Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hollow World Book 2 Chapter 16


Peter sat beside David’s bedside and gave an uneasy look to Amy. The boy was still very pale, but had come to a few times in the two days since Amy had cut off his arm below the elbow, and had even managed to keep some soup down.

“I don’t think you’ll ever be able to see out of it again, but you’ll live.” Amy told the Marquis as she used a damp piece of cloth to clean the crusted wound that enveloped the right side of his face.

“Ow,” he winced, and then looked at David. “Sorry, thanks again for helping.”

“Now about those clothes?” Peter asked, irritated that the girls had gone off on their own, and that they had gotten into this mess in the first place.

Amy scowled at Peter, but The Marquis caught the look. “I get it Amy. He’s thinking it should have been him that we ran into. I’m glad it wasn’t.” The Marquis gave a weak smile, showing the gaps where he was missing teeth. He had stood by David’s side during the entire operation, describing how the events had unfolded resulting in the injuries, at least as far as he remembered them. He said that after he had heard the explosion, something had hit him in the side of the head, and the next thing he had remembered was waking up with Don sitting by him in a bed, a cracked side view mirror in his hands.

“Damn it!” The Marquis said, wincing again as the wet cloth touched his raw cheek again. “Their should be a few boxes of clothes downstairs in the garage. I can get some of my people to help you carry it…”

“That won’t be necessary.’ Peter interrupted and caught another angry glare from Amy. “Thanks though.”

“Heh, no problem. Let Julie’s boy know we found some mac and cheese too, just for him. There were four boxes in a house around the corner. I kept one in case David there wants it, but the other four are in with the clothes. You’re welcome to look around through the rest of the neighborhood, we haven’t made it through all of it yet.

David groaned and stirred, prompting Peter to hold out a cup full of water that was sitting on the nightstand.

Amy hastily finished with the Marquis, who replaced his mask, pulling the elastic band over his head and walked over to the bed as David’s eyes fluttered open.

The young man started at the sight of the masked man in front of him and relaxed a little when The Marquis said his name.

“David, hey, how you doing?” He asked.

“I…hurt,” the prone teen croaked, and took a sip of water from the cup that Peter offered.

“David, my name is Amy, I’m your doctor,” she said, mustering as much of her professionalism as she could.

“Hi,” another croak, followed by some coughing. After another sip of water, his tone a hoarse whisper, “What happened?”

“Well…” The Marquis began, but a look from both Amy and Peter silenced him.

“What do you remember?” Amy asked.

David tried to wiggle his way into a sitting position, but the lack of his right hand made the motion difficult. “Why can’t I feel my hand?” he asked, still on his back.

“David, what do you remember?” Amy asked a little more forcefully.

“Why can’t I feel my hand?” a look of panic crossed the young man’s face as he began to flail the offending arm under the blankets that held him in place.

“David, calm down, you’ve been through a lot,” Amy said, and then had to deliver the news she had dreaded even back when the Towers had collapsed. She had had to cut off three limbs, two legs and an arm back then, and could still hear their screams and denials when they had regained consciousness to find they were no longer whole. “I’m sorry, but I had to take your hand. It was just too damaged.” Tears began to well up in both of their eyes and Peter, forgetting about the young man beside him for a moment, rose and held on tightly to Amy.

Shrugging Peter off, Amy again asked the crying teen what he remembered.

“I remembered one of the guys coming back and saying he had seen a car driving off in the distance, and I couldn’t wait to get back to driving. I’d only had my license for a week before…” his voice trailed off for a moment as his focus turned to the Marquis, “Oh my God, did I do that to you?”

Amy turned to look at the Marquis, a bloody tear sliding out from beneath the small man’s mask.

“Don’t worry about it, it adds character,” the Marquis said, trying to muster his internal reserves. “Forget about me, lets work on getting you…” He stopped and made a quick motion toward the boy, whose eyes were closed.

Amy held up a hand, “He’s asleep. Let him sleep now, if he wakes up and wants to eat, let him, but don’t leave him alone, and don’t let him take off that bandage. I will come back and check on him tomorrow.”

Peter followed Amy out of the bedroom and past a waiting row of the Marquis’ associates, who all nodded gratefully at Amy and eyed Peter with suspicion until they stood before Don.

“Follow me,” said the over-sized man in a whisper, the only tone of voice Amy had heard him use so far. He led them through a few doorways until they stood before a thicker, dead-bolted door. With a thunk Don unlocked and opened the door, revealing a garage piled high with black garbage bags. “Those boxes there,’ the large man pointed at a pair of shopping carts piled high with cardboard boxes.

“All of it?” Amy asked, her eyes wide, walking over to the carts and pulling down the top box.

“Yeah,” Don said, watching her open the flaps and break into a fit of laughter.

“What’s wrong?” Peter asked, quickly covering the few steps to where she stood, pulling a pink winter jacket out of the box.


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