Friday - 4:56am to the City

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Walter was starting to feel better. He had still been sleeping a lot, but for the brief periods that he was awake he was feeling more comfortable. He missed being in his own place, missed his own bed. Missed getting up early and trotting down to the train station for a relaxing few hours. But he also knew that he was being looked after here, and he guessed that was a good thing. The police hadn't left like he had thought though. Every time he opened his eyes, there was someone standing by the window, waiting for him to be lucid enough to talk. He had talked to one guy, a young fellow by the name of Platt, some time ago - his sense of time was all out of order, and it could have been this morning or three days ago. Platt had asked him all sorts of questions about what time he had gotten to the station, what he had seen, whether anyone else was around. Walter had answered all the questions as well as he good, but his head was still fuzzy and the policeman hadn't seemed very happy with the answers he had given. The visit from his previously unknown niece and her husband had cheered him though, and it had been good to give her the message to pass on to the dead girl’s family. He had told one of the nurses later on about the whole story, and she had smiled, happy that he had enjoyed the visit.

He looked over to the window now and was surprised to see no one there. The room appeared empty for only the second time since he had gotten here. This time he didn't get his hopes up that they had left him alone, though. He figured that even police officers had to use the toilet from time to time. There was the promise of dim light starting to show through the grimy window and Walter realised that it must still be very early in the morning. The small portion of the hallway visible to him was plunged in semi darkness and Walter could hear no voices speaking, no trolleys filled with manufactured hospital food rolling between rooms. It was then that he heard soft footfalls and a squeaky wheel on the worn carpet, and out of the dimmed hallway came a uniformed orderly wheeling a blood pressure monitor.

"Good morning, Mister Spinner." The orderly greeted him, too cheerfully for whatever early hour this was. "My name is Damien Everett, I'm going to take your obs. How are you feeling this morning?"
Walter nodded slightly and responded, his voice wavery and weak still, "Uhh, I'm feeling a bit better. I think I'd like a drink of water."
Damien acknowledged the request with a nod, and turned to the table to pour a small glass from the opened bottle there. He helped Walter up into a sitting position and supported his back as he drank.
"What's happened to your police escort, Mister Spinner? He seems to have left you alone for a bit." he mentioned casually, making conversation.
Walter didn't answer, he concentrated on drinking, and then lay back down with relief. Even that amount of pressure on his hip was painful. Damien helped him back down, and then withdrew a syringe from his pocket, already filled with a clear liquid. The orderly removed the orange cap from the point and moved quickly to the IV bag. He pierced the bag directly, watching as the liquid squirted into the saline sitting in the bottom of the near empty drip. He turned back to Walter as he recapped the syringe and put it back into his pocket. "That will help you with the pain, Mister Spinner. Now let's get these obs underway, shall we?" he smiled broadly, and grabbed the blood pressure cuff to wrap around Walter's arm.

As he watched the orderly pull the two ends of the cuff together around his bicep, Walter felt a strange sensation of paralysis wash over him. He went to say something, to get the orderly to help him, and felt his throat thicken. Panic started to wash over him as he felt his body stop responding to the commands his brain was issuing. He wanted to flap his arms, cry out, something to draw attention to the fact that something was seriously, terribly wrong. He could hear the orderly carry on with his easy banter as he turned away, arranging the thermometer to put into Walter's mouth, and when he turned back he must have seen the panic in Walter's eyes. Walter was relieved at first, the orderly would get help for him and it would be alright, but this temporary relief was swamped by a new wave of fear as he saw the smile appear on the orderly's face. He couldn't hear what the man said, but he saw that smile just before he turned away and casually pressed the emergency button by the bed head. Walter closed his eyes, trying to reassure himself that help was on its way, the emergency button had been pressed and they would be coming to save him, it was some dreadful mistake, surely. He was still thinking this as his brain started to shut down, all muscle functions ceasing. Damien started to yell for help, allowing a suitable level of panic to creep into his voice as he watched the old man pass away.


Elouise's eyes popped open, wondering why the radio wasn't blaring bad morning radio in her ear. It was a second or two before she realised that she wasn't at home, in bed, with Robert snoring beside her. And she wasn't going to take the train early to spend time with Zach. She was in a cheap hotel room, the sheets rough on her skin and the smell and atmosphere unfamiliar and cloying in the pre-dawn air. She had decided when she arrived last night that she was going to call in to her office this morning and apply for leave for two weeks. The intention was to try and find herself a home and some internal solace. Both seemed unattainable. She was in constant dread that Robert would call the police about her actions on the station the day before, and the fear only served to remind her of the irrational act that she had committed. The vision of Zach's broken body haunted her constantly, and sleep had been a fickle, restless beast all night - fraught with dreams, nightmares, irrational mental wanderings and terror beyond any she had ever known.

She sat up in the hard, concave bed, and rolled her upper body over her drawn-up knees, forming an almost perfect circle. Again, the tears began to flow. They were no longer tears for what had been lost - her family, her husband, her lover, her comfortable life - they were tears only of self pity.


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