by Patrick Samphire
“Josh.” His voice was hoarse, like he’d been shouting.
“How are you doing, Dad?” I tried to stop my voice shaking. I didn’t want to seem like a kid.
“Been better, been worse.” He worked his lips, as though his mouth was dry. “See, the old devil’s put his hand into my chest, lad. Left a bit of a gift for me.”
He coughed. His thin chest shuddered. He turned and spat into a metal bowl by his bed. The spit was thick and threaded with blood. He gave me a painful grin.