Breathe In, Breathe Out

Fluorescent tubes lit the green corridors in never ending rows, as mirrors placed facing each other, and the act of peering on either side is an imitation of endlessness and of immortality. Puddles here and there from leaking roofs, like pools of blood congealing slowly, portending death.

No one rushing about, madly, no IV drips, or stretchers or white-coated doctors, nurses, paramedic staff. No one to dress the wounds. No assurance to stiffle the cries from anxious throats.

Inside, the sterile ward is strewn with strips of cloth, crimson and blue, cut away from supine bodies hastily and thrown about carelessly. Tubes snaking from the nose, attached to gigantic metallic cylinders, the hiss of machines. Makeshift beds, haphazard to counter the awkward placement of ventilators.

Breathe in, breath out. Laboured. Blue tinged skin, sunken eyes. Resignation in face of the Inevitable. Invocation to the Almighty. Sweat of fear. Tears of hopelessness. And one last effort. The pump in his hand. Orchestrating with the natural rhythm of life. In and Out. Press and Release.

Chanting to the Lord gets quieter. Ventilator hum gets louder. Breathing laboured. In and Out. A last shred of hope crushed as the crimson shreds are treaded upon with wearied feet. Hands with the pump fall to their sides, stares become vacant. The chants hover for a moment as life does for an instant. Silence and a sense of loss.

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