I was in bed. A bed, at any rate.

I had been flattened by a steam-roller, trampled under a stampede of bison. Beaten by a determined thug. I ached,head to toe, fingers and skin. Mostly head.

My skull throbbed, one hot pulse for every beat of my heart. I could see it in the rhythmic dimming of an already shadowy room. I wanted to weep with the pain, but if I had to blow my nose, my skull might split like an overripe melon.

So I lay in the dim room, and watched my chart beat, and ached.

Some time later, it came to me that he angle of the vague patch of brightness across the opposite wall had changed. some time after that, an explanation slipped out between the pain-pulses: The sun had moved while I slept. A while later, another thought: Timeis passing.

And with that, a tendril of urgency unfurled. I could not lie in bed, I had to be somewhere. People were depending on me. the sun would go down: I would be late.