Chapter TwelveMature


“SANDY! Get up, please, we have to
solve this and I don’t want to leave you here. Please get up!”

Devin yelled, grabbing Sandy by the
shoulders and shaking her slightly.

Her eyes flew open, glassy and wide,
huge, unblinking, like emerald eyes in an alabaster sculpture.


She whispered, streams of cold sweat
running down her pale face, mingling with tears of shock, horror and fear. Why
hadn’t she reacted like that in the basement?

Devin let go of her, and she lay down
on the floor slowly, not noticing that the little tendrils of crimson,
green-white and neon-blue blood were seeping into the material of her
tan-coloured jacket.

I don’t think I’d ever seen a more
scarring sight than Sandy, bold and brave Sandy, just lying there, shivering
convulsively, her empty gaze fixed on the white ceiling. Shell-shocked, that
was the only term I could think of for Sandy’s sudden turn.

Devin was kneeling near where she
lay, whispering to her, trying to help her. Devin’s been in the department
since he was seventeen, you’d think after thirteen years he’d have seen it all.
But no, evidently this was new to him. Still, he and Sandy have been working
together since she joined; it was probably equally shocking for him to see her
like that.

“She seems so…different.”

Devin said, half to me, half to

“She does. Can we do anything?”

I asked, trusting that he’d have the
answer like always.

“We’ll just have to wait and see if
she recovers.”

Devin told me.

“And if she doesn’t?”

I asked.

Devin sighed deeply.

“Well, I hate to be the one to tell
you this, kid, but we’ll have to go on without her.”

Devin seemed near breaking-point

I’d been called ‘kid’ a lot when I
first joined the department. It was Sandy who’d started it up. It was a bit of
teasing about the fact that I was the one who was always ID’d, even if I was
old enough to go to places. Devin has been sneaking into bars since he was
about fourteen, or so he says. Sandy could pass as twenty-one at the age of
sixteen. It worried me so much to hear use of my pet-name, because recently it
had been reserved for worrying occasions, times when the outlook seemed bleak.

Was the outlook bleak now?

The End

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