“I woke up this morning with a terrible headache, Doc.  I hit the snooze button at least four times, and when I finally got out of bed, it took all I had just to get to the bathroom for my morning piss…which was almost brown, by the way.  God, I was so thirsty.  Why was I so dehydrated?”

I pause for thought.

“I guess it had to be the beers I drank Saturday night. Still, this is Monday, Doc, and I only had three or four the other night. Sunday was kind of rough, though. Maybe all the stress just drained me. I’d never been mugged before. The guy was so damned violent…God, why didn’t I just hand over my wallet when he lunged at me? I guess I thought I could take him, since he was just a little guy.”

“Wait, a mugger did this to your arm?  Let me take a look.”

As I unwrap the bandage around my left arm, I continue my thought out loud…

“There is a lot of meth snorting around the streets of the neighborhood where I had lunch that day.  I’ve heard someone strung-out is a little harder to handle than your average person. When I finally handed over my wallet, the guy bit me!”

“He bit you?!? Did you file a police report?”

“No, I was too unnerved by the whole situation.  Anyhow, I dropped my wallet and ran away. Not the manliest thing I could have done, I admit, but it freaked me out.  When I got home, I cleaned the wound and bandaged it.  I’m generally very paranoid about germs and diseases, so you can imagine my uneasiness when I learned the clinic isn’t open on Sundays.”

I wince as I pull the bandage, so the doctor carefully helps, revealing what was now a yellow and black mess.

“Oh god…” he says.

As I look down, I see the orange blood ooze out. That implausible thirst returns, my stomach starts to hurt, my eyes go hazy, and I black out…

 

I awake to screams…Foggy, I look around the room trying to remember where I am. There’s blood on my clothes, and blood on the walls. Getting up, I start to retreat from the room, but trip and fall to the floor. When I hit the tiles, I meet eyes with the doctor’s glossy, gray-filmed eyes. The blood had obviously come from him, as his spleen is laying on the floor in front of him (and now me), his right arm missing. No motion from the good doctor, only the smell of blood. He’s not alive. My mouth hangs open, and with each gust of cool air from the A/C vent, the obtrusive taste of copper packs my senses. I stare at the man’s eyes, unaware of what to do next…Frozen. Then, he blinks.

No! This can’t be happening!

He blinks again, this time followed by a sliver of motion…then by him awkwardly returning to his feet. He looks at me so hungrily, drooling.  He turns around and walks out of the room growling. I finally understand what’s happening, and I know now how to reduce my hunger and thirst…just walk outside the door, and intercept one of the screaming nurses running down the halls.

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