Janice awoke in a room totally unfamiliar to her. No jetty, just plain white walls. She winced with pain as the initial shock of returning consciousness slapped her in the head. She closed her eyes again, and gratefully passed into oblivion.
And she dreamed.
Dreams of monsters. Dreams of blue flashing lights and police officers standing on stumps with their hands on their crotch. Dreams of floating high above the sand dunes of a storm ridden beach. Dreams of her beloved dog Granite. Dreams of tornados, and pot filled rooms with black lights and lava lamps. And dreams of her father.
She awoke in a sweat.
"It's okay, little missy," came the voice of someone all too familiar.
"Afraid so, sweetheart. Seems like you just can't get rid of me, don't it?" Thomas said with a hint of sadness.
Janice strained to focus on her surroundings, and slowly, ever so slowly, everything began to clear in her mind.
"Daddy. You're alright?" she asked weakly.
"Better than I've been in a long, long, time sweet pea. Thanks to you, that is," he said tenderly.
"I love you, Daddy," she whispered.
"I love you too, baby," Thomas answered softly, as he wiped the tears from his eyes.
Janice rolled her head to the other side of her bed, feeling the presence of another.
"Do I know you?" she asked.
"Sort of, I guess," answered Mike Nelson. "We met at a beach party."
"I'm sorry, but I'm afraid I don't remember," Janice replied.
"Good for you," said Nelson. "It really wasn't that great of a party, and I only crashed it at the end."
"Remember me?" asked Jonathan, the upper part of his head wrapped in surgical gauze.
"Jesus," exclaimed Janice. "I feel like I'm in the Land of Oz or something. Of course I remember you. You were the Tin Man weren't you?"
"What…?" asked Jonathan, looking to the others in the room, bewildered.
"It's okay, Jonathan. I don't know what the hell has happened, or how long it's been. But thanks for saving my life, big brother."
"No," Jonathan said solemnly. "Thanks for saving mine. Enough of that for now, you just rest up, we'll all talk later."
"Fuck that!" exclaimed Janice, trying to sit up. "What about Eddie?"
"Don't worry about him," said Mike, as he leaned over her bed and patted her on the shoulder. "You took real good care of that problem. If you'll excuse me saying so, he's probably shark shit about now."
Janice turned back towards her family.
"Is that really true?" she asked as a nurse entered the room with a small stainless steel tray.
"Positively," said Mike.
"Absolutely," added Jonathan.
"No doubt in my mind," said her father.
"She needs to rest now. Doctor's orders," said the nurse with the silver tray.
"That's good. Really good."
Janice felt a slight sting as the needle punctured her arm, and felt her self beginning to slip back into unconsciousness.
"I always thought that Eddie would make good shark shit!" giggled Janice, as she went back to Dreamland.