Harold took a shaky sip of his water, marveling at how wrinkled his hand had become. Just then a cardinal landed on the branch of the maple tree. The tree had died years back from a lightning strike, so the red bird stuck out among the dead branches. The cardinal was so full of life that Harold wanted to go climb the tree and sit next to the bird and ask of its adventures, but every time he tried to leave the alarms would go off. The only way to make them stop was to come back to his room and take another blue pill. As the bird flew off Harold compared his hand to the bark of the dead tree and waited.