The woman sleeping in the bed next to mine is fifty-some years younger than me. Now that no one knows where the doctors have gone, there's no point in staying in our wards. So we creep out and keep each other company.
"You've got to compete."
The voice over the loudspeaker keeps telling us that, and I cannot shout back. I'm old, and my heart is weak. I should have passed on a long time ago.
Now, that woman next to me? She, and her little girl, should be the ones to live.
I imagine myself, her, and the child.
We make an pretty picture against the imagined background of heaven, like the Three Fates. The maiden, the mother, and the old hag.