So I'm going to tell you everything.
First, I must explain the blood.
Some of it is mine. My bandage got all torn up when I was crawling around, looking for my half of the necklace, and I cut myself on some broken glass, I think. I already got shot, you know that, and there's blood coming from there, too. The way the hospital fell down, it hasn't been so convenient for my healing.
I can't explain all of the blood, though. I think some of it comes from the dead bodies. This was a public ward before the ceiling and the walls fell down. There was a curtain around my bed that the nurses could pull if I wanted to use the toilet, but that was it for privacy. Those bodies are the other people who were in here. When the walls fell down, they fell down on them. I can tell cos there's a hand near me, and I reached out and touched it, and followed it to the wrist and then the arm, feeling to see if it was a man or a woman. I don't know why. And I couldn't tell, anyway, cos after the arm there was no shoulder, just rubble.
Me, I was lucky. I was on the far end of the ward and the walls didn't come down here.
Though maybe I'm not so lucky, cos I'm still trapped.
Maybe I'll just die more slowly.
Excerpted from In Darkness by Nick Lake. Copyright © 2012 by Nick Lake. Excerpted by permission of Bloomsbury. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
- PW Starred Review
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