Tracy smells a manky, acrid stink, and realizes this before her eyes even open. She feels herself blinking, but is confused. Her sight doesn’t change, even when she feels her lids move, and her lashes brush her cheek.
Everything is white, light. Blinding light, no matter if her lids are open or closed. She moves her head to the side to peer around the bright, but everything everywhere is a dazzling white.
Tracy looks down, and even though she can feel the pinch of an IV and tape on her arm, and hear the beep of a machine, she's white too. It's like she's in a machine of light, and she is the machine of light at the same time.
Shaking her head slightly, noting the dull throb in her shoulder, a wet feeling between her legs, and a stickyness on her hand, Tracy struggles to accept her new bright predicament. She wants to sit up, but can't tell if she already is. Perception eludes her.
Then there's a shadow that's not a shadow... it's a blur in the machine, and it's coming towards her.
"Hello Tracy, welcome. I'm Dikko. How are you feeling?" he greets her and asks with a smile. His face is kind, brown and bright. The crinkles at the corner of her eyes put her at ease. He looks wise and knowing.
"What happened? What is this?" She gestures and again feels the pull and pinch of the IV in her hand, although she can't exactly see it, she can envision it... in this place everything is on the verge of existing, of being.
"You're in the ambulance," Dikko says simply.
With those words the machine of light ambiguously reveals the ambulance, and Tracy can vaguely make out the monitors and machines in boxes secured to shelves on the wall. She can imagine that she can see the IV line rising to a clear bag that is swaying slightly.
"What happened?" she asks again, his face and her surroundings solidifying, becoming more comprehensible. It's still a machine of light. Everything is still light, but now she can make out individual objects, their shapes, colors, and words. Tracy thinks back to her dream the night before. This is probably a dream too and she will wake up falling, another hypnic jerk.
"You've died again Tracy," he says gently. His words hit her like a sledgehammer, but his presence, the consonance of his words are soothing at the same time. She's died again, this makes perfect sense somehow.
"I've died again." She repeats the words, rolling them around her mouth, trying them out. It is how she will have to introduce herself in the future, "Hi, I'm Tracy and I've died again. Nice to make your acquaintance."

"But this time I'm here to warn you, to tell you. This is your last life, your borrowed life."

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