"Everyone wants happiness. No one wants pain. But you can't have a rainbow, without a little rain."
Place: Godwinson General Hospital, ███████, ███████, ███████, Earth, Universe 3
Time: 16:29 Local Time, December 25th, 2023
As Hilda sat up in her hospital bed, her green eyes stared out the window of room 1864. She casually watched the rain as it pattered against the glass, then sighed through her freckled nose. The red haired young woman had forgotten how long she had been in the hospital, given the weeks since she had awoken from the coma had blurred together. Each day's pattern was more or less the same: wake up, eat breakfast, watch TV, have lunch, do physical and occupational therapy, watch more TV, eat dinner, then fall asleep to the sounds of Jeopardy.
Hilda slightly shivered as she laid back down, all while pulling the covers up to her neck. Her right hand reached for the remote, then pressed the "on" button to activate the TV. The young woman's senses took in the sight and sounds of Wheel of Fortune, but she lightly grimaced before she quickly began to flit from channel to channel. The redhead's eyes were then bombarded by videos and images of warfare, specifically the American-Iranian War, and the young woman stopped channel surfing as she pressed her lips together.
Hilda then felt her phone vibrate, so she reached down to bring it out from under the covers, and quickly unlocked it by inputting her PIN. She saw that she had a notification that she had received a message, then swiped down before tapping on it to open the text.
The message was from her older brother, and it read: "Dude, WTF is this? lol". Hilda slightly squinted as she raised a brow, then saw another message pop up. It was a link to a live video on a random person's social media, and the young woman pressed play to see what all the hubbub was about. Her attention was focused on the screen as it displayed shaky, smartphone footage of people screaming while running through car filled streets. The person holding the camera then seemed to climb onto the front hood of a stationary sedan, and aimed the camera down the packed road.
"Hoooly shit! You guys seeing this?!" The cameraman asked with a panicked voice, and Hilda's eyes widened as she took in an incredulous sight: reddish, humanoid creatures with large, bat like wings attacking and flying over the fleeing pedestrians and their motionless vehicles. The redhead's heart began to pound faster and harder, but she nevertheless kept her attention on the live video as it progressed. Hilda's first thought was that this was some sort of high budget stunt for a movie or TV show, as the way people reacted and were flung about just seemed incredibly realistic.
The young woman opened her messenger app, and replied to her brother: "IDK, it's probably for a movie. Looks kinda cool". Hilda then returned to the video, only to see that the cameraman had climbed off the car, and began to swing the camera back as forth as they ran. The sounds of awfully authentic screams filled the otherwise silent hospital room, which caused Hilda's stomach to turn. She was impressed with the level of quality and attention to detail that the producers went through, but started to feel sick from all of the terrified yelling.
Hilda closed the social media app, then took in a deep breath as she closed her eyes. Her mind played back snippets of the video, which began to annoy her, so she grabbed the remote and changed the channel. The redhead watched as a young woman called out letters during a game of Wheel of Fortune, but she was soon disturbed by yet another text.
"Oh my god." Hilda muttered to herself, then unlocked her phone and looked at her notifications.
The redhead proceeded to open her messenger app, and read her brother's reply: "Bro, the video's gone..." The young woman then clicked the link to the social media post, only to be redirected to an error page.
"The fuck?" Hilda quietly swore to herself, then replied to her brother once more: "Weird". She then closed her phone, and began to channel surf once more, until she switched back to the news. Hilda observed more videos and images of the American-Iranian War, then pressed her lips together while her mind pondered the total number of lives that would be lost in the conflict. Her train of thought was suddenly disrupted, as the screen changed into a transitional clip containing "BREAKING NEWS" in bold, red letters, before it displayed a blonde, female news anchor with a grave expression on her face.
The news anchor spoke with a professional tone, "This just in, we've been getting a massive influx of disturbing reports from Seattle, Washington. Our sources tell us that the city is currently being attacked by a large number of..." The reporter paused to clear her throat, then continued, "Excuse me, a large number of hostile, airborne entities. The following footage may be disturbing to some viewers, so please, take a moment to escort any children out of the room."
Hilda could now feel her pulse in her ears, and she took in shallow breaths while she endured a sudden, pit like feeling in her abdomen. The young woman pulled the covers off of her body, then rose up to sit on the edge of the bed, ignoring the TV as it eventually began to display different videos of people fleeing from the same winged creatures in the social media post. Her hands were slightly shaking, and her mind was gripped by a strong sense of dread.
Then, the young woman slapped herself in the face, before wincing and hissing as she confirmed that she wasn't dreaming. The realization simply intensified the fear that she felt, and Hilda brought both hands together while she closed her eyes. Although she wasn't very religious, the redhead felt now was an appropriate time to beseech the divine. None of what was transpiring made any sense, or followed any script described in any holy book whose contents she could recall, so Hilda began to pray.
The redhead prayed for herself, her family and friends, and for the world as a whole. She didn't know if the world was ending, but she sure felt like it was, so she begged the divine to spare the world from destruction. Hilda had no idea if anything that she was saying was actually being heard, though she felt a glimmer of hope that something was listening, given that creatures that looked more or less like demons were now a reality.
All the while, the sounds of horrified screams echoed throughout the room.