This article is part of the That Insidious Beast series.
Hargrave grins madly. His gums are bleeding. He laughs and cries like a fool.
"I saw my mother earlier today," Hargrave blurts and scratches at scabs on his cheek. "It wasn't a dream. She was here. Or, no, I was there. I saw my mother. Making rhubarb pie. She didn't recognize me. She didn't...recognize...she screamed at me...I..."
His words trail off into crazed muttering. He searches the table next to him again, rooting through pills and empty needles with bony, smoke-stained fingers.
"Tell Colonel Proctor...aw, hell, don't even bother," he says. "They won't talk to us."
Hargrave picks up a syringe and flicks the tip. He aims it at one of the florid injection sites on his inner arm.
"Wait!" I grab his wrist and pull the needle up from his arm. "Not yet. My wife, Katherine. My older son. They took them. Where did they take them?"
He shakes his head sadly and struggles to free his hand, "I don't know! Leave me alone. Leave me alone!"
"Where!?" I shout at him.
He shrinks away pathetically. He stops fighting.
"I don't know. I saw her in your file. Everyone is being put to work or gone or, well, you know. Where they took them, whichever angel, it's as good as anywhere. They've got as much chance as anyone, I guess."
"What do you want from me?" he complains. "That's all I know. I don't know anything. Don't know- what do you want!?"
"Nothing," I say and release his wrist.
He groans as the opiates flood his veins. His pupils dilate. A slack smile spreads across his face and he sinks back into the chair. He looks like a man floating in a pool.
"Relax," he says to nobody in particular. "They're not talking anymore. It's quiet."
His eyes roll back into their sockets and his eyelids flutter closed. I don't know if General Hargrave is alive or dead.
Fatso raises his hooded head from behind the desk.
"No meat," he says.
Don't let the winter dryness destroy your sinuses.
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