Stopping by Woods

I'm sick, tired. I suppose it was too much to hope for that I might be fine, too much to hope that being stuck in a warehouse with a bloody stump for a finger wouldn't attract infection. Ironic, after all I've said. The fever's been getting worse but a hospital is out of the question. Revealing myself is one of the few cards I have left to play, but the clock is ticking and events will force my hand if Red and his whore can't do what he promised me. Wait, that was remiss of me, the fever it's making me angry, nervous, weak.

Another rumble passes overhead and dust rains down from the ceiling and the train passes. It's noisy and cramped, but it's clean, safe. I owe much to Frank, he's found me shelter, sanctuary here, found me drugs to keep my strength and a steady gaze to keep me thinking straight. Damn this fever, this sickness. This place is cramped and there are no exits apart form the solitary door, if Grozny found me here I would be dead but I trust Frank completely. He knows what is best.

A knock on the door startles me and it opens to reveal Frank stood with two shopping bags loaded with food and medicine. He cooks some food in silence as I watch from my bed and then sits beside me on a wooden stool and feeds me. My heart aches.

"I spoke to Joel." He says, the first thing in days, it seems.

"Joel?' I wrack my addled brain for more information.

"Grozny's agent." He replies with his characteristic brevity.

Grozny's agent? Joel? My mind swims and then it hits me like a hammer. The agent investigating me, the annoying fly that seems to buzz around my head but never managed to get anything concrete. He was Grozny's was he? That made sense, it explained some things, changed others, I needed to change my plans but wait, Frank spoke to him?

"Why, Frank?"


I sat up.

"What have you done?"

"Learned. Grozny's busy with his game. Joel has the key. You need him to bring down Grozny."

"Frank..." I said, a warning growl in my voice.

"One more meeting, then you have what you need."

"Damn it Frank, just tell me what you've done!" I yell, sending me into a fit of coughing.

He gets up, his eyes look sad.

"Goodbye Thomas. I keep my promises."

He leaves before I can even think about pulling myself out of bed. I'm so tired, too tired to chase after him and yet I must. I clamber out of bed and cram a handful of medication into my mouth. Wrapped in the blanket, I look like some leper, some diseased homeless bum. I fit right in with this place. I hobble out of the room after him, on to the street, the sound of sirens in the distance. He crosses over to the neighbouring woods and disappears into the trees, I pause to throw up in a gutter and follow until I hear a gunshot and a thud. I see a man there through the trees, Frank sprawled in the floor blood gushing from a wound no-one could survive. I see the flashing reds and blues and panicking, I retreat.

Back in my bed I weep. I'm alone and lost. My poor Frank killed, and for what? Then I realise, the sirens, they came too soon.

What have you done, Frank? What have you done? You need him, you have what you need. You, not we. The bastard knew.

Misery, sickness and tiredness take me.

The End

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