I came to, and there was a multitude of people hovering above me. Daphne was foremost of the group. She was leaning over me and had her hands on my chest. Her face registered a combination of concern and gladness. She drew out that phantom handkerchief again and began dabbing her eyes.
“We thought you were dead,” she declared. “We heard a scream and when we arrived in the room, your body was contorted and your heart wasn’t beating. How do you feel?”
I registered what she was saying, but my mind was blank for a moment. Then I asked, “How long was I in a contorted state after you entered the room?”
“About a minute,” she replied. “How do you feel?” she asked again.
I sort of took an inventory of my body and realized I hadn’t felt this good in years. I felt rejuvenated. It seemed as if I were 18 again. My wounds didn’t ache anymore. I said in an awed voice and with a broad smile on my face, “I feel great.”
The shocked looks on the faces gathered around my bed let me know I had to be careful of what I said next.
“What happened?” Daphne demanded. “How can you feel great and, just a moment ago, be so near death?” she probed.
“I don’t know, but I must have had some sort of energy charge. Did lightning hit the house?” I rejoined.
“We had a thunderstorm move into the area a few moments before we heard you cry out, but we didn’t feel any lightning hit the house. In fact, you can still hear the rain outside,” she explained.
I cocked my ear and listened. Rain was hitting the windows. There was a rainstorm over Ferry Hill at this very moment.
“Well, a lightning strike is the only logical explanation that I can give,” I clarified.
The servant ladies all of a sudden went down on their knees and began praying for protection against evil spirits inhabiting me and hurting them. I looked at them with a pained expression. This was just what I needed. To be considered a demon-inhabited, gun-toting outsider. How was I going to cope with this fine mess the alien had gotten me into?