She waited quietly in the sterile lab already masked and gowned for the work hours ahead. Her thoughts tumbled inside her head, examining snippets from last night’s conversation trying to make sense of what she had been told.
Before her lay her instruments and the packs of splinters, she looked at them sightlessly. Today, soon she would have to decide on which side her loyalties lay.
The noise from the trolleys outside brought her back to the present. They would start entering any minute now. She began to unpack the splinters.
Each splinter was individually contained, as thick as a hair and only a couple of millimetres long. It was her job to pick up each splinter with her instrument, and then introduce it to the right index fingernail of the patient, where it began to wriggle as if it was alive. It would slither from her instrument to begin insinuating itself under the nail. For a second it would be visible under the nail and then it would disappear into the bloodstream.
She had always marvelled at the technology, glowing in her small part in making it accessible to everyone. Had she been indoctrinated during her training? They had said that to her last night.
She did not see the patient, only the right hand. Last night they had said that this was so that she did not baulk at what she was doing.
The door opened, she would have to reach a decision now.
Microfiction by Adriana Marrone.