Word Count: 1108
I could still hear them talking. Morphine on the next floor down. Words can’t describe how fucking tempting it was to risk it.
My fingers fumbled slowly with the straps on my knife’s sheath. The amount of adrenaline still inside of me had made me dry heave a few times. It had started to calm down, but the thought of sneaking out and getting some made my head swim again. I had that sensation I always got when I knew I was about to have a hit. Hope and craving, mostly. It’s like the build up to an orgasm, you know it’s gonna happen soon, but it’s just out of reach, and it's the only thing you can think about getting in that moment.
While they all chatted outside, I was screwing the silencer on my gun, loading my pockets with rounds. I had no idea how I was gonna get out into the hospital. The only exit to the restroom was into the staff room where the others were. I was gonna have to be so fucking careful.
I pulled myself up to my feet, feeling vaguely unsteady as I cracked open the door. I peeked out. No one seemed to notice. My heart was racing and the paranoia in my head was telling me this wasn’t gonna work, that I’d never get out of the room, let alone downstairs where the morphine was waiting for me. It felt like it was fucking calling me.
I crept out of the restroom, already wondering how I was gonna move the coffee table away from the door, when Joe looked up. Shit.
“How’re you feeling?” he asked.
“What?” I was frozen to the spot.
“I said, how are you feeling?”
“I feel like I’m on top of the fucking world,” I spat, “how do you think I feel?”
“Have some water and come meet the nice people,” Joe said, gesturing at a bottle of water next to him. My blood boiled. I was angrier at that comment than I had been at anything since we’d gotten here.
“Fuck off, Joe,” I growled, “I’m not a fucking child.”
“Then stop acting like one,” he retorted.
“I’m not acting like a child,” I grunted, starting to move the coffee table. Fuck ‘em. I was getting that morphine whether they tried to stop me or not. People that get in my way don’t last long anyway.
“Sit back down, you’re not going out there.”
“I need a fucking hit.” The table slid across the floor with a little more effort than I’d have liked. I couldn’t do this. I needed that morphine more than I needed to breathe.
“I said sit down, Cancer. I’m not messing around,” Joe’s tone still sounded like he was talking to a naughty kid. I ignored him, the cravings stronger than the urge to punch him. I got as far as opening the door before Joe was forcibly dragging me away from it.
My hand went straight for my knife like a reflex. Shock and pain flared up when Joe punched me.
“SIT DOWN!” He shouted at me, a few flecks of spit hitting me in the face. I tried to fight back, but Joe caught my arms and pinned them behind my back. I might’ve felt stronger than I had in a while, but even that wasn’t enough. “I’m not pissing around, Cancer. You’re not going to endanger all of our lives for your own selfish needs.”
I wasn’t really listening, too busy swearing and shouting and kicking.
Joe looked over at the little girl and her dad, “you might wanna take her into another room,” he said before turning back to me.
“D’you want any help?” the black soldier buy asked, watching as I struggled against Joe.
“No, I should be fine, thanks,” he said as the dad took his kid out into the restroom. I was wearing myself out fast. That burst of energy had come suddenly out of nowhere and vanished back there just as quick. “Are you done making a scene now?”
I couldn’t make my brain focus on anything other than getting a hit long enough to make a word, but I did manage to turn and spit at him.
Joe pushed away from me, disgust written all over his features. “You’re a fucking mess. Sort yourself out,” he headed back to the door to close it. Seeing my last chance about to slip away, I bolted for the door again, trying to get out before he got it shut.
The black soldier managed to grab me before I got very far, restraining me.
“Get your hands off me,” I yelled, flipping out at him.
“Do what Joe said,” the soldier ordered in a voice that was used to being listened to.
“I don’t take orders from niggers,” I spat at him too, trying to pull out of his grasp. There was a shocked silence that filled the room, from everyone apart from the soldier. Joe blinked and went from disbelief to rage in half a second.
He grabbed the back of my shirt and yanked me away from the soldier, dragging me backwards. “What the fuck, Cancer?” I gritted my teeth, too angry to be surprised by Joe’s behavior. I repeated what I’d said, shouting it at him, making sure he heard every fucking syllable. Joe’s fist ended up hitting me again. And again. And again. And again.
And in survival mode, again, I reached for my knife, only this time I managed to get it out. The others were all too scared or worried to do anything as Joe pulled out his gun.
The cold barrel of the gun pointed at my head and in a split second, I hoped he’d pull the trigger. Everyone else was frozen to the spot and the look in Joe’s eyes told me he was just a few words away from being tipped over the edge.
I pushed the knife up against his throat. Joe didn’t even flinch. His finger was pressed up against the trigger, “I’m not even afraid to shoot. Not anymore.”
I embraced the moment with open arms. Being shot in the head was guaranteed to be less painful than hopelessly waiting for an end to these withdrawals on the restroom floor. There was no end to any of this. We were all just turning into scavenging, angry animals that didn’t know how to survive in the wild anymore. Being shot now would be better than everything right then.
“Do it,” I murmured, feeling my lips turning upward for the first time since Rayn had died. “I fucking dare you.”