Thursday, September 12, 2013

Flash Friday # 60: Surviving Elsewhere Part 8: Help (Serial)

(Link to Part 7)

Maggie pulled a chair over and took my hand, her fingers warm. I'd started to tremble; wound, cold, very odd place where the broom moved away from the door on it's own and my cousin's wings fluttered slightly with agitation.

"I'm sorry Mark," she said and leaned over to brush the hair from my eyes with her other hand. "I didn't have the strength to carry you out of there. I didn't expect trouble to find you."

"Did fine," I mumbled, trying to stay awake. Just feeling safe had taken the last of the energy from me. "Got help."

"And you used enough magic on that wound to keep him alive this long," Davis added. He came back with a wooden box under his arm and carrying a tray with tea pot and cups.

"Edmond helped," I added, seeing the cat sitting on a table across the room. I wanted to stay on the good side of the cat.

"You all did well. You were smart enough to listen to Edmond. Not everyone does." Davis sat the tray down and poured tea for us. His hand hovered over one cup before he held it to my lips. I could see tiny lights flickering through the liquid. "Something to help you relax and numb your body while I work, Mark."

Numb sounded good. I sipped. It was good tea; warm and just sweet enough. An odd feeling swept through me like cold fire -- not unpleasant, but strange. Davis put the cup aside. Now his hand hovered over my shoulder and my body thought I ought to tense, but I couldn't quite make the connection.

Davis gave a nod, his long hair falling forward. "Good. That worked quickly. Help him drink a little more. I'll have this done as fast and safely as I can. Then we'll talk about why this happened and what he's doing here."

I felt a different sort of distant panic that those words, but Maggie had me sip more of the tea and everything went a step or two distant at that point. Dr. Motorcycle Dude waved his hand and another little table scurried over beside him like a puppy called to dinner, the items on its back bouncing and dipping, and one book flopping down on the floor. It scurried after the table and climbed back up.

Davis pushed a few things aside and sat the box down, lifting the lid. I saw sharp metal things catch the glint of the sunlight and my mouth went dry. Maggie put a hand to the side of my face and turned me away from the box. She put the tea to my lips again and I had to sip. Davis tore away part of my shirt and I glanced to see the ugly hole in my skin, but I looked away again.

Something poked at my shoulder. I shuddered because I knew it should hurt, but didn't. I felt nothing but a sort of dull pressure as something slipped past skin and muscle. Then he touched the bone and the dullness radiated through my arm.

"You did a damned good job, Maggie," Davis said. He sounded as though he was concentrating on something else and I decided I did not want to turn and look. "Your magic kept everything from bleeding too much and kept the bullet in place. It hit the shoulder bone and that's cracked but not broken. This will heal easily."

He began bandaging the shoulder already. The relief made me giddy. I hadn't wanted to think I would die, but there was always the whisper in the back of my mind. Now I felt myself relax for the first time since I shot Tommy Creston.

Davis was going to ask soon. I decided to get it out of the way.

"Two girls and one guy had been killed by some kind of wild animal," I said suddenly, looking at Davis. "We were all told to be careful. I was heading home and cut off the path, going through the woods. We live out on the edge of town, down past the gully. I came on Tommy and Mary Hale. He had her down and . . . "

I stopped and shook my head. It hadn't seemed real at the time. It felt less so now.

"And?" Davis asked, his eyes narrowed and his face more serious than I'd seen before.

"He had torn her apart. I think -- I think he had claws. And when he looked my way, his eyes flashed with red. I knew he was going to kill me. So I shot him. Killed him."

I was starting to feel ill. Maggie put a hand on my arm and I think she was even trying to calm me with magic, but it wasn't doing very well this time. All I could see was Tommy's distorted face, the red eyes -- the gun in my hand.

"Damn. Don't tell me they have another werekin epidemic over the other side," Davis said and shook his head with worry. "It's a good thing you had the gun --"

"I didn't," I said, startled. "I wouldn't ever carry a gun."

"Then where did it come from?" Maggie asked.

"I --" I had to stop and think, but nothing seemed clear. "I know Tommy carried a gun in his backpack. He used to show it around. I must have gotten it from there. I just don't remember."

Davis nodded. "Drink more of the tea. And then sleep, Mark. You're safe here."

I let Maggie put the tea to my lips. Lights still played in the little bit left in the cup. I drank them down.

"Something isn't right," Maggie said. Her voice sounded odd.

"We'll discuss this later." Davis took the cup from her hand. "Mark needs to sleep now."

And I went to sleep. Just like that, but my last thought was about the odd look on Maggie's face. Once again, I felt as though I had missed something.

999 words

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