September 4th, 2024
Hours and hours of jagged wounds, gouting blood, snapped bones, leaking fluids. As discordant as they had been before, nothing was so terrible as this muted silence, filled only by grim accompaniment: wails and screams and groans of the agonized, quickened, panicked breaths, the desperate pleas of the healthy for their loved ones, the sharp, quick words of the nurses and doctors, the creaking of gurneys. She felt her smile, her bedside manner, begin to grow cloudy.
And then, a musical flood of light patters. It trickled down her spine. Susan gasped, and turned.
Alvaro approached, his steps the steady beat underscoring his gentle but powerful variegated spill of a rainstick. “I’ll take it from here, Susan,” he said, his voice low. “See to your family, and yourself.”
A tear rolled down her cheek, unbidden. He gently squeezed her fingers and offered her a smile, before stepping past her.