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He tried to smile. "I'm fine. Give me a minute. I have to adjust to this shuffled deck of cards in my head."

And I need to get my prescription filled, he thought. I can take a few hallucinations until then.

His eyes rested above the bed next to his. Suddenly Leo noticed a familiar shimmering. The shimmering spread out into four separate forms, darkening like storm clouds. Leo couldn't look away.

The cloudy forms floated around his sleeping roommate, seeming to close in on him. Suddenly they turned solid, a mass of muddy colors, converging over his body. The patient's heart monitor alarm went off and he began to thrash, gasping for breath. The forms took on distinct shapes with tubes, mandibles, and teeth all stabbing and tearing his body.

Leo stood rooted as the emergency response medical team dashed past him into the room. They shouted orders to each other attempting to save the dying man as he bucked and writhed.

Now there were six, seven, eight predatory forms. All rapacious. They flew in from the walls, down from the ceiling. It was a goddamn feeding frenzy. They exuded tremendous heat. He could hear the roaring, snapping, and sucking sounds as they ate their way though the man's life-force. And the smell meaty, rotten. The doctors didn't see them.

"Time of death, 11:06 AM. Cause of death, suffocation due to lung collapse and complications of cerebral hemorrhage."

Leo staggered down the hall. He could see predators everywhere. Giant creatures, prowling, waiting, attacking. A parasite the size of a large dog was clamped on to a man in a wheelchair. It perched over his shoulder; it's shiny proboscis sticking through the man's ear.

"It's eating him alive. Jesus they're everywhere!"

Three parasites approached Leo, the heat from their bodies searing his hands as he tried to protect his face.

"Get away! GET AWAY!" His hands beat the air. The parasites jumped back like startled animals.

Without warning, an arm wrapped around his waist and he felt a poke in his shoulder. Leo turned to see the nurse injecting him with something. He lurched to protect her from a looming creature. The last thing he heard was his own scream.

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