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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Flickering Light [Part 7]

The police came soon afterward, and questioned the two separately until Jeremy and Tom could convince them their story was straight. They got little sleep over the night. The chairs in the hospital were too uncomfortable to find a restful way to sleep in them, the couch was too short and the armrests were too hard. Jeremy would've loved to jet out of there, but Tom insisted they stayed until they knew the boy was stable. At about eleven the next morning, the doctor on duty walked in to talk to them.

“He woke up again, and things are looking better by the hour. That’s the good news. The bad news is that he refuses to speak to us, even with a pen and paper. We tried asking him what his name is, about you two, about his home, anything, but he won’t talk. Could you help us out?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“Of course.”

They walked back into the ICU and along the familiar path to the kid’s bed. There was a hospital boot around his foot and his right shoulder was dressed. The boy smiled brightly as they walked in. The necklace he wore shone faintly through his thin hospital gown. He still looked weak and tired, but it was an improvement from before. Tom brought a chair over to sit close while Jeremy stayed standing at the end of the bed.

“Hey there, kid,” Jeremy said.


“What’s your name?” Tom asked.

“Cody. Who are you? Why’d you help me?” He spoke hoarsely over the light beeping of the health monitors and cleared his throat.

“This is Jeremy, and you can call me Tom. We helped you ‘cause you needed help. What were you doing out there by yourself? Who shot you?”

“Those guys in those fancy uniforms told you to talk to me didn’t they?”

“No, the doctor did,” Jeremy said. Tom gave him a scowl.

“I don’t like them. They took my necklace away,” Cody answered. The hand from his good arm traveled to his chest and rolled the glowing light in his fingers.

“What’s so special about it? Looks like it’s just a cheap little light show,” Jeremy said.

Cody scowled. “I don’t like you either.”

“Not my problem.”

“Jeremy, shut it. Cody’s been through a lot.”

“Man, Tom, he looks like he’ll be alright now. I just wanna know what the hell happened to him, not about some dumb little thing around his neck.”

“It’s not dumb. It’s really special. It does cool stuff,” piped in Cody.

“Yeah? Like what?” answered Jeremy. Tom stood up a little too fast, pushing the chair back a few inches and into the wall separating rooms.

“I don’t know yet.” Cody trailed off, looking away from them both.

“Doesn’t sound special to me.”

“Jerry, go wait outside,” Tom said, fists clenched. Their gazes met for long moments before Jeremy gave in and stormed out of the ICU. Tom stared at him as he left, then flopped back down into the chair when he couldn’t see Jerry anymore. He let out a sigh and tried talking to Cody again.

“Sorry about that. He usually doesn’t care about anyone other than himself.”

Cody didn’t answer. He was busy feigning interest at the beeping noises and flashing lights of the sensors he was attached to. He wished that he could wake up and everything be back to the way it was. The last few weeks ran together in his mind like a long, bad dream. Cody tried to think of other things but his mind wouldn’t let him. Tom’s voice brought him back to reality.

“So do your parents know you’re around here?”

“No, they don’t,” Cody answered. “I haven’t seen them in a while.”

“Why’s that?”

“I got separated from Father and couldn’t get back to him. Then a bunch of stuff happened, and now I’m here.”

“A bunch of stuff?” Tom asked. Cody lay staring at the ceiling until Tom realized there wasn’t going to be an answer to that question.

“Well, Cody, we need to be able to talk to them so the hospital and police can get-”

“Hospital?” Cody snapped to attention with fear on his face.

“Yeah, this place where we’re at that you’re getting-”

Cody began fighting the restraints that tied him down to the hospital bed. Tom, caught off guard, tried to calm him down, but Cody kept thrashing in the bed without signs of stopping. He began yelling ‘Let me out!’ over and over, tugging at the leather around his wrists. Survivalist instincts kicked in full gear for the boy. Someone shouted in the distance and he paid no attention to the red spot growing on his upper right arm. Cody managed to loosen up one strap enough to squeeze his hand through. The feeling of tearing out the IV made him shiver as he almost was able to pull out his other arm from the restraints.

Just before both hands were free, he felt shoved back down into the white, fluffy sheets. Tom’s bewildered face was close, blocking the overhead light from view. The adrenaline couldn’t ignore the agony in his shoulder as it was being held down by strong hands. He yelled at Tom that he needed to get out when a syringe poking his shoulder slowly pulled him back into the unconscious world.


[Part 6] [Part 8]

Bam! With all the junk I'm doing, I was still able to write and edit this. I've had a busy few weeks going on, and it doesn't look like it's stopping anytime soon. In better news, it seems like I'll be able to afford a trip to Hong Kong next summer! So if I can make it through these next two semesters alive, I'll have a treat waiting for me.

Until next time, folks. Which, if I can keep a consistent schedule, will be late Monday night next week.

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