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Life Cycles

Up from the pile of leaves, a single arm slithered, pale fingers, like spider's legs, twitching in the dead air. The arm was followed by a body, dragging itself upward, until finally, his head burst through the papery orange pile. He stood, covered in leaves, gazing around the hospital hallway. The forest had vanished, and he was lost among the buzzing fluorescents, and screams, and tubes, and needles. He wandered past crowds of blood-spattered doctors and nurses, all smiling. Past locked rooms of red. Past people on gurneys, I.V. bags suspended above them. Drugs flowing in, blood flowing out. Replacement from within. He wandered until he found the surgeon. The man with the suture. See no evil, with eyes stitched closed. He lay back on the operating table as it rained syringes, and as they filled his veins with the forest, he returned, and he was found. He toppled backward onto the forest floor, and the leaves fell, covering him.

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