I slammed back from the time warp, violently; with such force that I felt as though I had been slugged in the stomach but it was more than that, it was bigger, encompassing my entire body. This was violence that I had never experienced in my life. It felt as if every bone in my body was vibrating. I couldn’t breathe and in desperation; fighting to inhale, I wrenched to a sitting position and grabbed my middle as I fought to draw air into my lungs.
The room seemed to be wobbling on its axis, gyrating and looping crazily in and out of focus. A high whine like a teapot left on a hot burner past the point of boiling shrieked in my ears and I lifted my hands to cover them but the sound was coming from inside my head. My body was desperate for air and I began to panic as the moments stretched out and still I couldn’t draw a breath.
My diaphragm was spasming and it felt like those times when I had hurt myself as a little girl. I had vivid memories of times when I’d had the breath knocked out of me. I could recall a strong wind catching a screen door and the end of my finger being smashed, split like a grape. I could recall once cracking my head on the hard tile floor of the basement and at those times I remember my mom rushing to me, saying frantically, “Breathe, Torie! Breathe!” and finally the sobs would come and my panicked mom would sigh with relief and take me in her arms to comfort me.Now, as I rocked onto my knees and crawled mindlessly to the end of my bed, I face-planted into the cool bedding bunched at the foot. Terror, pure terror as my ears screamed with the high pitched ringing and spots before my eyes flashed, signaling approaching unconsciousness.