Once Upon A Weekend 7
     Feeling like he had a hangover, Ricky wandered out of the bedroom the next morning and found Sam asleep on the couch.  Vaguely he remembered what had happened the night before and that Sam had come over worried sick,with good reason. 
     Careful not to wake Sam, he went to the kitchen and started the coffee.  The fresh smell brought Sam to life.  He sat up, his muscles stiff from sleeping on the couch.   He rolled out of his makeshift bed, stretched, and followed the aroma into the kitchen where Ricky was busy fixing breakfast.  Sam slapped his brother on the shoulder as he walked past him to the coffee maker.
     "Feeling better today?" he asked as he poured a cup of coffee.
    Ricky set a small plate of toast on the table along with butter, jam, jelly, and honey from the refrigerator.
     "I feel like I've been on a three day drunk," he said.
     Sam nodded thoughtfully.
     "That's the impression you're giving," he said.
     "But I haven't been drinking," Ricky said, sitting down at the table and rubbing his aching forehead.
     "I know," Sam said, taking his place at the table.  "But you've been acting drunk ever since we arrived home."
     Ricky shook his head wearily as he sipped his coffee.  Hungry, he eyed the toast, but suddenly he lost his appetite.
     "What really happened this weekend?" he asked. 
     "I don't know," Sam said, "but I intend to find out.  Right now, you need to get ready for work. We'll go by my apartment on the way so I can change.  If we don't, we're liable to be out of a job."
     Ricky lingered at the table, his face almost white.
     "I don't want---to go---in there," he said, nodding toward the bathroom.
     "Then get your stuff and you can shower at my apartment," Sam said.
     Ricky wrestled with his reluctance, feeling like a coward, but not wanting to look like one.
     "No," he said.  "I can't let this get to me.  I can't let it cripple me. I have to face it."
     Resolutely, he stood, took a deep breath, and, inwardly commanding his feet to move, went forward. He left the bathroom door open after first checking to make sure nothing was out of the ordinary.
     "I'm right here," Sam called.  "If you need me, holler."
     Ricky undressed and turned on the shower.  Cautiously he climbed in and hurriedly washed his hair and bathed, not wanting to be there for long.  When he finished, he wrapped a towel around him and went to the bedroom to dress.  Just as he stepped into his room, the bathroom door slammed shut.  He tried to force his legs to move, but they refused to budge.
    "S---Sam?" he called, barely managing more than a squeak.
    He heard the toilet flush and a minute later, Sam came into the bedroom.
    "What is it?" Sam asked.  "What happened?"
    Ricky began to breathe again and felt like an idiot.  He realized it had been Sam who shut the bathroom door when he went to use it.
     "Nothing," he said.  "I'm okay."
     Sam sat him on the bed and pulled some clothes out for him.  He knew Ricky was scared.  He just didn't know why.
He helped him dress then steered him back to the bathroom to brush his teeth. He leaned against the sink as Ricky brushed and shaved.
     "Tell me what scared you," Sam said.
     "Nothing," Ricky said around the toothbrush in his mouth.  He spat out the toothpaste.  "I'm just jumpy. I didn't see you come into the bathroom and when the door closed..."
     He didn't finish.  
     Sam watched him complete what he was doing, but didn't say anything else.  He was too busy thinking about finding his elusive co-worker and making him tell what the deal was with the lodge.  He changed his mind about going to work.  Ricky was definitely in no shape to climbing around on high places, and he had too much to do. The boss had said not to come back until they were better---well, sober, but then he had no idea what was going on.
     "Look, maybe we better take another day," Sam said.  "Let's go to my apartment, then see if we can find some things out."
     He patted Ricky's shoulder and they left the apartment.  Sam made double sure the door was securely locked, then followed Ricky to the elevator.  It was going to be a long day.

     Ken was hungry when he got out of bed.  Even though he'd had a good night's sleep,he was still extremely and unexplainably tired. Every step he made as he went to the bathroom then the kitchen was sluggish.
     He rummaged around in his refrigerator and cabinets but didn't find anything that remotely tugged at his appetite, so he decided to take a shower and get ready for work.  He could stop on the way and get something somewhere.
     Pulling off the pajama bottoms he slept in, he stepped into his shower and turned on the water.  He whistled as he bathed, letting the water wake him up. A sensation, as if a hand, ran down his back.  He spun around.  There was nothing there.  He shook it off. It was probably just a draft of air. 
     He turned again to the shower and felt the warm silky movement slide down his back and rest for a moment on his butt.  He dropped the soap and whirled around.  Accidentally, he stepped on the soap, slipped, and went down hard, cracking his head on the glass wall of the shower.  The crack spidered out, but the glass stayed intact.
     He sat for a moment under the water, stunned, then pulled himself slowly to his feet.  When he looked to his feet, he saw the water running red into the drain.  He touched the back of his head where he hit and his hand came away with blood.
     Cursing, he grabbed a washrag and held it to the injury as he took a step forward to get out of the shower.  His left ankle turned out from under him when he fell and putting his weight on it nearly caused him to go down again.  He turned off the water and gingerly limped out of the shower over to the mirror above the sink.  He couldn't see the cut on his head, but figured he'd need stitches. He kept the cloth tightly pressed over it and sat down an a small rattan bench by the door.  His left ankle was swelling and turning purple.
     Struggling to the bedroom, he grabbed his cell phone and dialed 911, gave directions to his apartment and told them he thought he might have broken his ankle as well as cut his head. He'd just gotten on his boxer shorts when the Paramedics arrived.  He didn't know if he could walk to the door, but he had to answer, so he hopped on one foot into the livingroom.
     "Yes?"  he called out.
     "Paramedics," a female voice called back.
     Ken opened the door to admit a man and woman in Paramedic uniforms carrying their equipment.  He felt self-conscious  about barely being dressed.
      "You got here really fast," he said.
      "We were close by when the call came," the woman said as she busied checking his vital signs. "And don't worry.  We've seen other patients with less on."
      She winked and grinned at him.  He sat on the couch while the man removed the washrag and inspected his head injury.
     "Well," the man said, "we'll have to stitch you up.  Three should do it."
      He pulled a small kit from his equipment box, swabbed the cut with antiseptic, then injected a deadener around the lips of the cut before sewing it together.  While he was busy with that, his counterpart examined Ken's ankle.
      Ken flinched when she touched.  "Ow!"  he yelped.
     "Sorry," she said.  "It doesn't look broken, but you better have it x-rayed anyway. Ice it and stay off it until the see a doctor."
      She carefully wrapped the ankle with an ace bandage. 
      "You want us to take you to the hospital?" she asked, "or do you have someone else who can take you?"
      "No," Ken said.  "That's okay.  I'll call a friend to do it."
      "How'd this happen?" the man asked.  He was filling out his report.
      Ken felt embarrassed and stupid telling them.
      "I slipped on  a bar of soap," he said.  He didn't tell them why.  They'd think the bang on his head had addled his brain. Besides, how could he tell them something he wasn't sure he knew.  There was a rational explanation, if only he could think of it.
      The paramedics took down his name, address, and vital information, finished their report, then instructed him once more to get to a doctor and have his ankle x-rayed.  They also advised that he have a tetanus shot. 
      After they left, he hobbled to the phone and called work.  He told the boss he'd broken his ankle and wouldn't be in for a couple of days.  The boss yelled and cursed for a minute, then gruffly told him to stay off his injury and let him know when he could get back to work.
     Ken wandered into the bedroom, intending to dress then call Sam to take him to the hospital.  He stood in his doorway, mouth open, eyes wide.  The bedroom looked as if it had exploded.  Clothes were everywhere.  The inside of his closet was completely gutted. His dresser drawers were opened and emptied.  His bed was stripped bare.  The wall was stripped of his pictures. Trophies from his high school days were flung every which way.  
     The room began to tilt and spin around.  He swayed, dizzy and sick, then collapsed amid the chaos on his floor.

kt6550   kt6550 wrote
on 4/24/2009 9:14:03 PM
The plot thickens!

Novel / Novella
writing shwangltd
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