Nine - Ingrid

I couldn’t feel much, only a slight tingling in my toes and fingers. Toes? Fingers? Wasn’t I a wolf? Unless that had just been a dream. If it had been a dream, why was I asleep?

“So, she’s looking stable now. I’d like to keep her in for a few days, to check her progress and make sure the wounds are healing. Are you sure you don’t know how she got them?” asked a woman. Where was I?

“No idea at all,” said Mum nervously. I think she had an idea about the wounds.

“Okay. If anything on the monitor changes, press the assistance button immediately,” said the woman. And she left.

I vaguely felt someone pick up my hand and kiss it. I tried to open my eyes. It was hard but finally they were open. My sight was blurry but at least I could see. Mum was sat at the side of the bed I was on. Bed?

I dragged my eyes around the room. It looked like I was in hospital. Oh, damn. I tried to squeeze my mum’s hand. She obviously felt me move, as she looked up at me.

“Ingrid!” she exclaimed.

She went to hug me but stopped when I pulled my hand away from her. Her ecstatic smile wavered and she sat back in her chair again.

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“You called an ambulance,” I said, in an accidental hiss.

“Not me! It was Stella, I couldn’t stop her,” she begged.

I looked straight ahead, not looking at her. “What did they do to me?”

“I... I don’t know. I was so scared, I thought I was going to lose you...” she said.

“Since when did you care?”

“I’ve always cared. Who did it?” she asked, changing the subject.

“Nephi. I got him back for it,” I said.

“What did you do?” she enquired anxiously.

“I may have almost killed him. It’s not the first time something like this has happened, remember?”

“Of course. Five years ago. You were nine at the time. I have no idea how you hurt Chase so badly, he’s two years older than you.”

My gaze shifted to her. “I’ve never been weak, Mum.”

“I know, I know. What were you and Nephi arguing about this time?”

“I suggested we go and get a Chinese, seeing as it is new moon. Of course, he feels we should live like real wolves, and hunt all night. And it just went from there. A stupid fight as always. Zev and I were arguing today, after Spanish. Can’t even remember what it was about.”

“You didn’t go to school today, did you?” she asked at last. She let out a relieved sigh as if it was a question she’d been dying to ask for ages.

“I left after Spanish,” I admitted. “When am I ever going to use the education anyway?”

“In a job.”

“What job can I get? Something that they won’t mind me leaving before sunset every night and taking a whole day off every month?”

“Yes, there are plenty of jobs like that.”

“Example?”

“Um...”

“Exactly.”

She sighed exasperatedly and stood up. “I’ll go and tell your dad that you’re awake.”

I didn’t stop her. I just looked in the opposite direction than that of the door. A nurse walked in through another door. She smiled at me.

“Good to see you’re awake. Feeling better?” she asked. I nodded. “Good. You gave everyone quite a scare, your dad thought you were dead; the heart rate monitor broke.”

I smiled. “What did you do to me?”

“Well, we stitched up the lacerations in your sides after cleaning them and then we gave you a blood transfusion because you’d nearly bled to death.”

I sat up suddenly. It hurt my sides but I didn’t care. “A blood transfusion?” I demanded.

“Yes. You have very odd red blood cells. Instead of being biconcave, they’re convex. First time we’ve ever seen anything like it so we couldn’t do a proper transfusion with your blood type. We had to get the closest thing to it.”

The colour drained from my face. I knew what that meant. They’d given me a blood transfusion with blood that wasn’t like mine.

The nurse smiled and went out the other door. Dad put his head round the door and grinned at the sight of me sitting up in bed. I didn’t respond as he hurried over and hugged me carefully. There was a knock at the open door. It was Spike. He obviously saw I was upset; he rushed over and gave me a hug.

This time, I hugged back. Tears formed in my eyes and rolled down my cheeks. Dad had a hurt expression on his face but he turned around and slowly walked out the room.

The End

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