She lay on her side, both hands clutching the hot water bottle to the spot she imagined miniscule miners were pick-axing holes in her liver. Or maybe in her duodenum – that’s a thing, right - or some piece of intestine that would eventually have to be removed. It was the same game she played every time she ended up here. The doctors poked and whispered and shook their heads and said little. The miniscule miners came back, sometimes for hours, sometimes for days, and worked away at whatever they were doing to her body.
She watched the golden dust motes spin in the thin stream of sunshine let in by the curtain. Imagined them curtsying, bowing, clasping hands, circling left, allemande-ing right. She blew on them and changed the steps of the dance. Dust motes in sunshine. Rain drop races in grey weather. She had her games – her ways of being entertained without making the pain worse. Movement spurred either the pain or the nausea; games in her head made it monetarily bearable.
Retching into the kidney-shaped receptacle, she was amazed at the vivid contrast between the fluorescent green of the bile and the pallid mint of the plastic. How did a body create that colour? And why were hospital colours always just a shade away from death? She lay back on the pillows, damp with sweat and the stench of sickness.
Soft lights flashed behind her eyelids as fairies whisked her away from the beeping, reeking, intrusion that was supposed to cure her, or at least to quell the symptoms for a while. Her body might be rebelling against all she had hoped and dreamed, but her imagination remained a true friend.