“Sometimes I swear it’s that awful food that’s killing us; when we get back to England, I’ll never eat canned food again,” David said jokingly, as though trying to dispel his own morose mood. The doctor didn’t laugh. David sighed.
“I’ll be down in a bit. Might as well enjoy the sun while I can, what little we get.” The doctor nodded, then turned and went back down below the deck.
Stomping off his boots as he made his way down the narrow passageway, the doctor began to regain his feeling in his frozen cheeks. From through one of the doors he could hear frenzied shouting, an all too-common occurrence that was becoming more commonplace with every passing day. One by one, madness was taking the men, and he was powerless to stop it. Feeling suddenly overwhelmed, the doctor leaned against the corridor wall and took several deep breaths to try and force some kind of order into this mind. The pungent sweaty air made him gag and he was forced to sit, so overcome by dizziness.
Clutching his head between his hands, he didn’t notice his assistant emerge from the door at the end of the hallway. Closing it behind him, the assistant approached in a reverent silence. The doctor looked up in surprise as he felt someone tapping him on the shoulder.
“Emmit, are you alright?” the assistant whispered.
“Just…just a little tired, that’s all,” the doctor replied sadly, wiping the perspiration from his forehead with his scarf as he stood.
“How is he?” The frightened eyes of his assistant offered an answer before he even had a chance to reply.
“Franklin…he’s dead.” The doctor nodded acknowledgement, then dismissed his assistant.
Standing alone in the passageway once again, the doctor strained his ears to hear over his own erratic breathing. The shouting had stopped – not a single voice could be heard. Only the wind as it whistled and howled overhead. Leaning his head against the wall, the doctor peered down the passageway towards the door at the end. Behind it lay possibly the only man who could have saved them from David’s prophecy…could have…
Surgeon Emmit T. Dale doubled over as pain tore through his stomach. Clenching down on his teeth again, tears squeezed out of his eyes and down his frostbitten cheeks.
As are we all, he thought through the pain. As are we all.