Pictures in the Ceiling
Lying on the floor staring at the ceiling seemed like the best plan at the moment. The textured ceiling, with the slowly spinning fan, kept my attention better than most things. The smell of old food lingered in the carpet. I thought of moving but decided it really smelled no better, or worse, than any other part of the house. I could hear music coming through the speakers but wasn’t overly concerned with which band it was or what they were singing. I was more interested in the pictures my mind was making from the little balls of stucco hanging above me.
What seemed like an endless field of oddly lit balls began to take shape as my mind made faces in them. The faces evolved into animals, then full scenes. Soon I had lost sight of even the fan as I watched movies on the ceiling. Little universes of people and animals co-existing before consuming each other in violent battles. The dull thrum of the music in the background seemed to be a perfect soundtrack to the movie.
I could hear conversations happening between the stucco people as the scene moved into a close up of someone’s face. They looked familiar, almost like my friend Samantha. I could hear her voice as the mouth moved on the ceiling, but couldn’t quite understand what she was saying.
A light blinded me suddenly, and I felt someone slapping my cheek. My eyes blinked a few times as they refocused on the things around me.
“Quinn! Talk to me, man!” Samantha panicked as she slapped my cheek again.
“What’s going on? I didn’t hear you come in…” I said as I noticed the tears running down her face. “Is everything okay?”
“You weren’t breathing, dude! I’ve been giving you CPR for the last eight minutes! What the fuck were you doing?”
The paramedics came through the door before I could answer, carting me off to the hospital.