Bagman: Phantom Leg

I went out to one of the waiting areas and sat down. There’s an atmosphere in waiting rooms that I can never feel at ease with. Uncomfortable chairs, bad decor, old magazines arranged in dusty stacks on tables. An odor of fear and unwashed bodies mingled with the disinfectant smell that comes standard in all hospitals.

I dozed fitfully in one of the chairs and roused myself several hours later, stiff. Red was more alert, and the attendants had helped her sit up against the pillows. Left leg was stretched out in front of her on the bed, the other…wasn’t.

I looked at it as I came in. Bandages were wrapped around her leg at mid-thigh, encapsulating the stump where they’d been forced to remove her lower leg at the knee.

She was pale, but seemed composed. I sat in the chair beside the bed and didn’t say anything. After a moment, she looked up at me.

“I can still feel it, Kent. Like it’s there. But those bastards shot off my leg.”

What could I say?

The picture I’d recovered from the drone burned in my mind.

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