Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience. Please be advised.
|Fr. Kevin uses his injury to distract Roxanne from the humming in the attic|
"Damn it , Kevin! I told you I thought something was broken! Look at it! It's turning all black and purple. What in God's name would make you put your full weight on it like that? Are you crazy?"
Even if he could have responded, he wasn't sure he wouldn't have agreed. The beads of sweat on his forehead, and the nausea bubbling up in his stomach were testimony to the level of agony he was in. He fell back onto the sofa, and Roxanne helped him re-adjust the foot into a better position. The bump on the back of his head throbbed in unison with the thunderous stabbing in his right leg, and he wondered if he looked as bad as he felt. By the expression of concern on her face, he guessed his condition was more than obvious, and any excuses for not seeking medical help were probably moot.
"You can't wait, Kevin. You need to have a doctor check you out. You could have a damn concussion, as well as a broken foot. This is serious shit." Without waiting for a reply, she pulled a cell phone from her pocket. "I'm gonna see if I can borrow a car from someone, so I can take you to the ER. I need your word that you're not gonna try to get off the damn couch while I'm busy on the phone."
He felt too wretched to argue, and so he just nodded, breathing through his nose, and working at keeping the bile from rising into his throat. There were no clues as to whom she was talking to, but he could occasionally hear bits and pieces of the conversation, and grimaced at the title of "stubborn ass" applied to his name. When she was done with the call, she refreshed the bag of ice on his leg, and insisted he down two Motrin, fussing over him in the the tradition of his younger sister.
When assured he wouldn't expire on the spot, she informed him of the decisions that had been made without his input. "Maureen and I both agree you need to have that foot x-rayed immediately, not to mention the fact that you might just have a major concussion. She's asked to borrow the Schiller's car, and we're both going to take you to the ER." Before he could express an opinion, she held up her hand. "Don't argue. It's already been decided. I want you to sit here, and not move a damn muscle until I get back. I'm gonna walk over to the deli and pick up the car and Mo, and then we're going straight to the hospital. Capisce?"
He didn't have the strength to argue, and so nodded in agreement. Satisfied he would comply, she walked out the front door, and in the direction of the deli a block away. The moment she left the rectory property, the humming above his head quieted to a softer level, and he breathed a sigh of relief amid his discomfort. The thought of spending the afternoon being poked and prodded, fussed and fanned over by both women made him unhappy, but it was much easier than explaining the watch in the attic, Brian's existence, or how the two were connected, and he allowed himself, an extra sigh.
It was one of those shitty, ornery days. He had known it the moment he saw his brother-in-law air borne, and sealed the minute he hit the ground with a sickening crunch. That injury, which of course would be Beckett's fault in the mind of his wife, set in motion one miss step after another. Kevin's accident was just that...an accident. And if truth be told, caused by the man's need to best him in front of the lovely Roxanne. But Maureen wouldn't see it that way. In her eyes, her brother, Kevin, was one step away from sainthood, and by that fact, could do no wrong. It annoyed him to no great end the way she refused to accept any flaws in the man, though in all fairness, his beloved usually went out of her way to see the best in most people. And for that, he needed to be grateful, as her forgiveness extended to his myriad of faults as well.
Still, it was more than obvious that the priest had caused significant damage to his right foot, and had stubbornly refused any help in getting it looked at. He had tried to convince him to accept assistance, but had given up in annoyance when his concern was met with outright indifference. The whole mess had disrupted his morning schedule. It had caused him to run late, miss his breakfast, and worst of all, it was the catalyst for small disagreement between he and Maureen. Yet another way her interfering, self-righteous brother had come between them.
Things at the station hadn't gone any better. The wi-fi was down for over an hour, delaying an attempt to catch up on the pile of paperwork that seemed to grow daily. His secretary had called in sick, and it was on those days, when she wasn't around, he realized how much he actually depended on her. Plus, he was due in court to testify regarding a case that shouldn't have even made it this far, except for the fact that the State's Attorney in charge was a complete fuck-up.
The last thing he needed was a call from the Powers That Be, and in accordance with the fates, it was exactly what he got. They were pushing him to accept an assignment, a follow-up to the job he had worked last December. In the past, he would have jumped at the opportunity. Been jubilant over the chance to even an old score. But it was too soon after Maureen's accident. Too soon after the baby, too soon after their separation, to consider leaving for an indefinite period of time. There were things that needed to be put in order before considering such a risky assignment, and so he begged off with a promise that he would be available in a few months. They had conceded, but he knew they would not take no for an answer a second time, and that thought lay heavy on his mind.
It was simply the kind of day that brings no good, and if he had been a superstitious man, he would have knocked on his wooden desk, and thrown salt over his left shoulder.
After a great deal of discussion in the rectory driveway, it was finally decided that they would bypass the hospital ER. It was the area's only trauma center, and was always backlogged with a constant stream of waiting patients. A quick google search revealed an emergency walk-in clinic that boasted X-ray service located on the east side of town, and it became their destination of choice. That section of Dollyville was considered by its residents to be the "shady" part of town, but the promise of quick attention was a big draw, and they decided to try it despite some initial misgivings.
Maureen had offered to call Ted, and have him meet them there, but one look at Kevin's face was enough to change her mind. He was already miserable, and if her husband's presence made things worse for him, then they would go it alone. They did have Dollyville's newest deputy with them, and the two women felt secure in their ability to weather the situation.
Maybe if he had felt just a tiny bit better, Fr. Kevin would have been of the mind to talk them out of their decision. But he was in a great deal of pain, the movement from the sofa and into the car being an experience he hoped never to relive. So when they announced where it was they were going, he could only grunt between gritted teeth.
The east side of town was a portrait of the declining economy. Many of the businesses lining its streets were abandoned and boarded up, their doorways littered with papers and garbage. The clinic was located on 23rd and Roscoe, the only commercial building of its kind, surrounded by two large apartment buildings, and an auto junk yard across the street.
It was Kevin who first voiced any concern. "Ya know...maybe we should just turn around, and head back to the hospital? This place looks...a little...unsettling." The words took forever to leave his mouth, pushing them through teeth clenched in pain.
"Don't be ridiculous, Kev. It's obvious you're in a tremendous amount of pain. We're already here. Let's just get you inside. It will be fine."
He looked to Maureen for support, but she had made up her mind as well. "It will be okay, Kevin. We have Roxanne. She's a deputy now." Before he could interject, she added with perfect confidence, "Besides, you're a priest, the Pastor of Holy Family, for Pete's sake, and I'm the Sheriff's wife. No one's going to bother us. They wouldn't dare."
Fr. Kevin tried to see the logic in her statement, but couldn't find any. He certainly didn't look like a priest, dressed as he was in gym shorts and a t-shirt. And how the hell was anyone supposed to know that she was Sheriff Beckett's wife? It wasn't like she was wearing a big sign on her chest that said as much, even if that fact could derail a crime. He wanted to argue her statement, but saved his strength for the move from the car to to clinic's waiting room, an experience he knew would be exceedingly unpleasant.
He and Maureen waited in the car, while Roxanne went in to retrieve a wheel chair. She returned shortly, and with much maneuvering, they managed to get him into the clinic's waiting room. The inside of the facility did little to alieve Kevin's fears. The walls were painted a grimy yellow, faded to a sick gray color in several spots, and covered with stains of mysterious origins. The molded plastic chairs were bolted to the floor, and in the far corner, a TV blared afternoon soap operas through a smeared screen. The clinic was empty, except for a homeless man sleeping across three of the seats, and young Latino man holding a bleeding hand wrapped in several soaked towels.
Roxanne signed him in, the attendant taking the clip board through a closed plexi-glass window, and the three sat together, waiting for his name to be called. They had been in the clinic for only ten minutes when the mechanical door slid open, and two young men wandered in, hoodies zippered closed despite the warmth of the September afternoon. Roxanne saw them the same time Kevin did, and stiffened beside him. The men lingered around the doorway, eyeing the people present in the room, obviously calculating their next move. Kevin knew better then to look at either of them directly, and wondered if he could reach the cell phone in his pocket without being seen.
The taller of the two looked over to the shorter man, as if for direction, and while the two focused on each other, Fr. Kevin took the opportunity to glance at their faces. The short man must have felt his stare, as he turned and met his gaze. For a second their eyes locked, and Kevin had an overwhelming feeling that he had seen those eyes before, but there wasn't time to ponder the notion.
The man pulled his eyes away, and reached into his pocket. Brandishing a gun, he announced to all present, "Hands where I can see 'em. Nobody has to get hurt."
And the kind of day that can bring no good, suddenly got a whole lot worse.
|Trouble at the clinic|
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2014
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