h.e.l. // metamorphosis

Why did you come back to the hospital?
No answer. He lowers his head and doesn’t keep eye contact with us. He is not afraid; just anxious.
You ran from the hospital and now you’ve come back. Why?
“I don’t know,” says Limper. He stiffly moves his upper body, careful not to move his legs.
What happened to your legs? They’re rotting from the inside. You were nearly healed by the time you had run away.
Still no clear answers. One of us grabs ahold of his right kneecap and wrenches his leg out of his socket. Limper shrieks out like a dying pig. “Goddamn it!”
Why did you come back?
He blinks to squeeze out two tears and spit sprays from his tongue as he snarls at us. “Because I’m not a goddamn idiot. I know you were going to kill me. It was what you had planned the entire time.”
We glanced at one another and then back to him. He wasn’t wrong. Yes, we were going to kill you. Humans always talk. Humanity is not ready to fathom the existence of transhumans.
“I would’ve kept your secret. I could’ve lived the rest of my life in that cave,” says Limper, swiping his arm across his crumbed and stained beard.
We have to tighten every muscle in our bodies to stifle a chuckle. We’ve heard it all. Humans all think in some kind of collective mindset. They aren’t loyal or trustworthy to anyone. Or anything. Unless it reeks and it’s green, don’t you know?
Limper clenches his jaw and brushes a clump of hair from the back of his neck. “I came back because it was the only place I could go. The hospital is better than any place in this world.”
It was the best place you could go? The surgeons are murdering patients for their organs—this is the best place?
“It’s the best place, trust me.” He moves the sheets from beneath him and we wince at the overpowering smell of pus radiating from his legs. “The city isn’t safe. The air isn’t clean. People are hacked to pieces in alleyways for their money. The food is disgusting.”
The hospital isn’t going to be any better, either. You’re going to die here and go to waste.
“Oh, believe me, the hospital is as good as it gets. They got pills and shit. It’ll be less of a mess when I do myself in.”
What a waste. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to us, though. We know humans are incredibly wasteful.
He continues, “You see, I came back to tell someone about—the cave— but when the doctors called the psych ward I knew there was no point. The human era is over.”
Indeed it is. We can’t help but scrutinize his legs, wondering how to clean them up. He catches our line of sight, as if he suddenly realizes all the questions we are asking him.
“Yeah, I broke my legs so I could be admitted to the hospital for a longer time. I had friends who bit themselves, broke their ribs, swallowed bleach, burnt themselves, you know, the whole nine yards,” says Limper.
Well. You’re not walking out of here alive, you’re aware?
He sighs, lies down, and laces his knobby, hairy hands together. “I know.”
He would die, yes, as a human.

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