Silently the machines moved the vital fluids around the body of the small one, delivering nutrients to muscles and organs. Pushing magic gas into her small lungs and taking away the poison that remained. She slept in a deep sleep of the infirm, unaware of the delicate balance played out around her. Machine danced with organic, in rhythmic harmony.
She had been in the small room for more than half her life. Visits dwindled from daily to weekly, then finally monthly. Her own parents had lost the hope of love and their little girl lay alone in the dark. Another child had come and this seemed to make it easier to forget. The second eased heartache, but the remnants of love made it impossible to stop the machines from performing their duties.
On this day fate was ready to play. The storm battered the city with ferocity, finally managing to topple the great grid of power. Its intricately woven cables ran through the city like veins, illuminating streets and buildings in neon and fluorescents. The town of light shifted in a heartbeat to the city of darkness, quiet replaced bustle on this night.
The hospital became a scream of orders and movement. Backup generators switched into overdrive quickly. Backup batteries for key instruments silently hummed into green LED displays of hope. The old hospital’s dull orange glow showed the planning of people too comfortable with the status quo. It had become spoiled and decrepit, the generators old and tired. When the first of the old died, the rest followed unable to keep up the slack.
Battery power became the only thing between the critical and the reaper. Luckily the wealthy paid for those services and the hospital always obeyed the wealthy. The dark house of healing moved on through the night. In a small room, forgotten by most, the machines cried out as they went silent for the little girl they had grown to love. The cold of steel could almost have a heart as it sighed its own last breath.
The body was left alone, left alone without movement of fluid and air. The small body twitched in spasm as it too tried to shut down like the machines. Her eyes fluttered to open, looking for a loving face before death. Instead they found the dark all around her, closing in like a specter. A tear formed and ran down her soft cheek, No one there to wipe it away.
She felt the choking of tubes down her throat and up her tiny nose. Small hands grasped and pulled at these foreign and intrusive things. She pulled them with a strength she couldn’t have had until they were out of her. She gasped air for the first time in so long. It burned its way into her lungs as she coughed and gagged learning to breathe again.
The door swung open and a shadowy figure swept into the room. It moved with speed and direction. The little girl was filled with fear as it descended with outstretched arms.
“Oh baby,” the man cried as he took her into his arms, tears streaming down his scruffy face. He held her close and tight. “I’m so sorry, so sorry, my baby, my baby…” he kept whispering into the small ear of the child born again into the world.
She held on, slowly working breath with lips, “I think I was lost Daddy.” She whispered.
The man laughed through tears, “Me too.”