Lydia was having what could only be a nightmare. But then, she’d had so many recently.
“Better check her vitals first.”
Who was that? Never mind.
First there was the nightmare where her drunken boyfriend, who never drove…always saying, “I don’t drive; I drink,” actually got behind the wheel. Just because she, Lydia, had had a few. Then there was the nightmare accident, obviously a nightmare because it was such a tired cliché with them flying off the side of the BQE into thin air, then falling, then her leg being crushed. And now…
She couldn’t help screaming. But that bloody stump where her right leg had been couldn’t be real, especially because she could still feel the agony of her crushed leg.
“The hell with her vitals.”
A different nurse, middle-aged.
“Stop her! Stop that screaming!”
The patient in the other bed, holding her head with just one hand, because the other was handcuffed to the bed.
“Know somethin’, Blondie? You’re changing! I’m beginning to like you.”
The middle-aged nurse again, heading toward Lydia with an injection.
“I’m out of here.”
The other nurse, staring at the injection while shaking her head and rushing out of the room.
The remaining nurse prepped Lydia’s IV for the injection.
Recoiling, Lydia saw her right-leg stump move, felt a hideous throb of pain course through it that no nightmare could mimic, watched its bandaging turn bright red with fresh blood, and reached for it…only to discover that one of her hands was handcuffed to the bed too.
Racing through her scream was the realization that it had all been true, even the part where her boyfriend died. Even the part where checking her license plate against her ID had resulted in them arresting her for that hit and run with that kid splattered all over her windshield from the week before.