By Seb Kirby
I opened my eyes.
It felt like someone else had opened them.
My lungs were on fire. Each breath a screech of pain.
This broken body, pushed almost beyond repair, wouldn’t let me move except to raise my head from the pillow and snatch a glance around before the agony of this simple action overtook me and I collapsed once more.
The room was cool and white. The light above was clinical.
Where was I?
I touched the pristine sheets.
I was in a hospital bed.
Why was I here?
How long had I been here?
I realised then that I knew the answer to none of these questions. And that there was another question I was afraid to ask.
Who am I?
He told me his name was Josh Healey and that he was a clinician attached to the Trauma Ward.
“It’s good to see you’re looking stronger today.”
“You mean you’re surprised I’ve made it.”
“Don’t think that way. But if you mean you were badly injured, close to death, then I’d have to say yes.”
I struggled to understand. “What happened?”
“You don’t recall?”
“There’s nothing. Nothing. Until I wake up here.”
“They pulled you out of the water, from North Dock at Canary Wharf. A near drowning.”
“Some kind of accident?”
“No, you’d been beaten, before you entered the water. That’s the cause of the bruising and swelling to your arms, chest and abdomen.” He looked away. “Best not to dwell on that now. You’ve been in deep shock. But you’re now in recovery. The coldness of the water helped, I’m sure. Slowed the possibility of neurological damage. And we’ve restored your electrolyte balance. Your prognosis is good.”
“How long have I been here?”
He looked at the chart. “Three days.”
“And where is here?”
He smiled to reassure me. “We’re a few miles away from Canary Wharf, in Hammersmith Hospital.”
“What was I doing there, at Canary Wharf?”
“That’s what we’re hoping you’ll tell us. Once you’re better.” He took a step back. “No need to worry about this now, build your strength, give it time.”
Then it came.
The first memory.
Clear, straight from nowhere, like a bright light piercing the darkness.
I’m seeing it, living it. It’s me, looking on, seeing myself doing all this.
I’m with a woman.
She’s young, just turned nineteen, pretty.
We’re talking about our meeting in a pub and how I brought her to this place.
This dark room with wood panelled walls covered with books.
Making love to her.
No, I’m not that kind of person. Not the kind to lie to my wife.
I have a wife.
I have a wife.
Yet here I am with Cathy.
Something intense. Something I don’t want to see. Something I don’t want to have to recall.
My hands round her throat, squeezing the life out of her. Watching her body go limp.
About Each Day I Wake
A gripping psychological thriller by Seb Kirby
Young women are going missing and only Tom Markland knows the terrifying truth. When he’s pulled out of the North Dock, he comes round not knowing who he is or how he got there. All he knows is that someone is killing young women. He sees them die each time he closes his eyes. The only way he’s going to recover his identity is to discover who is doing the killings.
Each Day I Wake will keep you turning page after page.
Get it on Amazon.
About the author
Seb Kirby was literally raised with books – his grandfather ran a mobile library in Birmingham, UK and his parents inherited a random selection of the books. Once he discovered a trove of well-used titles from Zane Gray’s Riders of the Purple Sage, HG Wells’ The Invisible Man and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities to more obscure stuff, he was hooked.
He’s been an avid reader ever since.
Other inspirations include Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis and The Trial, George Orwell 1984 and Animal Farm, Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn’s One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich, Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Boris Pasternak’s Dr Zhivago, Arthur Koestler’s Darkness At Noon, Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov, Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cukoo’s Nest, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley …
He is author of the James Blake thriller series, Take No More, Regret No More and, coming soon, Forgive No More, and the science-fiction thriller, Double Bind.
And follow him on Twitter @Seb_Kirby