Creativity Will Save the World, Pt. 14

My stomach lurched, bile welling at the back of my throat. My mouth opened and shut like a fish gasping for air, but before I could utter a single word, something slammed into me from behind. Lisa was pushing past me, shoving me forward. I fell forward, landing with a crack on my knees, sliding down onto my hands, my face scraping along concrete. The floor was wet, and the substance it was wet with ran into my mouth, cold and metallic.

Blood, I thought. It’s blood. Blood, and with it disease and sickness and it’s so much blood, where could it all have come from, how much blood is in a human body, in five, in a dozen?

I did vomit, then, my stomach divesting itself of my breakfast and my lunch onto the ground, onto my face, onto my hair.

Giggling filled the air, high and melodic as breaking glass. “Look,” she said. “Look and see.”

I looked up, pushed myself away from the effluvia beneath me as much as I was able. The room was bigger than I had expected. No mere storage closet, but a chamber big enough to store boxes, racks of cleaning supplies, a massive heater that must have kept the building warm in the winter. It was poorly lit, with most of the lights either smashed or removed, but I saw well enough. My mind raced back to when I’d been trapped in the kitchen with Richard and Meagan, how the only weapon I had was a pitiful little fork, and now I didn’t even have that.

Lisa was standing on the far side of the room, a side of beef hanging from the wall, tethered to others like it by some kind of rope. That’s crazy, I thought. Where did she get so much meat?

I don’t know what muscle I recognized first. The pectorals, maybe. The quadriceps. I’d only seen them in high school biology text books, but then, there was an anatomy lesson on display before me. The human form on a dissection tray, bodies spread out and bound to each other by yard upon yard of intestine, like yarn connecting dreams.

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