really is all about POV, isn't it? At first I thought our man was frozen in fear. Then I thought he was suffering from sleep paralysis. The reveal was- revealing, a genuine Prestige! I love when I don't see it coming.

You really rock at flash fiction and poetry. This seemed right about in the middle or both and either to very good effect. "Each one tossed up and caught, but my mind was only thinking of the one missed and it crashing to the floor." That's fine prosetry and you sir are a proset who knows it.

You have a very distinct voice, Frank. I believe I'd recognize it out of context or twenty years from now. That is a quality any writer aspires to cultivate, I should think, except maybe someone who does parody for a living. Then again, Weird Al Yankovic is pretty distinct and he does okay. Distinct, completely yours, and it's a good voice, too with lots to say.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Besarien for a spoon full of compliments in your comments.. simply bless you :)


Diana Lee profile image

Diana Lee 10 months ago from Potter County, Pa.

I enjoyed this very unique story. Thanks for sharing your talent with us.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 10 months ago from Massachusetts, USA

Whoa, Frank! I love how you told this tale from the point of view of the departed, and how the living are the spirits. Phrases like, "the wind angry at the darkness" shape this unique, chilling story from beginning to end, connecting with the "I lay frozen." This is great writing, Frank. :-)


savvydating profile image

savvydating 10 months ago

Fantastic title. No one is better than you at creating these chilling stories. But more impressive is how you create such strong visuals. Don't know how you do it, but you do it astonishingly well.

Yet another home run, Frank.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Diana Lee, Genna East and Savvydating for visiting my flash fiction.. bless you guys :)


Missy Smith profile image

Missy Smith 10 months ago from Florida

This one was very detailed, and eerie. I liked it. You come up with great stories, Frank. They always keep the reader occupied until the end. Great as usual! :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you so much Missy for stopping by :)


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 10 months ago from USA

I didn't see that ending coming! You are tricky!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Flourish :)


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 10 months ago from southern USA

Whoa, Dear Frank ...this is crazy good writing here! I haven't been able to be on HubPages here of late, even to read, so I have a lot of reading to catch up on. I'm thrilled I chose your hub to start off with this night. Each line is written with great flare. I was taking in every word with great interest. I love when you write like this ...superb! Oh, the Y chain is brilliant too. Hugs and blessings always


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Good to see you my dear Faith.. I hope all is well with you and your family.. sending you best wishes and lots of blessings.. :)


aviannovice profile image

aviannovice 10 months ago from Stillwater, OK

I just couldn't imagine myself lying there and dying while another part of me witnessed it. You did a great job on this piece.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 10 months ago from California

Wow Frank--I swear, your writing just gets better and better!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Thank you aviannovice and Audrey for stopping by :)


Surabhi Kaura profile image

Surabhi Kaura 10 months ago from Toronto, Canada

Whoa! What a wonderful read! Bravo.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Surabhi.. Ill be over to your page to return the favor..bless you


carolinemd21 profile image

carolinemd21 10 months ago from Close to Heaven

When I read your words it feels like I am there in your story. Great writing. :)


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you caroline :)


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 10 months ago from England

Ooh gruesome I think the word is! what a great story! and no I never saw it coming either, nell


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Nell Rose thank you so much for dropping by


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 10 months ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

I like it, Frank! I'm not giving you hyperbole when I say "I Lay Frozen" is something I can imagined Edgar Allen Poe having written. Its a kind of dark, prose poem, isn't it?

Its the last, vanishing perspective of a dying person, of course. But I wonder if the dreamer is a victim or the murderer, who got dealt "justice."


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 10 months ago from Shelton Author

Hey thanks wingedcentaur.. good seeing you


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 9 months ago from California

This is wonderfully eerie and haunting!


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Audrey good seeing you


annart profile image

annart 9 months ago from SW England

Absolutely superb! You had me spellbound from beginning to end.

Great story and the ending was timed just right! Spooky, confused, questions asked and possibilities thought of, then slowly the answer emerges from the text. Perfect!

Ann


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 9 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you so much Ann


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 8 months ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

I enjoyed this story, Frank. For some reason I was focused on your descriptive language, maybe because I've been working on that in my own writing. I especially liked the use of a juglar to depict memories being handled.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 8 months ago from Shelton Author

thanks Cam


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 6 months ago from USA

I'm back to read this chilling tale.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 6 months ago from Shelton Author

thank you Flourish...:)


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 6 weeks ago

Wow Frank, what an amazing story, writing a dying, I did not see this coming.

I am glad I found this. Really great story.

Blessings my friend.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 6 weeks ago from Shelton Author

thank you shyron

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