“Nat, Nat! Are you okay?” Deck skittered over to his best friend. Nat had gone ghostly white. All the blood had drained from his face to leave behind trails of green and blue. His lips had turned a light shade of purple.
Benj reached for his hand and pulled the scarf away from the cut. It was wet and crusting a honey puss. The bright red mangled skin around it was hot to the touch. His breathing was clipped and shallow. Yeller squated down next to them and laid a hand on Nat’s forehead. Unfocused green eyes rolled under half lids. “I knew it,” Benj whispered to himself.
“This is bad,” Yeller confirmed what Benj was thinking.
“It’s gotten infected.” Benj prodded carefully. Nat recoiled, wincing in pain as he tried to take back possession of his hand. Benj kept hold of it, testing Nat’s waning strength. The waif gave up too quickly for his liking.
“Where can we find a doc?” Yeller asked as Deck helped him heft Nat onto his back. “You’re gonna have to hold on, Nat,” Yeller directed. Nat curled an arm around his shoulder in a feeble effort to do what he was told. He slumped lethargically. Deck kept his hand on his back to steady him from slipping off. “Damn it, not again.” Yeller pressed at his cheeks as tears threatened.
“And Sun Hee needs to be seen,” Benj caught her attention. She looked up at him apprehensively. “If we can find a doctor. You look like you caught something. Colds and flu were manageable before everything fell to pot. If you or Nat need, we’ll stop moving about and let you rest, ‘kay?” He offered his shoulder to the swaying form and they moved on.
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