A dull pulsing in my head grows more painfully ever second, and it is ultimately the cause of my waking. I pause, letting my eyelids flutter at the light. It's too bright and uneven - I can't open my eyes any wider than a squint. Instead of pushing them too far, I attempt to flex my fingers. One hand complies stiffly but the other remains strangely numb. A horror seeps into me at the idea. Why isn't my hand working? And my shooting hand at that! I desperately want to get a good look at the cause of the problem, but my eyes continue to resist.
I force my stiff hand to rub my head in the spot causing me most trouble. My fingers probe the wound and hesitate. There's a deep gash, and blood is seeping out at a constant rate. My skull feels intact, but the pulsing increases at the touch of my fingers. I doubt I fractured it, but again, there's the cut to account for.
I push my stable hand back and force myself into a sitting position. A scream is stifled through gritted teeth - I'm aware it's my own. The blurriness persists but less so. Shapes can be made out like the pool of my own blood clotting in the sand.
Another gasp of air is pushed out of me when my memory jumps back into my head. My body, severely injured is through my own fault. I jumped and I payed the price. At least I'm not dead. Rory might be though.
In all honesty, I never predicted nor considered how my brother would react if I missed the ledge. He could've slaughtered her quickly to grieve in piece. He could've taken her to be tortured. For all I know, he could've left her alone to starve in peace. But I do know that she's doomed - all thanks to me.
The rims of my eyes sting and I blink away tears. Crying has never done me any good and I doubt it ever will. My brain remedies the situation with a less than pleasant idea, but I embrace it whole-heartedly. I grit my teeth and bend my protesting neck to face my left arm.
It's pale, as light as milk. Any sort of color has been leeched out - the blood gone as if it were never there. Then, I begin to see the form. It's badly mangled. Twisted out of shape. Useless.
I've never broken a bone, at least none of which were mine, but I know what I have to do. I lay my forearm flat on the shore and close my eyes. At the count of three, I stand up and place my feet near it. Then I jump, placing my feet carefully.
I can't contain my shriek this time, and I hardly pay attention to it rebounding off the stone walls. Maybe Harold will hear me and come to rescue me. I'll strangle him if he does. Minutes pass by but no sound of footsteps can be heard - only the waves lapping against the shore.
Fine, I think to myself. Holding my limp arm as straight as I can, I push myself to my wobbly feet, fighting gravity to stay upright. The ground sways and my vision blurs, but I swallow a few breaths of air. There's a stick nearby, too short to use as a walking stick, but it'll serve nicely to hold my arm straight. I carefully tug off my jacket and wrap it around the stick and my arm and tie the sleeves together. It isn't much, and I'll have to get something better later, but at least I can keep the bone in a straighter position. Curious, I try gently closing my fingers and succeed in making them twitch. Good. That means the nerves haven't been severed.
I squint upward. The sun in the sky is three-quarters downward and, considering it was morning before I jumped, I assume the night will come in the next few hours. It'll be better if I start making my way up the hill - to escape whatever the night brings and to start my murderous hunt for Harold.