I met the most amazing woman, and then I died of dysentery. It was an agonizing death, like all of the Oregon Trail diseases are. I lay in a ball in bed, wrapped in a diaper pointless to change. I was in too much pain to notice. I wanted to die but when she came in I knew that I could go and feel fine.
She had long black hair and wide-set big black eyes and her skin was the color of coffee with a splash of milk and she wore red lipstick and she lay her hand on my sweat-beaded foreheaded and I closed my eyes and the vice-like pain in my stomach was still there but it didn’t make me feel uncomfortable, for that second. My eyes were shaking and half-lidded and she was in her prime with those big eyes, big eyes, and I might have smiled.
Or tried to. She turned and left. I felt better. Then in late afternoon I felt it. Out the window the gloaming was orange-purple and I closed my eyes and it descended – death – and in a rush like a fire sucked out through the chimney it was over.