By Tzigane

Carefully, Quatre Raberba Winner dropped three beautiful, beautiful Gala apples into the thin plastic sack he'd rolled down from the little dispenser two feet away, humming to himself as he put them in the front of his buggy and continued on his way around the small area labeled 'Vegetable Garden' in the grocery store. He was terribly pleased to be up and about once again. He'd had surgery only recently -- well, more than a month ago -- and he had recovered quickly, but not quickly enough to suit him. He enjoyed the little things he did: fixing Trowa's supper, running Winner Enterprises, all of those things that his sisters had done for him while he'd been ill. He'd been bored almost right out of his skull by the time the doctor had agreed that he could go about doing normal, if light, duties.

Grocery shopping didn't take long for him. Quatre was a determined shopper and a bargain hunter. He always came out better in the grocery store than Trowa which was why the tall green-eyed man had allowed him to come out alone... well, that and a little persuasive pleading and begging on Quatre's part. He'd so wanted a little time by himself, and he was delighted to have it!.

Checking out was easy even though he was going to have to carry the bags out to the car himself. He'd been careful not to choose anything too heavy -- he wasn't supposed to be carrying anything that weighed over three pounds -- and so it was no big deal to wheel everything out into the darkening evening. /Storm coming,/ he thought, shivering as leaves and papers blew around his feet on his way out to his car. /Need to get home, I guess, before the wind picks up any worse./

With care, he opened the trunk and moved his bags into it, delicately cautious of his left side as he did so. After all, he was still sore, and there was no point in aggravating the incision. He put the buggy away and hurried back to the car, slipping into it and putting the key into the ignition. It was only then, as he turned the starter over, that he felt it; the dark presence so close to him. He opened his mouth to gasp, to cry out, but a hand came over his face to muffle the sound and a cloying sweetness filled his nostrils.

He didn't have the energy to fight for very long, and then he was gone.


When he woke, he was in pain, his lower back on fire in a way he hadn't felt since Dorothy had stabbed him through his side. It was mostly dark, save for a bare lightbulb shining in the corner of the room, and he whimpered, shifting slowly on the sheetless cotton mattress that he laid upon. "Mmm," he barely whimpered, shuddering and beginning to turn over slowly.

It was then that he saw it; the note, carefully typewritten, propped up against a bottle that rested beside the mattress. 'Good luck & goodbye,' it said.

And that was when he realized; he'd heard legends about it for years, the old selling off of an organ urban legend. The one where you woke up in a bathtub filled with ice, a phone and a note to call the hospital beside it...

Only those people all had two kidneys to begin with, and he did not...

'Good luck & goodbye'.