Here’s the penultimate chapter for our second story. Check back next week to see how it concludes.
“Jeffery!” Jeff’s Mum was pouring over the bed clinging to her sons arm.
“How is he?!” she directed her question towards the doctor.
“We’re still doing tests. He’s lucky, it could have been worse.” The doctor who’d come to do his rounds in what he was expecting to be an empty room had been standing there in a constant state of perplexity as he continued “There really shouldn’t be this many peop…” he was cut off by an excessive howl from Jeff’s mother. A man walked from the group up to the bed, Rick assumed it must have been Jeff’s father.
“We’re going to find the bastards that did this to you Jeffery.” there was a noise of agreement from the group of family members standing by the door “bastards” one of the chimed in with.
“Bastards.” said Russell who seemingly just wanted to join in.
“Who are you?” Jeff’s father asked of Russell who sheepishly looked at Rick for help.
“That’s Russell and I’m Rick…” the father looked at Rick then back to Russell who was holding out a cookie the nurse had given him with his coffee.
“Cookie?” he offered. The father, clearly confused accepted the offering and was about to enquire about them further but was interrupted by the Doctor, who was becoming annoyed with the situation.
“I must insist that everyone…” he was once again cut off by another howl from Jeff’s mother who, still leaning over the bed gripping on to her son for grim life seemed to be enjoying all the attention the crowded room was giving her. The father had just noticed the police officer standing uncomfortably in the middle of the room.
“Are there any suspects?”
“I can’t discuss on going investigations”
Russell was squirming in his boots, all the talk of finding the culprit was clearly making him uncomfortable.
“You can’t talk about ongoing investigations.” it was said with an air of sarcasm and was Russell’s attempt to end the discussion, however it only succeeded in drawing attention to himself.
“I’m sorry, who are you?” the father had turned to him again was keen to probe the issue further. Russell gave him a blank look as if to say ‘how have you forgotten?’
“Uh I’m Russell? I just gave you a cookie.”
Rick, who had actually just understood the question butted in.
“We’re Jeff’s friends, when we heard what had happened we came here to make sure he was okay.” he paused as he realised the opportunity for them to make their escape.
“And now we’ve seen that he’s fine…” he looked down at Jeff whose eyes seemed as though they were swimming around his skull and was muttering to himself about how he liked turtles, “we’ll be on our way.”
The two of them squeezed their way through the gaggle of family members and reached the door. They were passing through as Russell turned around and waved.
“Bye, Jeff!” perhaps surprisingly Jeff looked up with a big smile and waved back. The unassuming lack of mental acuteness these two possessed would be endearing if it weren’t so worrying. The police officer had helpfully lost interest in Rick and Russell as he was being hounded by questions from the group that still filled the room.
They made it downstairs, exited the hospital and began a walk, which turned into a run towards the car. Closing the car doors behind them they sat pondering over what had happened.
“Well, then,” chirped Russell cheerfully, “that’s that taken care of”.
“He said he wouldn’t say anything.”
“You believe that?”
“Sure.” Russell sat with a smile on his face, he clearly did believe it. Rick wasn’t so credulous, but what else could they do about it now? The events of the last 48 hours swirled around Rick’s head. The apprehension of being caught was starting to dissipate with a lack of sleep, the worry that had plagued him was slowly being replaced with a kind of apathetic lethargy.
“So?” Russell’s question shook Rick from his languid state. The truth was he didn’t know how to answer him, all he knew was that somehow they had to put an end this.