Adrienne saw it first. The twitching hand of a dead man. An ambulance and several squad cars were on their way. Most of the grocery customers were outside, but she'd needed to vomit first. They told her to join up afterward and make it fast because she looked like hell. Looking into the mirror after flushing, Adrienne went to the mirror and her eyes bulged out.
Her face had blood splattered over her cheek and nose, and she reached for the automatic sink and a handful of soap. Slathering the liquids over her face, she washed her skin as hard as she could without scratching her skin. Five minutes later she was starting to fight the shock and come back to herself. Her breathing was first to come back. She hadn't realized she'd stopped.
She was okay, at least on a physical level. Emotionally, she was a little shaken because the customer was now dead. There was something to be said about her calm, how she seemed okay after having seen someone die in front of her. She took herself out of the bathroom and started towards the exit. The man was in a different light in the quiet store with no audience.
He'd come in ill, sweating and breathing heavily while he grabbed a few cold waters and several boxes of painkillers. Money didn't seem to be an object, but she wasn't sure he cared about the debt at that point since he seemed so close to the grave. But now there was doubt of his sanity as well, and her blood ran cold at the thought of being so close to someone so sick.
The man was dead now, but there was something different about him. . . other than his lack of life. His chest was moving. Her eyes widened but she shook her head clear of the paranoia. No one came back from his kind of dead. Was he just sleeping? When her feet led her to the body again, she forced herself to stare. About to leave and declaring her disgust in herself, she noticed his fingers twitching. A muffled cry later she bit her tongue as hard as she could.
The dead man moaned. Adrienne found herself standing outside of herself while staring down at the twitching hand. This was bad, Very bad. She had to run. She was suddenly that girl in the cheesy horror movie where the idiot went to open the door to find the murderer on the other side. This made her step back.
That, and the dead man's hand started reaching for her. Adrienne screamed when he suddenly grabbed her ankle and she pulled away only to tear open her skin. She ran to the door, losing more blood than she cared. The air tasted so stale that the only option she had was to get outside. She started seeing spots and her bosses came to see her. They asked her if she was okay and if she needed a doctor and she agreed to be taken to the hospital. Paramedics laid her down on a gurney and put her in one of the ambulances, and doped her up to stop the pain.
The doctors couldn't understand why she wasn't stabilizing, why her fever just wouldn't break. Hours later, she was in the general ward, sleeping with a shallow breath.
Her hand twitched.