Kicking The Habit

Listen instead!
Listen instead!

Cessanol is an FDA approved medication to help adults 18 and over quit smoking. Side effects may include anxiety, panic, depression and unusual or strange dreams. Jesus you gotta be kidding me, it might just be better to die from cancer,” Wade said reading the pill bottle in his hand.
+++++He popped two of the little blue ovals into his mouth and washed them down with the remainder of his soda. He really needed a smoke, but Sarah had been on him to quit, and he promised to do that for her. He picked up his tray and walked it over to the garbage can near the exit. There was nothing more bleak and depressing than a hospital cafeteria at three in the morning.
+++++Wade was tired, but he didn’t want to go back to Sarah’s room until the nurses were done changing her bedding. The ICU was small and he always felt like he was in the way. He checked the clock on the wall and walked over to an empty waiting area tucked in next to the reception desk. He sat down on the faded burgundy couch and wondered how many poor souls had huddled right there, worrying about someone they loved, feeling helpless just like him. Soon he felt the warm froth of sleep start to wash over him and he closed his eyes.
+++++A sound like scraping metal woke Wade from his slumber. He opened his eyes and found that he had fallen over and was curled up in the fetal position on the couch. The metallic howl ripped through the empty foyer again and Wade jumped up. He walked out into the wide lobby and found the source of the sound. The automatic doors that led out to the parking lot were wedged open and a dark fog was rolling in like a river across the polished tile floor. As the doors tried to close, the electric motor hidden within the walls, screeched and protested in vain.
+++++Above the mist floated long, smoky tendrils that curled and snaked up the walls and over the desks. Without thinking, Wade found himself following the fog toward the stairs. He passed the empty admittance desk and wondered where the hell everyone had gone. The haze spiraled up the stairwell like the trunk of a dark, twisted tree. In a trance, Wade shuffled up the stairs with the vapor swirling around his ankles.
+++++At the landing for the ICU on the fifth floor, the fog pushed through the open doors and spilled out into the ward. Wade followed it, his feet moving on without his control. The ICU was abandoned with no sign of the staff. A pit formed in his stomach when he saw that the stream of fog ended at Sarah’s room. It swirled in dark eddies as it poured under her closed door.
+++++Wade’s body felt distant and fuzzy, like he was somehow outside himself, a silent, powerless witness to the events unfolding in front of him. He saw his hand reach out and turn the knob to Sarah’s room. As he entered, the lights in the corner began to dim and flicker. The thick gray fog was pooled around the base of Sarah’s bed, slowly rotating. It began to billow upward, and Wade watched in horror as a large, inky tentacle emerged from it, crawling across the sheets and clamping down on Sarah’s face. He tried to scream but no sound left his throat. A wave of panic flooded Wade’s body causing the trance to break. He leapt onto the bed, and grabbed the slimy appendage with both hands. It was cold and wet, and began to writhe and twist in his grip. He could see thick muscles ripple under its black, spotted skin as it pumped something from Sarah’s unconscious body. Wade strained and pulled until the skin on his hands began to peel away. Suddenly the tentacle released with a jerk and an unearthly scream echoed from down the hall. The appendage slithered back into the fog, sending Wade crashing into the wall. The impact knocked the air out of his lungs, and he fell to the floor gasping. As he lay there trying to catch his breath, he watched the vapor recede back out into the ICU. He pulled himself to his feet and looked down at his bloody, blistered palms. His head felt dizzy and his legs began to buckle. Wade collapsed into the recliner next to Sarah’s bed just before everything went black.
+++++“Mr. Lockhart? Mr. Lockhart, you need to wake up sir.”
+++++Wade opened his eyes to find a nurse standing over him. He was in the chair in Sarah’s room. He looked over at the empty bed.
+++++“Where is she? What happened?”
+++++“Relax Mr. Lockhart. Your wife came out of her coma a few minutes ago, she’s downstairs having an MRI right now. This is great news sir.”
+++++Wade rubbed his eyes and tried to get his bearings. How did he get back upstairs from the cafeteria? He couldn’t remember anything but that horrible dream. The nurse gave him a warm blanket and told him that Sarah would return to her room shortly. After the girl left, Wade stood up and stretched his legs. His nerves were an absolute wreck and he could’ve killed somebody for a smoke. He remembered his promise to Sarah and pulled the bottle of pills from his pocket. As he popped off the cap he noticed the bloody scrapes on both of his palms.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
The following two tabs change content below.

David Jaggers

J. David Jaggers lives in fly over country, where he spends his days in the white collar world and his nights feeding the thugs, pimps, and enforcers he keeps caged in his basement. He is currently digging up a half rotted anthology of contract killer short fiction.

Latest posts by David Jaggers (see all)

One thought on “Kicking The Habit”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *