At Reception is the same girl who was at the desk when I registered – lip ring tapping her teeth as she sucks her cheek, another ring looped through her eyebrow catching the light when she frowns, which is often. She doesn’t bother to look up from her comic book as I clear my throat.
‘I need your help.’ I can barely hear my own voice, it’s so faint, so I’m not surprised when she ignores me. ‘I said, I need your help.’ This time I’m louder, my voice shrill, panicked, but she keeps staring at the image of a burning city, flames writhing snake-like through tower block windows.
I slam my hand on the counter, watch as blood from the knife speckles the comic – scarlet against magenta. She jumps back, chair hitting the floor and though I can’t over the screaming, I almost think I can hear the ring tapping her teeth.