Chapter 41:

XLI | Some Spell

Something's Not Right

I wake

with a start.


The familiar
foul stench of vomit.

Tammie's perched

on the arm of my chair,
smiling at me.

Moonlight Sonata plays
but only inside my head.

The walls are silent.

For a while,
I'm disoriented again,

lost in that world
of blankness—

I can't remember why I feel frantic.

I stand,
feet unsteady.

I think of the extra pills
I ate absently.

My reflection
stares at me

in the wrought iron windows

asking me

if that's why.

'You have to move, Zuraida,'
the plain nurse's voice

cuts through
my noisy thoughts
like a knife.

'It's almost bed time.'

I turn to look at her.
The ninth patient

with hair over her face,

standing before her armchair,

one arm lifted
by the nurse, refusing
to move.

'You can't stand here forever.'

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