Walking through a red-bricked building, a building I recognised but I couldn’t quite grasp what it was. I knew where I was but I felt lost. As I walked around with my husband, it soon became apparent I was at the hospital. Corridors, there were doors everywhere. They still didn’t look completely recognisable.
We could hear a baby crying, it wasn’t a loud cry, all of the doors we tried were locked or had nothing behind them.
The cry remained at the same volume no matter which direction we stood, where we walked the crying followed.
We found an unlocked door leading to a room full of incubators.
The door behind us slammed shut, we tried the door but it had locked too. Leaving us trapped in the room.
The incubators were empty.
The cot cards all said her name, but there were nurses to each incubator, tending to an empty plastic box. It was confusing. Nurses looked at us, pity eyes. Heads were shaking. Yet nobody moved from their spot. Another door at the other side of the room was slightly open.
Heads down we made a run for it.
The door led to the outside, open air.
But it wasn’t what we were expecting.
As we turned to look at the building, it was a crumbling ruin. Nothing seemed in one piece, rubble replaced the corridors we had not long left behind.
The door we’d used was the only thing that remained standing.
Incubators smashed on the floor, cot cards were strewn from the wind.
There was no explosion, no earthquake.
This thing happened; nothing was the same as it was five minutes ago.
We tried to run, but the rubble was surrounded by metal fences, high with barbed wire circling the top.
The further we went the more fences appeared. It was never-ending.
The building seemed a distance away, the crying baby remained.
No matter how we tried there was no escaping.
We were stuck.
We fell to the floor, heavy with defeat, the night sky drew in.
Our eyes closed, simply because there was nothing else for them to do.
When we woke, the sky was grey but bright. The rubble and fences were still there, but the ruin looked somewhat beautiful.
Daffodils stood in front of the door, they’d also replaced the broken incubators.
Everything was the same but different too.
Escaping was still not an option.
I wake up.
Last week’s fiction if you missed it