This piece follows directly on from day 5.
She closed the book and turned to look at the soldier. “I see you’re finally awake.” The young man’s eyes blinked several times before opening fully. He tried to speak, but only a weak croak emerged.
“Careful lad, you’re a little too battered to be doing anything challenging like talking or sitting.” She closed the book she had been reading from and moved her chair close enough to the stretcher to reach out and touch him. He gasped in pain when she did so and tried to pull away from her hand.
“Hush now,” she chided, “you might insult me. And then I’d have to smother you.” She let out a little laugh, seemingly meant to show she was joking, but a chill ran down his spine nonetheless. “Perhaps some water will help.”
She stood and walked out of the tent. The soldier tried to sit up, but never even made it to his elbows. She returned a few minutes later with a glass. She set it down on a small table and helped him into a sitting position, propped up by pillows. It took what seemed an eternity of dribbling, coughing, and spluttering for him to finish the glass she held to his lips. Finally, he spoke, “Where am I?”