Shadows Of Guta (Excerpt 548) Muffled
Faster and faster, Stephen is drifting away as if in a tunnel being pulled farther and deeper away as darkness swiftly closes in from all sides. It is now that he begins to feel the pain, a sharp cutting sting to his ribs, then to his thigh. He finds it difficult to breathe as he hears Zsofia’s voice frantically calling his name.
As if jolted by a strike of lightning, Stephen awakens in the dining room. He realizes he is lying on the floor, flickering candlelight reflecting off the ceiling makes his eyes water and then Zsofia’s face comes into view as she looks down at him. Pulling her hair to one side, she holds it back to keep it from falling in his face. He cannot hear anything except for a high-pitched ringing in his ears.
Looking up, Zsofia begins to wipe at the tears streaking down her cheeks as she realizes he is awake. She is talking to someone just out of his sight, but soon Laszlo comes up behind her with a worried look in his eyes as he kneels down beside his granddaughter.
“Stephen, oh Stephen, why did you do that?” Zsofia questions with nervousness in her voice as she gazes into his eyes but what he hears is muffled and unrecognizable.
“Wha. . . what happened?” Stephen finds enough strength to ask before a sharp pain begins to throb in his chest. “Ahh,” he winces as he tries to roll to his side but that too hurts just as much.