After the body bag was zipped Josie signed the release and watched the EMTs lift it to the stretcher which they rolled out of the apartment and down the hall to the stairwell. For three arduous flights they maintained their balance. The original elevator had long since failed and no attempt had been made to revive it, so it was up these same steps that residents lugged their groceries and laundry. Past the landing they labored, through the vestibule then out the front doors to the portico. From the outside the building was imposing. It belied the dinginess of the interior, intimated something other than the small warrens where people lived on social security and meager savings. Visiting nurses and social workers must have been hopeful when they rang the bell for the first time.
When everyone was gone, which wasn't much of any one, Josie opened the windows and watched the cold air ripple through the curtains like a summer breeze bringing freshness to newly laundered linen. It had only been an hour since she had made the call. One hour, zip, zip, then gone. With a sigh, she rose and walked towards the bathroom. She lifted the bottom of her dress and pulled a piece of masking tape from the portion of hem where the small syringe was stowed. Breaking it in half she tossed it into the toliet and flushed it into the bowels of the city's sewage system. Flush, flush, then gone.
submitted at 3:15pm
17 February 2012