“I’m going to kill you for this.” Michael said.
She picked up the syringe.
“By then it won’t matter.”
The needle slid into his arm with no resistance. The flesh was inflamed, necrotic, and he was sure he could have poked her finger down to bone with the same effort. He’d picked up a rotten peach once and had his thumb sink into the mush all the way to the pit. It would be like that, he thought, only warm and less sweet. He was strapped to the bed and couldn’t touch it to confirm. He wouldn’t have anyway.
After administering the contents she pulled the needle out. Where he once felt the throbbing burn of infection, a cold sensation spread along his crumbling veins. It traveled up his arm into his shoulder where it spread out, like an internal caress, though his chest. When it reached his heart the beating slowed. His vision blackened at the edges and he floated on the surface of darkness.
She smiled down at him.
“Is that better?” She asked.
It was, but only in the way your brain shuts down pain when there is too much of it. Not good better. Bad Better. The better you feel when you’re on the edge of death and your system is preparing for it.
Again, he muttered his threat. “I’m going to kill you.” His lips felt like wet laundry.
“You know your contribution is invaluable, Mike. You’re such a trooper!” She patted the railing in a comforting way but avoided touching his diseased skin. Without another word she moved on to the next bed.
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