The portal had dissolved the hospital wall, but only Netta seemed to notice. The nurses flowed in and out of the room without so much as a glance at the garden that had materialized.
Netta tried to get the night nurse to pluck her a flower from one of wild bushes on the edge of the path. But her tongue couldn’t form the right words, and her feverish pointing at the portal only convinced the nurse to bring her the bed pan.
Netta caught the faint scent of roses before the sharpness of rubbing alcohol erased it entirely. The nurse was back, and she took possession of Netta’s arm and pricked its tender underbelly.
The nurse didn’t notice when a sparrow flew out of the portal and sat on the bed railing. And she didn’t react at all when the bird started singing. She only looked up from her vampiric task when Netta sang along with the bird.
But now it was Netta’s turn not to notice. She was in the garden, silky grass under her feet. Her hand wrapped around one of the pink and white flowers bursting out of its fragile cage of thin branches and stiff leaves.