|A Flash on Dagger|
This is wrong…this is so wrong.
The dagger shifted of its own accord. Every muscle in her body creaked in an effort to contain a tremor. She pinched her tongue between teeth and held her breath.
A nice little slit.
Carefully, she withdrew the glass dagger and remembered in time. She inserted the tip of her little finger into the wound and worried a dimple. The flesh encircled her fingertip with a soft crackle.
The pen…the casing.
She dropped the dagger.
Crazy shadows deceived her. She panned her sights frantically across the seat.
Vince was getting mad at her. Her pulse bolted into overdrive.
The black tube jumped to her notice. On the tissue where she’d left it.
Two-and-half minutes now. Dr. Croyd had told her. Time never stops.
Nancy stretched across without moving her little finger. Her shoulders strained. In one lunging motion, she snatched the pen from its resting place. A snort escaped her on retreating. The casing slipped in her fist but wasn’t going anywhere.
No time to self-castigate. A measured kind of frenzy overtook her as she looked upon her stub-like finger. Dr. Croyd had failed to mention how to complete the procedure.
Counting down, Nancy. Two minutes soon.
She retracted her finger and pushed the casing into the wound. Layers of tissue parted smoothly; marzipan came to mind. Vince did not flinch.
Blow, Dr. Croyd had said. Blow until it’s nice and full.
Nancy felt sick.
She brought her mouth to the end of the tube and filled her lungs. She pushed her breaths into the tube. This time, the air travelled freely.
Don’t stop now, get a nice rhythm going. Keep blowing, Nancy, keep blowing until it’s nice and full. Don’t stop.
His velvety brogue, his aroma of spiced lavender, his Errol Flynn moustache. Everybody liked Dr. Croyd.
Tears sprang to her eyes. Vertigo caused the cab to bob around her. She took another lungful and blew into the tube. Vince took her air. His shirt whispered as his chest billowed. A steady hush comforted her. His body continued to radiate heat. Were these the embers? Were her efforts still in vain? Had she got her minutes wrong? Had her three minutes actually long elapsed? Vince might be taking her air, but he might already be dead.
She took another lungful. She breathed into the tube. His chest billowed again. She would keep breathing into the tube.
Dr. Croyd wasn’t here.
She would keep breathing into the tube.