It’s 1:25am. I am… Tired, lol. 😉
Hope you enjoy this one! My apologies if I missed any spelling errors.
The Road of Fame Part 5
The woman looked vaguely familiar.
Fame blinked groggily and tried to place her but her recollection came up with nothing. She had wavy dark hair which was cut in a bob, framing her round, friendly face and light blue eyes. She was standing beside the bed, looking at a file when she noticed Fame looking at her.
“So,” she said – her voice pleasant. “We meet again.”
Fame swallowed, trying to work some moisture into her mouth. Her throat hurt and her nose burned from the steady flow of oxygen that was being fed through a thin, plastic tube.
“Do ah…” She had to swallow. “Know ye?”
The woman smiled and closed her file, putting it back into the holder beside the bed. “You helped me a couple of days ago in your shop. I brought in a couple of games from my nephews. You told me that nobody takes female gamers seriously.” She smiled at Fame as she moved to the monitors and read her statistics. Fame vaguely remembered something like that, but in truth the woman was just one customer in many.
Yet, she nodded dutifully and swallowed again, the dull pain in her shoulder making her uncomfortable. She watched the woman read her numbers and tolerated her taking her pulse manually. “Tell me,” the doctor queried after a while, her voice still warm. “How’s the pain?”
Fame blinked and shifted again, bringing her good arm up to pull at the oxygen line. “Fine,” she lied. “Please, when can ah go home?”
The woman raised a perfectly shaped eyebrow and gently removed Fame’s hand from the line. “Not for a few days still, I should think,” she murmured. “You were very lucky Amy.”
Fame closed her eyes and didn’t say anything. She heard the woman sigh and squeeze her hand slightly. “There are some people here who want to talk to you. I’ll see you later.”
Fame didn’t open her eyes again until she was sure that she was alone. Shifting, she mentally orientated herself, trying to establish whether or not she could just get up and leave the hospital if she pulled out the IV. She quickly established that she couldn’t because the IV wasn’t the only uncomfortable tube stuck in her and also, after only a few moments of consciousness, Fame already felt bone weary. She doubted whether she would make it to the door, let alone to the bus stop. She didn’t remember a lot of the past day or two (unsure of how long she had been unconscious) but she did remember one thing.
“Dogmeat,” she whispered, wishing that she could summon him out of thin air. “Dogmeat…”
Fame opened her eyes to see a man in a gray suite standing beside her. He had dusty blond hair and a strong face, accentuated by his green eyes. There was a pin on his jacket of a hand gripping a lightning bolt.
It made Fame shudder and close her eyes again.
The man cleared his throat with an irritated sound.
“Amy Marsh,” he said again. “My name is Daniel Scott. I’m from EPR. I need to ask you a few questions about yesterday’s incident.”
Fame cringed at the word. Incident. Bureaucracy was a bitch when it came to euphemisms. She decided to keep her eyes closed, choosing not to answer in the desperate hope that they’d leave or she’d just lose consciousness. There was a patient sigh and a metallic grinding sound as the bed’s railing was lowered. Fame flinched when the bed shifted under the weight of someone sitting down. Unwittingly she opened her eyes and blinked surprised when she saw a petite, middle aged woman sitting beside her. Something about the woman’s demeanour, her sad confidence, made her wary and when her gaze shot to the woman’s wrist she found what she expected.
A bright red wrist band.
The heart monitor beeped as Fame turned her gaze back to Mr. Scott who smiled at her and folded his hands over a nondescript file he had with him.
“This is my assistant Denise Holden,” he pointed out. “As you can see – she is a Type 3 Red Class Evolutionate. The reason I point this out Ms. Marsh is that failure to co-operate with us would put you under immediate suspicion of being involved in the crime. Under section 2.4 of the EPC Act we are then allowed to – by any means necessary – question you until we have conformation of our suspicions. Or, you are proven innocent.” He smiled and motioned to the petite woman in her matching gray suite. “And that, Ms. Marsh is where Ms. Holden comes in. She is a physical Telepath or a Mind Reader if you will.” He paused, allowing her to think about what he had said.
“It makes questioning so much easier and quicker. Don’t you think?”
When he finished talking, Fame was crying – the monitors next to her bed demanding the attention of the nurses, yet nobody came to her aid.
Evolutionate business was Evolutionate business and nobody intervened until they were given leave to.
“Ah didn’t do anything,” Fame managed as she fought for words with her sore throat. “Ah was in the storeroom when they stormed into m’shop. Ah just came out an’ they shot me.” She closed her eyes and swallowed. “An’ m’dog. Ah managed to close the door and hide there. Ah can’t remember anything after tha’.”
The woman shifted, causing Fame to move uncomfortably, knowing that if she touched her she would know everything there was to know about her.
“How many suspects were there?” Denise Holden asked, speaking for the first time. Her voice was serenely calm, scaring Fame even more.
Wishing for water for her painful throat, Fame answered as quickly as she could. “Ah don’t know,” she said. “Ah think… Ah heard ’bout four voices, ah did. But ah can’t be sure.”
Mr. Scott raised an eyebrow and slowly opened up his file to make a note.
“Four you say?” he queried. “So there were definitively four in the shop?”
Fame cleared her throat and nodded slowly. “Ah heard four voices,” she confirmed. “But there could’ve been five of one didn’t speak.”
Denise gave her a curious look and abruptly reached out and poured her some water from the pitcher that was on her bedside cabinet. Fame didn’t take it from her, but gratefully took a sip when she put a straw in.
“And was there anybody else in the store with you?” She queried.
Fame shook her head and struggled to swallow her last sip; her throat once again constricting with tears. “Just m’dog,” she said as she tried to control her tears, Dogmeat’s final yelp still echoing through her memory. “But, they shot him too.”
Mr. Scott frowned slightly and looked at his notes. “This is the Australian Cattle Dog that you frequently brought to the shop with you?”
Fame nodded and for the first time Ms. Holden frowned puzzled. “There isn’t any mention in the report of a carcass,” she said. “Are you sure he died? He might’ve run out in the confusion.”
Fame blinked more tears as she shook her head. “He wouldn’t ha’ leave me,” she said as she closed her eyes, the weariness settling around her like a heavy blanket. “He never would.”
Someone touched her hand; quickly dragging her back to consciousness with a flash of panic but it was Mr. Scott who had taken her hand, not Ms. Holden.
“Your dog wasn’t there,” he said with barely contained impatience. “But, the three suspects that we have apprehended claims that someone else was. They say that they were shot at by a brunette woman in a military commando type uniform. Two were seriously wounded.” He paused and glanced at the door. “Coincidentally, they are both here with you in High Care.”
When Fame glanced at the door bewildered, Denise Holden quickly spoke up.
“Don’t worry,” she said, never shifting in her position. “They are under guard. Tell us of the woman Fame, who is she? She was in the storeroom with you.”
Fame blinked and tried to focus on Mr. Scott.
“Ah don’t know who yer talkin’ about,” she managed. “Ah was alone.”
The two fixed her with a twin unblinking stare. “According to all three witnesses, she came out of the storeroom with you and stared firing on them.” Mr. Scott pointed out. “Who is she Amy? She all but stormed out of the storeroom, firing what appeared to be a magnum yet we could find no trace of her bullets even though she put two men in hospital. CCTV didn’t’ show her leaving the shop or entering it. What was she doing with you in the storeroom Amy?”
Fame closed her eyes and shook her head, feeling distressed. “Ah don’t know,” she insisted. “Ah don’t know her! Ah can’t remember wha’ happened in the shop. It hurt so much, ah was scared. Ah don’t know what happened. Ah don’t know!” The last was a desperate cry, begging them to listen to her. Her breath now came in short, panicked gasps and her shoulder was aflame.
Mr. Scott pulled back a bit as a nurse appeared by the door, her face pitched with worry as she looked at the scene. Ms. Holden motioned to the nurse to remain where she was and turned to Fame. Putting on two thick leather gloves, she took Fame’s hand in hers and forced the young woman to look at her.
“I cannot read your mind now,” she murmured. “Do not be afraid. Tell me Fame, did you create her?”
Struggling for breath, Fame shook her head, black spots swimming before her vision as she tried to remain conscious, having given up remaining calm long ago.
“Ah can’t manifest,” she said. “M’powers are useless, ye all know this. Ah don’t have anything ye want. No explanation. Ah can’t tell ye what happened. Ah am sorry.”
Ms. Holden nodded slowly and drew back, looking up at her boss before she lightly hopped off of the bed and went to the door. Mr. Scott sighed and made a note in his file before patting Fame’s knee under the bed covers.
“Well, thank you for your help,” he said. “We’re sorry if this seemed a bit harsh Amy. Please, be still now – the police will contact you if they need any other information. This interview is done; the EPR thanks you for your cooperation.”
Fame didn’t look at them, but tried to pull herself up into a tight bundle as much as she could. When the left the room, the nurse and another person rushed into the room, trying to get her to calm down and breathe easy, but she didn’t pay them any mind.
“Dogmeat,” she whispered as she pressed her uninjured hand over her face to hide her tears. “Ah am so sorry.”
“Do you think we were too harsh?” Denise Holden said as she and her boss left the Hereford County Hospital, making a bee line for the parking lot, the miserable Herefordshire weather sending a shower of rain their way. “She does seem… fragile.”
Mr. Scott snorted and shook his head. “Weak,” he supplied the word. “That’s the problem with these countryside low grade Evolutionates Denise, they lack strength and discipline so they flee to the most uninhabited parts of the country just to make sure that they will never be put in a position where their strength of character will be tested. It’s good sometimes to remind them the hard way that they still answer to a higher authority, no matter what colour they wear around their wrist.”
Denise raised an eyebrow at him and sighed softly, slipping her gloves back into her pockets. “I think they come here because they just want to be left alone,” she murmured. “Especially she, our young Amy Marsh.”