Quick one today. I’m caught up with a bunch of behind the scenes stuff, so it seems appropriate to leave you with something to think about.
“I wish you would take that damn picture down,” Jan said. “It looks like something from a travel agents office.”
“I like it. I feel warm just looking at it.” Terry tried to put it over their one window in the office but Jan threw a fit about that too. “You have to admit that this is so much better than looking out the window.”
“I’m sorry, I would rather base my day on reality,” Jan said. “Why do you cling to such fantasies?”
“You may not remember this but some people still have hope.” Terry walked over to the window and looked out over the grey landscape around them. Grey burning flakes fell to the earth with no sun to be seen in the distance. “Are you ready for the next group coming through?”
Jan checked her needle gun and the anti-venom canisters on the table in front of her. “I’m ready, but I hope we get resupplied soon.”
Terry went to the door and opened it. Two guards armed with shot guns and covered with riot gear stood on each side of the door. Riff raff filled the room beyond. The dying, the sick, the lost, all looking for something more, hoping for answers to their pain, stood ready for the relief found in the needle guns in this small office.
“We will do this orderly and quietly,” Terry said. Her voice amplified through a bullhorn. “We only have a specific allotment of medicine today. If you disobey the rules you will be pushed to the end of the line. Lord help you if we run out before we can get you.”
The group in the outside room lined up. Those who could stand assisted the lame. For many this wasn’t their first trip to the clinic. If they were lucky it would not be their last. Terry and Jan worked quickly through the mob circling through.
“Wait your turn!” The commotion started outside the lab doors. “Sir, I will shoot you.”
Terry grabbed her night stick just in case and rushed into the main room. A sickly man, barely able to stand, pushed and fell toward the front of the line. He ignored the guard as he crawled toward the door.
“You know the rules sir,” she said. The man collapsed in front of her. She bent down and felt for a pulse. “Drop it in the pokey. Nothing left here.”
The line shuffled forward as the guards removed the body. They dropped it down a chute then returned to their post.
“Worst thing about the fallout,” Terry said. “It wasn’t the burning clouds they were talking about. It was the people.” She locked the main doors after the last group came through.