Monday, 7 March 2011

Riders - Missing (Chapter 4 - Forewarned)

After my last post and my indecision on whether to continue I came to a bit of a grinding halt.  But after much thought, I have decided (no matter what is recommended about not showing your work) that I am having fun and writing is for my enjoyment so I will carry on as I started.  Hope you enjoy the next chapter.

The black silhouettes’ of two horseman loomed over her, one appearing like a shadow to the other and both oblivious to the raging storm around them.  The inky blackness of the sky behind was still lighter than the darkness of the two figures before her.  The horses appeared to have been ridden hard as steam surrounded their twitching flanks and their nostrils flared.
The bitterness of the betrayal made her cry out “Why are you chasing me, what do you want? This plan of yours makes no sense.”
The forbidding creature stepped closer, the horses eyes glowed red, but with her back pressed against the cold, hard granite wall she had nowhere to go.  She had accepted her fate and her sacrifice would ensure life would go on, but this did not quell the disappointment and fear she felt. 
Lightening pierced the sky beyond and the sallow face of her captor shone victorious before her.  He raised his weapon in triumph and shouted to the world.  “Life will be no longer.”

Zoe’s eyes flew open in panic, florescent light suddenly streaming into her semi-conscious mind.  She looked around her in confusion, taking in the hospital bed, the heart machines and it all rushed back.  Seated in the uncomfortable straight back chair next to her father’s bed she must have drifted off to sleep.  Even though her nightmare was familiar to her, she was still unnerved about the clarity of them.  She could still taste the bile of bitterness in her mouth, smell the musty scent of the earth when it rains and her heart beat rapidly against her ribs.  Taking a deep breath to steady her nerves, she moved closer to her father’s bed for comfort. 
He looked peaceful in his sleep, blue veined eyelids fluttering slightly as if in dream.  The pain relieving drugs being pumped into his arm through the IV drip had made his eyes droopy until they had eventually closed.  After the second attack he had only woken up briefly to look into his daughters eyes and tell her to shush and that everything was going to be alright.  If only she could believe him, she could not shake the uneasy feeling she had had all day.  The nurses had tried to persuade her to go get something to eat or drink, but she did not leave her father’s side for fear something would happen if she was not there.  She was not sure how many hours had passed as she sat by his side.
‘Miss Alexander,’ said Dr Marshall quietly at her side.
She quickly blinked away the unshed tears and looked up at the doctor who had just entered.
‘We need to take your father up to do his ECG now,’ said Dr Marshall.  ‘Perhaps you would like to use this time to get something to eat or drink?’
‘Can’t I go with?’ replied Zoe frantically.
‘I am afraid not,’ said the doctor gently. ‘That area is strictly for patients and staff.  The process does not take long, but we will also be taking blood and doing a few other tests.  I will call you when he has returned.’
Zoe reluctantly let the nurse who had just entered lead her back to the small waiting room near the ICU reception.  As she was about to enter the quite waiting room she stopped as a familiar voice behind her called her name.  She turned and saw a short, dumpy woman with iron grey hair wearing a green floral dress, a large brown handbag clutched under her arm and brown flat walking shoes waddling as quickly as she could down the passage.
‘Zoe,’ she puffed out of breath, ‘Simon just told me.  Oh my dear, I am so sorry.’  The little woman then proceeded to engulf her in a tight bear hug.
‘Betty, oh Betty,’ wailed Zoe.  ‘I am so scared.’  The tears began to flow in earnest and Zoe’s whole body began to shake.
Zoe was led quickly into the waiting room and seated on the large black sofa where she continued to hold firmly onto the motherly figure of Betty and sob uncontrollably.  The woman let her cry, until her wracking gasps quietened gradually.  Then carefully extracting her handbag which had become sandwiched behind her she pulled out a pack of tissues which she gave to the young girl to blow her nose.  Digging 20p out her purse she quickly went to the coffee machine in the corner of the room, selected a strong coffee with lots of sugar and brought it back for Zoe.
‘Now, tell me everything the doctor has said,’ said the elderly women calmly.
Zoe proceeded to tell her the details the doctor had told her and about how he had had another attach just after she had entered the screens by her father.  She did not mention the dark man standing over her father for reasons she herself did not quite understand.
‘You say, Dr Marshall is his doctor,’ queried Betty nodding happily.
‘Yes,’ said Zoe. ‘Do you know him?’
‘Yes,’ replied Betty.  ‘He was my doctor when I had those angina attacks a few years ago.  He is very good, there is nobody better.’
Zoe blew her nose softly feeling a little more comforted with this information.
‘The weather has turned suddenly very dark,’ reflected Betty randomly, looking out the small window. ‘It has been a beautiful sunny day, it just goes to show you how fickly our weather is.’
Distracted, Zoe glanced out the small window at the darkness outside just as large raindrops hit the glass.  She shuddered remembering her recent dream.  The weather seemed to be reflecting her dark, despondent mood.  Just then the sound of a large motorbike outside made the window pane shiver.

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