Kathryn Wolfe, you're infected
The words hung in the air like a noose. I was infected. How? TMS hadn't been notified as a threat to Canada. Was someone a carrier and it tumbled upon me? No, no one is immune to TMS. My head kept up its throbbing. I hadn't even noticed that everyone but the nurses and doctor had been evacuated.
"Sir," the nurse with red lips said. "She has to be quarantined." I didn't acknowledge that she had said anything- I was in shock. I didn't care that the nurses and doctor were wearing precautions. I didn't acknowledge that the doctor had a syringe in his hand and that he was walking toward me. He pushed my neck to the side so he could inject the syringe.
My brain kicked in.
I jumped to the side, hitting the wall. Pain shot through my arm, but ignored it. Half of my brain was telling me What are you doing? You're putting everyone in danger by resisting- the other half was saying Keep fighting. Fight to stay alive.
Grogginess had fallen over me. I realized I fell and that the doctor had taken advantage of my weak state. I fought to keep my eyes open- I was just barely clinging onto consciousness. I couldn't move. I couldn't think horrible things about what had happened. I could only drop into sleep.
Beep. Beep. Beep. Beep.
There were light murmurs going around me. Colors danced behind my eyelids. My neck ached. I slowly forced my eyes open, only to be blinded by a light. I raised my hand to shield my eyes and noticed a tube following it. I sat up.
The room was big to say the least. It had high ceilings and was a stormy grey. Half of the room contained hospital beds and the other half had what looked like a eating area. I looked at the bed directly across from me and saw a older man- maybe about 60. He held a book in his hands, but was trembling. I looked around some more and saw patients getting up and walking around, their liquid bags following them.
"Kathryn?" someone asked. I looked around for the person, but didn't see anyone. "Over here." I looked to my left and saw Nick, one of my childhood friends. Though he hadn't changed much, there were still some noticeable differences. His hair fell into his eyes, unlike the buzz cut he used to have. Also, his cheekbones were more defined. And he was taller- a lot taller.
"Hey Nic-" I started, before I began violently coughing. There was a vibrating in my chest, like when you have a bad cold.
"Don't strain yourself," he said, laughing a bit. "It'll go away after you take your pills." I had stopped coughing, but my voice had gone rough.
"Pills?" I asked, sounding scratchy. Just then, a nurse with dark skin and a tray came up to me.
"Pardon me," she said, moving by Nick. She held out the tray and on it was a tiny cup with clear red liquid in it and another cup with two shiny black pills. "Please make sure you chew the pills. The symptoms won't go away unless you chew."
"What about-" cough "- the drink?"
"That isn't for you," she said, almost sounding mean. I picked up the cup with the pills and she walked away. I picked up a pill and inspected it. It was smooth and completely opaque. I placed it in my mouth and bit down. A vile taste filled my mouth as the pill broke open. I spit out the pill, it splattering on the ground, forming into a small black puddle.
"You aren't supposed to do that," Nick said.
"It tastes horrible," I say, wiping my mouth. Nick sat on my bed, making it dip.
"That's why you have two," he said, handing me the other one. He leaned in close and said,"But you don't actually have to chew it. I don't chew mine and I don't get the symptoms." A smirk grew across his face. I put the pill in my mouth and swallowed. A bell sounded and everyone stood up.
"What's going on?" I asked. People started to file to the other half of the room.
"It's lunch," Nick said, as if it were obvious. I stood and walked with everyone else, waiting in line for lunch.
"What do you guys do around here?" I inquired, looking around at others. People here seemed to vary in many ways. The old, the young, the strong, the weak, the dark, the light. All of those who had been infected.
"There's one other room," Nick said, pointing to a door at at the far left of the room. "It's the library. It's about half the size of this room. There's a tiny hallway to get there, but otherwise it's close to here." I felt the corners of my mouth twitch. I love books, and half of this room is big, so that must mean there's a lot of books.
I walked up to the metallic grey counter, where there was a woman wearing a white dress. She set a tray with assorted food on it in front of me and ushered me to the left. I took the tray and padded away. I noticed Nick beckoning me, so I sped up. I sat down next to him, looking at my food. It was a sandwich, some fruit, water, and pudding.
"This is cozy," I stated, a hint of sarcasm put in. I bit into my sandwich.
"I guess. It gets pretty boring and we have a curfew," Nick said, stuffing his pudding in his mouth. I looked at my water and thought I saw something in it. I quickly dismissed it. I may still have some symptoms. I continued eating.
I decided to go to the library after lunch. It was big, as I had expected. The walls were stocked with books. Like most of the building, the walls were grey. The shelves weren't wood like the ones I had at home. They were tall and metal, they were made with bars and were univiting.
"May I help you?" a sickly sweet voice asked. I turned around and saw a tall, young woman. She wore a light blue skirt and shirt and her blonde hair was pulled back in a tight pony-tail.
"Err... No thanks," I replied, looking down. "I'm fine." She didn't say anything else and when I looked up, she was gone. I sighed and looked around. I looked at the books, which were all one color: white. They didn't have anything special to them.
I walked out of the library, deciding I would come back later. I made my way down the hallway, before I was stopped by a tall balck figure.
"Excuse me," I said to the figure. It didn't move. I tapped its shoulder, but my hand touched nothing. The figure was gone.