November 28, 2012

No. 255

“You know, nine out of ten doctors recommend that you don’t do that.”
“Who’s the tenth doctor?”
“Um, that’d be you.”
“Ah, that’s right,” said Lily Steward with a weak smile.
“Well, here goes nothing,” she continued, raising the syringe to inject herself. In theory, the softly-glowing contents would heal her, although the side-effects were largely unknown.
“Wait!” Ivan interrupted.
“It’s just, I wasn’t really kidding. Don’t you think you ought to try everything else before you resort to this?”
“Ivan, I have. You know that. I’m not crazy. I just want to live a normal life. I don’t want to worry anymore.”
“Give me a week,” said Ivan. “There’s one last avenue I’ve been working on.”
Lily lowered the needle. She sighed deeply. “One week. But only because my little brother asked me.”
“Deal,” said Ivan. “Shake on it?”
Lily nodded.  She placed the noxious cure on the counter and extended her hand.

Later that evening, Lily returned to the darkened lab and sat down. She retrieved the syringe from her locked desk drawer and took the cap off the end. She held her breath and plunged it down into her leg. The glow from the liquid seemed to seep up through her skin as the drug worked its way into her body. “I’m sorry, Ivan,” she whispered. “Next week would have been too late.”
Then she passed out. The glass tube fell from her hand and smashed. The remaining fluid inside hissed and bubbled as it hit the ground.

When Ivan Steward arrived again in the morning, the room had been destroyed. He came around the edge of the long table in the middle and saw the broken shards of the needle and a partially melted spot on the floor. There was no sign of his sister.
“Lily, what have you done?” he desperately asked the empty space.

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