Table of Contents [Report This]
by Ruth Piwonka
Washington, D.C., May 13th, 2000, 11:22 p.m.
Darkness and quiet filled the once noisy and luminous subway tunnel at Beacon Street. The motionless bodies of Jarod, Miss Parker, and Ethan laid just a few hundred yards away from the rubble. Miss Parker was the first to wake up from being unconscious. She lifted her upper body up and sat-holding her head with her right hand. “Humph,” she sighed. “At least I know I’m not in Hell.”
Her newly discovered brother began to stir and shake, but he did not wake up. Jarod slept peacefully next to her, and in fact, he reached out and grabbed Miss Parker’s hand. She was about to investigate Ethan, but she silently decided to let him hold her hand. But then, his grip became tighter and he jerked her down on top of him. “Jarod, what are you-”
But he was dreaming and no matter how much she squirmed, he prevented her from moving off of his body. The next thing she knew, his arms were around her and he pulled her down to his lips. “You’re not getting away from me this time, Zoe,” he whispered and began to kiss her.
Miss Parker was so alarmed, she had no idea what to do. But when he went even further as to touch one of the buttons on her blouse, she managed to get one hand free and slug him. Suddenly, in the moment she hit him, he woke up and realized who was actually on top of him. “How the hell did you get here?” he asked.
“You tell me, genius,” she spat and got off of him. “And from now on, if you’re going to dream, leave me out of them, no matter what you are fantasizing.”
“Where are we?”
“In a dark, forsaken, blown up subway tunnel. Don’t you remember jumping off of the exploding train?”
“Oh. Yeah. Ow.” She searched for a wound and found a large gash in his left forearm. “Oh, where did that come from?”
“You must have hit a large piece of metal or glass or something when we jumped. We’ve been out for nearly an hour,” she checked her watch and looked over at the tossing and turning Ethan. “Shouldn’t we get him to a hospital? He doesn’t look too well.”
“We? You mean, you want to work together?”
“Well, neither you or I could carry him up to ground level by ourselves. It only makes sense for us to make a truce just this once.” Her voice sounded wary; like she still didn’t trust him, even though all the things they had gone through together had proven his trustworthiness.
“All right, I’ll work with you. You take his legs, and I’ll take his head and upper body.”
“Where are we taking him?”
“I have a car right outside. Do you have one parked even closer?”
“I can’t have him in my back seat.”
“Why? Are you worried that he would mess up the leather interior?”
“Very funny. I don’t have a backseat. I drove the Porsche.”
“Then you follow me,” they got up and went over to Ethan. “Okay, here we go. Lift him up in one...two...and on three!” Ethan kept struggling in their grips and he kicked Parker. This made her furious, and if he were not her younger sibling (or even a sibling), she would have dropped him and let Jarod carry him. But she hid this anger and focused her energy on getting him up two flights of stairs with the Pretender.
The struggle was even harder in complete darkness, but as they reached the street, the streetlights began to help light the way. “Where’s the closest hospital?” she asked Jarod.
“I’m not...completely sure. Just...help me get him to my car,” he told her as they began to run down the street to the subway entrance above ground.
Jarod’s SUV was parked half on the sidewalk and half on the street. Jarod released one hand to take out his keys and unlock the car. He opened a back seat door and they turned Ethan around so his feet were first when they pushed him into the back seat. “Come up here for a second, Parker,” he instructed her and she did as he said. They sat in the front; he in the driver’s seat, and she in the passenger seat. He turned on his car and pressed a button on his steering wheel. A computer monitor screen came down from above the rear view mirror and he touched a couple of buttons. “Nearest hospital,” he spoke flatly.
In a couple of seconds, the screen flashed a name that Jarod had seen before. “Taylor Medical Institute. Just follow me. I know where it is.” Parker jumped out of the car quickly and slammed the door shut. Jarod turned around and checked on his brother. “You’re going to be okay, Ethan,” he reassured the young man, who was still tossing and turning.
He pushed the button on his steering wheel and the computer monitor screen went up. As soon as it finished doing so, Parker pulled up to his side and put her convertible top down. He rolled down his electric powered window. “It’s not very far. Just follow me.”
“After you,” she motioned and shifted gears.
They arrived at Taylor Medical Institute and parked near the emergency room entrance. Jarod decided to neglect Parker’s help and picked Ethan up without too much difficulty. She was at his heels and noticed that when Jarod carried Ethan, he had stopped his commotion. They came to the desk and a woman named Nurse Talbot smiled. “Jarod. It’s been a couple of years. Where have you been?”
“Out helping others. And right now, I’m helping him. Could you tell me where Dr. Jacey is?”
“Well, I’m not exactly sure, but I’ll page her for you.” Parker eyed the Latin-American woman, who looked like she was in her mid-thirties as she picked up the phone and dialed a number. “Is there anything that we can get for you, Jarod?”
“A gurney would be nice. My arms are starting to-”
“Say no more.” She whispered a few words to a candy striper and the volunteer quickly ran to find one. “Whooee, look at that gash. As soon as you get that young man on the gurney, I want you to come with me and I’ll patch you up.”
“I think you’ve forgotten that I used to be a doctor, Nurse Talbot,” he beamed.
“Doctor or not, Jarod, I don’t want that to be infected. You do as I say.” The candy striper came back with the gurney and Jarod placed Ethan onto it. He began thrashing again just as he let go of his hold on him. “My, my, violent, isn’t he?” Dr. Karen Jacey asked from behind Parker. She was a dark blonde with dark eyes and a beautiful face.
“Dr. Jacey. It’s good to see you again,” he hugged her briefly and she came over to the left side of the gurney to investigate him.
“It’s good to see you again, Jarod. What do we have here?”
“He’s sick. Can you treat him?” Parker finally spoke.
“I don’t believe we’ve met.”
“I don’t believe so, either,” she replied icily. “I don’t mean to sound rude, but can’t you hurry this up?”
“I need time to diagnose and examine him. I’m not even really sure what’s wrong with him.”
“I can tell you. Is there a quiet and safe place where we could do this? We’re sort of...on the run at the moment,” Jarod told her. The doctor nodded and they pushed Ethan over to an empty examination room and shut the door.
“His mind has been psychologically severed. And now, I think, it’s affecting him physically. He has a sort of “inner sense” of voices in his mind and ever since he was a child, people manipulated and twisted the voices to lie to him. And tonight, he first realized what had been done to him. The evil voices that were placed inside of his head are tearing him apart, I think,” Jarod tried to explain.
“I see. This isn’t going to be easy, Jarod. I’m not a psychiatrist. And I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have come here, but, why bring him here to us?” Dr. Jacey inquired.
“We’re dropping him off here instead of his regular daycare,” Parker smirked.
“We had no other place to go. Can’t you at least sedate him?”
“Yes, of course, but...”
“Please, Karen, do your best to help him. For me.” Jarod’s pleading eyes gazed into the young doctor, who could not refuse him.