Chapter Three:- Hospital

Mark’s first thought was his head hurt, a lot. Then he felt his hands and the pain in his head suddenly seemed a drop in the ocean. Pain coursed through them when they moved at all. Mark could see red through his eyelids and knew that he wasn’t on the roof he was somewhere with a bright light shining directly into his eyes.

And yet, despite the pain and self sympathy he felt, he was entirely aware of it. It wasn’t identifiable but for the fact he had never felt it before. It was like another limb sprouting from somewhere in his head. Everything suddenly came flashing back, the rooftop and the women, the maze of his mind, and the women’s final moments. Marks eyes snapped open as he clamped down on this new power of his, which was swirling through him. He caught it all and stuffed it deep inside, rather like he was holding his breath permanently. He only managed it for about five minutes before the pain became too much. It burnt and Mark cried with the pain of suppressing it. Finally with a breath he let it out, snapping it back as soon as he was recovered.

Mark was scared and confused, he wanted answers and was scared to ask, not that anyone would listen, he hadn’t seen anyone since he woke up actually. He was only sure of one thing, his power, whatever it was, was evil. He knew, he didn’t know how but he did, that the power could have knocked the two women unconscious, instead it had blasted them off the roof to their death. It hadn’t had to do that. Mark chose to ignore that he had controlled the power. And so Mark spent the rest of the day holding it in. He got better and managed to hold it in for almost an hour. It didn’t do anything when he released it, but he hated the feeling of the hyper sense it brought of every nerve, artery and vein that filled his mind when it rampaged through his body.

A nurse had come in and told him that he had been found with hypothermia on a rooftop with two dead women on the ground below. She was young and quite pretty but Mark stared at the ceiling. He was too scared to look at her, scared he’d see another of the women. That someone might have come to get him. She said a policeman who had found him was coming to see him but not to worry because no one was with him she had to stay with him for legal reasons. Before she left to get him she lay a comforting hand on his shoulder. Mark took a deep, steadying breath and snapped his eyes to hers, he visibly relaxed when he took in her blonde hair and relatively short body, around five and a half foot. She smiled at his panicked eyes as he looked at her for the first time. He tentatively, nervously half-smiled back. She nodded once, her smiled widening and left saying she’d be back in an hour or so with him.

So Mark had lay, holding in his power staring blankly at the ceiling. He didn’t really care what the policeman thought. He was more worried about the women coming back to him, or his power killing someone else.

The pretty nurse entered with a man born and bred for the police service. It was common for people around where Mark to live to hate the police but Mark didn’t because the people who hated them were the people who got arrested for committing the crimes which seemed self explanatory, or it did until he tried to tell this to a boy in year two and got beaten up by six year threes an hour later.

The man was quite tall, he had short cropped hair under a police cap. He looked like a constable, luminous police jacket and utility belt complete with baton. He was marked out as something different by his rank badge on the sleeve, which was different to usual, and the fact he was cleared to carry a gun, a standardised police Sig P226. Mark couldn’t be bothered with this’ he made sure his power was in check, his fifth limb, and diverted his attention to the ceiling. He had a small, toothbrush moustache, very Hitler-ish.

“Hello Mark” He had a gravely voice but seemed nice enough, if the sort to prey to the rulebook, “My name is Paul Pullman, I’m a chief inspector for the police service. I was the officer who found you on the roof, I thought you were dead. Quite ruined my day I don’t mind telling you. I wish this was just an aftercare check but I’m afraid I do have some questions for you. I phoned your mother but I’m afraid she wasn’t err… well enough to come so you’re going to be staying here for the foreseeable future while your mothers lawyers and social services talk things over, I’m sorry but it may take a few months but hopefully we’ll be able to move you when your well again to somewhere else while they talk.” For the first time he seemed to notice that Mark wasn’t even looking at him.

Chief inspector Pullman frowned at the boy lying in the bed in front of him. His skin had some colour but he guessed he had a naturally pale complexion, his skin was a pale cream instead of the deathly white now. He seemed smaller than he remember, curled up into a ball, staring blank eyed at the ceiling. Pullman wasn’t a chief inspector for nothing, he had a natural intuition for when he was being lied to or cheated as well as years of experience. The boy in front of him wasn’t, in his opinion, trying to be uncooperative. He seemed unresponsive because of something else; he reminded him of a bird his daughters had rescued last year from a fox that had been knocking it around for hours, taunting it. They had cared for it for weeks while it sat there, utterly unresponsive. One day it had simply gone, given up. In his career he had seen many witnesses of horrendous crimes that were younger than Mark, and they had, with maybe a little persuasion, eventually spoken of it. He paled at the very idea of what monstrous thing Mark had witnessed that made him curl up and stare at a ceiling scared for his wits, it must have been very bad indeed because from his investigation he had gathered that Mark was a tough boy, he had lived through a lot with his mother and fathers unfortunate lives. Paul was certain, if it unsettled Mark it was very, very bad indeed.

It seemed he spent all of his days feeling pity, guilt and helplessness for Mark Edwards.

He tried asking questions about what had happened; why had he been on the roof? Why didn’t he go inside when he got cold? How did he become unconscious? He asked but didn’t even get looked at. He finally gave up and left with the nurse. Before he could say anything to her she spoke.

“Don’t judge him because of that. He’s in shock and petrified! Come back again and again if you have to. He’ll come out of it, but it will take time.”

He confirmed that he knew it would take time and then left, grateful to be out the hospital which he really didn’t like very much.

Mark could hear him speaking, but the words just blended into a big drone. He didn’t care, how could he? All he wanted to do was die, the world was cruel to him. Something murderous inside, things murderous outside. He gave up.

He was vaguely aware of the nurse and the man leaving and a little while later the nurse returning. She busied herself with scanners, chattering away incessantly about her life and new boyfriend. For some reason Mark could hear her words. He had held his power in for the entire time he had been with Chief Inspector Pullman and while she took his stats so he was grateful when she left him to see to another patient. He let his power run free and was gratified at the giant sense of relief it bought him. However he was sickened he even had it and as soon as he felt able to he pulled it in again, sickened when he felt lonely without its warmth running through his body. It had been a long day and he was still recovering from hypothermia, all his body was aching so he flicked his light switch and drifted of to sleep unaware his power escaped his clutches in sleep.

Nurse Roberts had had a long shift. They were short staffed and so she hadn’t had a chance to see her patients as often as she wished, particularly little Mark Edwards. Before she headed home she altered her course so she could peep into his room. She walked past the window in the door and stopped. She looked again. Shaking her head, she headed home. As she got in her car Nurse Roberts laughed at her overactive imagination. For a minute there, she could have sworn Mark was glowing.

The End

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