I took the offering and emptied the capsules into my expectant mouth. They tasted sweet and I immediately gained a taste for them. Without realising how I had managed it, I found myself sitting upright at the edge of the bed with my feet dangling into an eternity of emptiness below.
“We could jump or I could find a stretcher.”
“Stretcher,” I confirmed.
Hospital stretchers are hard to manoeuvre and heavy to move. Patients are dragged along in retrospect and are forced to contemplate the heavens which may just exist beyond the ceilings of the corridors they pass through. On top of all this (or underneath in this case) is the other complication of having to consider the environment of the institution being revealed in afterthought. Adding to my personal injustice was that of my peripheral vision; at best, I had a 45 degree rotation meaning that there was absolutely no chance of seeing anything that formed in the world into which I was being blindly led.
I watched the ceiling as we passed, in the hope that I would recognise something from the time when I first arrived, but nothing was familiar. Apart from the long monotony of light after light, there was nothing that illuminated my situation. I was part of a hierarchy that had placed me at the base of all other things. My immediate future was being held beneath the clinical silence that was only punctuated by the enclosed sounds of personal information being confirmed. Everybody had a name and a date of birth. And everybody had a date of death.
At some point, I must have passed into