I sit in the belly of a whale.
The hospital room is silent apart from the distant roar of the air conditioning and her slow breathing, the lights dimmed with only a faint green glow from an air vent. At every noise – a nurse outside, a creak of my chair, she opens her eyes again, then the lids droop. Her stomach is swollen, skin dry and itchy. It swims freely in her bloodstream now, unhindered by the chemical nets that had once tried to catch it, struggling and gasping like any other creature dragged from a world it had so gracefully adapted to.
Chemotherapy would kill her. The little dreamer of morphine, and the small kindnesses of the nurses are all that’s left. Two days ago she could still speak clearly for herself, abrasively so, but now even that last hook seems to be slowly working itself free…..