Harold jumped, his eyes focussing on the lights above him, blurred by a canopy of plastic sheeting. He struggled to breath, feeling the weight of the stale air inside the plastic tent pressing on his face, forcing itself into his lungs, suffocating him in plain sights. He clawed at the plastic, remembering a dozen images from films where plastic bag suffocation was disabled by poking a hole where it was stretched over the victim's mouth.
“Dad, Dad. Calm down.” A cool, slender hand slipped into his and a blurred face appeared in his line of sight. The plastic canopy was taken away and he breathed in great gulps of sanitised, scrubbed air. The face reappeared. A girl. Twenty-ish. Long golden hair bunched into a ponytail. Light touched of makeup to make her eyes seem bigger against her pale skin.
Harold thought of his five-year old, Lucy. There was a similarity in their features. This could be how Lucy would look when she was older. He stayed silent, taking deep breaths while he assessed where he was. A cannula in the back of his hand, a drip of some clear fluid that could be anything from saline to morphine, a bank of dials and switches, a bowl of fruit. He was in hospital.
“Nurse?” He struggled to sit up. “Where am I?”
“This is St. Pity's.”
“How long have I been here? Where's my wife?”
“Dad? I'm not a nurse. I'm your daughter. Don't you remember?”