me a few tries, but I finally pierced the rubber skin that sealed the bottle.
“You’re doing great, Nova. Next, pull back the plunger from the syringe and fill the tube.”
The syringe flooded with a clear liquid until the plunger was fully extended. I pulled it away from the glass bottle, hand trembling slightly at the thought of sticking myself with the needle.
“Push the plunger until you see a bit of the liquid drop from the needle.” He instructed me as I tapped the flat end of the plunger.
“What am I going to do?” My voice trembled in fear as I questioned him for the next step.
He studied me warily. “You need stitches, Nova. This is going to knock all the feeling out of the area so you can stitch yourself up.”
I swallowed and nodded, knowing that if I couldn’t do it, he would have to, and that would mean he would have to touch me. The last thing I wanted was another man’s hands on my body. “Okay.”
“We’re going to put a few pricksaround each wound. Get as close as you can to the opening. Just stick yourself and push the plunger slightly until you feel tingling.”
I held the needle above me, hands shaking. Taking a deep breath, I steadied myself and stabbed the needle into my thigh. I slowly tapped the plunger and as the liquid entered my muscle, the burning began. Tears filled my eyes, and I whimpered in pain and bit my lip to keep myself from screaming out.
“Nova, you have to focus. I know it hurts, but you have a few more to go. One more on this leg, and then the next one we can do in a bit.”
I pulled out the needle and aimed it again to the other side of the wound, repeating the process again. I gaspedloudly, my chest heaving. When I was done, I tossed the syringe on the floor beside me.
“Good. Has the burning stopped yet?”
A few moments later I nodded. “Yeah. I can’t feel anything.”
“That’s a good sign.”
“So, now what do we do?”
“Now, you have to pull out the black cloth. It has a curved needle and the stitching thread.”
I unfolded the cloth and saw the crescent-shaped needle with thin black thread attached. I pulled it gently into my fingers. “I don’t know if I can do this.”
“Yes, you can. I will do it for you if you want me to, but I know you don’t. So you really have to do it.”
He continued the instructions. “Take the skin and hold it together. Thread the needle through the skin and pierce it through both sides, pulling tightly so the thread holds the skin flush against each side of the wound.”
I did as he instructed and pushed the needle through the wound. It didn’t hurt but the sight of the needle piercing my own skin made me feel lightheaded. It didn’t take long before my grip slackened and I was falling back. I briefly felt hands catch my head before it could hit the concrete. Soft, gentle hands. Caring hands. It was a reprieve, just before I found the darkness.
(Sydney, Australia- Corinth Relief)
The wind whipped my hair as I stood in front of the house, waiting for Perry to show up. Clouds had moved in off the water, dimming the sun’s brightness, bringing with it a chill wind. I buttoned my suit jacket, grateful for its warmth.
A light blue taxi pulled up to the corner of the street. I fiddled with my tie and pushed up the sleeve of my stiff white dress shirt to glance at my watch. This was my role, businessman on the prowl. The address belonged to a rental house we owned for cover purposes. We used it solely for missions.
My briefcase gripped firmly in my hand, I tapped my foot impatiently. Perry, the young blonde Australian boy, eagerly jumped out of the taxi and rushed around to the back passenger door.
“Good afternoon, sir.”
“You’re late,” I stated huffily.
“My apologies, sir. I was on service.” He glancedbehind me at the huge beach house.
“They told me you were good, Perry. Don’t disappoint me.” I