I tried to get a good look at him, but the lack of light made it impossible. “They said most people don’t last a day after being bitten. You’ve made it four. I guess I should congratulate you.” Surviving this awful disease longer than most. What a terrible silver lining. I bet he wished the virus would get it over with and turn him.
“Yeah, lucky me.” Ambrose coughed into his bed sheets. “Maybe they’ll give me a prize, like some bacon or something.”
“What… what does it feel like?”
Ambrose shrugged. “Kind of like being sick. Had a fever at first, then some numbness over part of my body.”
“Is it getting any worse?”
“No.” Ambrose sniffed. “Some parts still feel like me, others… like these gray parts, nothing.” He pointed at his arm where the skin had turned a sickly gray. “They’re dead, I guess.”
Nancy loudly cleared her throat. “We need to get you back to your room. They patrol this place pretty regularly, especially when we have… guests.”
I nodded to her, then turned my attention back to Ambrose. “I have to go. I’m sorry. I wish it was me in there, instead of you.”
Ambrose stepped up to the window. The light from the hallway revealed his face. For the first time, I got a glimpse of what his loyalty to me cost him. I froze, unable to take a breath for a long beat. One of his eyes remained normal, but the other took on that awful redness. Patches of dead skin were all over his face. The guilt rising up seemed almost too much to bear. What kind of hell had I sent my friend to?
About the Author:
Growing up, Ryan Hill used to spend his time reading and writing instead of doing homework. This resulted in an obsession with becoming a writer, but also a gross incompetence in the fields of science and mathematics. A graduate of North Carolina State University, Ryan has been a film critic for over five years. He lives in Raleigh, NC, with his dog/shadow Maggie. Ryan also feels strange about referring to himself in the third person.