You Have What I Need

 

Ian Rogers, "You Have What I Need" in Screams From the Dark, ed. Ellen Datlow (Tor Publishing Group: 2022).

The hospital is a strange place. Apart from a war zone, you are unlikely to be physically closer to horror than when sitting in the ER waiting room of a hospital. There is nasty shit going on all around you—from blood, viscera, and death to injustice, psychological trauma, and financial ruin. It is a place where strange things happen, a place where both lives are saved and tragedies occur. 

But people (and monsters, disease, and contagion) show up at the hospital thinking they are going there because it has what they need. It can feel like the last hope; the hospital can fix it. Most of the time, what you think will happen differs from what really happens. It is a place that often frustrates expectations and sometimes delivers pleasant surprises. 

“You Have What I Need” takes up this weirdness of the hospital from the perspective of those who work there, those who visit, and the other things that come through the door. The reality is that non-human creatures enter the hospital all of the time in many different guises. The place is an excellent resource for them, too!  

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