Friday, November 8, 2013

Day 8. NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo

All she could see were grey swirls of water and fog.  There was no sign of the car or the driver.  Suddenly she felt something grab ahold of her leg and yank her downward.  She slammed her chin against the metal bars and bit her tongue.  Cold, wet rubber skimmed against her cheek and caught her hair in its friction.

“Don’t worry.  I’ve got you.”  It was a man’s voice.  He smelled of cigarette smoke and diesel, or turpentine.  Some sort of accelerant. 

“Let go of me!”  Joan screamed, but her words were muffled by the rustling of heavy fabric and then by sirens.  How had she missed the sirens before?

Like a rag doll, she dangled helplessly while he climbed down the ladder.  The lights flashing below them became more defined and she could make out the contours of several police cars and a fire truck.  It seems a little excessive, but then, what else was there for them to do this early in the morning?

Once they were off the bridge, he picked up his pace until they were behind an ambulance.  He set her down directly in the path of the exhaust, which was strangely warm and comforting after being above the water.

He didn’t leave, but he also didn’t say anything.  After a few minutes of standing their awkwardly, she thought perhaps she should utilize her skill set and attempt to communicate with him.

“Um.  Thanks.  But, I mean, I could have climbed down on my own.”  He didn’t answer.  He looked around nervously and scratched under his chin.  The only thing she could arguably have called his response was a quick half-smile, but that could have also been gas.

Their moment was interrupted, mercifully, but a younger woman in equally unflattering khakis and work shoes who had snuck up on them while they were immersed in the discomfiture.

“Hi, Ms. Gulioso?”  She pronounced it like “Ghoul-ioso,” which made Joan cringe.  It was bad enough that her parents had saw fit to give her an alliterative name, but the alternative pronunciation just seemed needlessly difficult.  Joan usually thought it compounded the problem to correct it.  She looked up at the woman and raised her eyebrows.

“My name is Katy Williams.  I’m with Emergency Response.  Do you mind if we talk?”  Joan shrugged.  Something about being asked to talk always made her talk less.

“Great,”  Khaki Williams continued with a practiced smile.  “Why don’t we climb in and head over to the hospital?”

“Oh.  No.  No, I can’t go to the hospital.  I have to be at work.  I’m probably already late.”  Joan fumbled around for her phone, but she must have left it in her car.

“We’ve already called them.  Don’t worry about it.  They just want to make sure you are ok.”

“Of course I’m ok.  I really don’t think that is necessary.”  She added, “Also, I don’t want to leave my car here.”

“Well, it is your decision Ms. Ghoul-ioso, but I think it would be best if you agreed to come with us.”

There was something in her phrasing that was off.  Off, but familiar.  Joan started walking to her car.  Khakis followed her at what had to be a calculated distance.  It made Joan nervous.  She reached for the door handle hastily.  It bounced back into place with a snap, taking her middle nail with it.

“Damn that hurt!”  Joan looked up with embarrassment, but Khaki just smiled again on cue.  Joan started patting her pockets for her keys.  Her face burned with embarrassment.

She had locked them in the car.  There they were on the seat, right next to her phone.


“Ok, I guess we can go for a ride after all.” 


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