Dr. Mosquito by Olivia Dunne

I am sitting. I am sitting where they told me to sit, on this slab of metal that seems like it was carved out of ice. Sit here and wait, they told me. Brown eyes, mine, dart around the room, searching for something of comfort.

Little cartoon monkeys scream to wash my hands every day, leering at me from their paper taped to the wall.

Alright sweetie, a nurse says, wiping the alcohol on my inner elbow. The scent makes my nose sting.

When I was little, I could cry and scream and writhe, but now I have to be stoic and pretend that I don’t want to melt into a puddle of what used to be Olivia. There, let the doctors take those fluids.

I swallow, forming a rock in my throat. The nurse is talking, my arm is quivering like I’ve been tasered, and there is a bite on my inner arm, drawing out the red liquid that fills my veins.

My eyes are squeezed shut and my arm goes limp, and then it’s out. My blood says goodbye, captured in that little tube.

I wave back.

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