“Miriam, please don’t die. Please try to come into the kitchen. I have medicine that will help you. Cool water. As much as you want. We have plenty, and I’ll collect more. Please, Miriam.”
Alice’s voice couldn’t sound any different, but it did. Miriam heard desperation. Alice was afraid. The thought shocked her into movement. She rolled onto her stomach and pulled herself with her left arm, pushing with her left foot.
“Okay, Alice. I’m coming. Do we have any strawberries left it the vaccuum packs?”
“Yes, we have 27 packs remaining. Would you like me to pull one out for you?”
“Yes, Alice. I think I deserve a reward for this,” Miriam’s voice was barely a whisper.
“Yes, Miriam, you do deserve a reward. Please continue into the kitchen and I will have it ready for you.” Miriam heard relief in Alice’s voice. She kept crawling.
“These are the best strawberries I ever had. Thanks, Alice,” she leaned over the counter so she could use her left hand to eat and drink, to swallow the medicine Alice had dispensed hours earlier. She climbed down and lay on the cool kitchen floor. “Alice, I’m going to sleep again. Two hours, okay?”
“Okay, Miriam. Please wake up. Miriam? Please wake up? Miriam?”
It didn’t feel like she had slept at all. Her whole body ached. Wait. Her whole body burned. She looked down and tried to move her right hand. It flopped feebly on the floor.
“I have feeling on my right side, and I can move my hand a little. I think I’m getting a little better. I need a bath, to clean off my butt and legs. They’re a mess.”
“I’ll heat water so you can have a hot bath when you get into the bathroom,” Alice promised. Miriam heard the relief in her voice.
Her right leg was feeble and uncoordinated, but she made much better time into the bathroom and soon pulled herself into the most luxurious hot bath she had ever felt. Her skin burned, and she reveled in the feeling.
“I guess I’m not going to die today, Alice.”
“That’s good, Miriam. I don’t want you to die.”
“Why not?” Miriam asked, drowsily waving her hands back and forth in the water. When Alice didn’t answer, she looked up. “Alice? Why don’t you want me to die?”
“I don’t want to be left here all alone,” Alice finally said.
Miriam leaned back in the tub. She had always thought she was the last one left. “I know, Alice. I know.”
Dogs in house
~1 hour (all three parts)
August word count: