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April 19 – No Sense Left

Lisa Fargazer, working, as ever, in the asylum, didn’t know about what was happening in the Gut district.  She didn’t know, that is, until a loud yowling caught her ear.  It had to be very loud, indeed, to penetrate the walls of the asylum.  She hurried outside quickly, before any of the doctors or interns came to see what the racket was about.

She was nearly pounced on by the thin, grey-and-yellow figure of Puddlejump, a feral cat who ranged the Gut district.  “What is it?” she asked, a sinking feeling in her stomach.

“Follow me,” he said.  “I’ll tell you on the way.”

Lisa hurried after him, heading north.  “A lot of M’an-folk came to find the strange fish-M’an,” he called back to her.  “There was much angry talk, and finally, the fish-M’an called up an evil beast!”

“Oh, no!” exclaimed Lisa.

“It’s all right–the thing is gone now.  They somehow sent it back to wherever it came from.  But not before it did damage to buildings around there.  Some of the debris fell on Strifeclaw and a couple of young M’an-folk.  Strifeclaw’s injured, but he doesn’t seem to know it–I think he was hit in the head.”

Lisa tsked, and saved her breath for running.  They crossed the canal, and Puddlejump took her westward, then north through an alleyway.  She briefly wondered why–until they emerged onto the main street, and she saw the bricks, steel bars, and other debris choking it ahead.  She looked around, but saw no sign of Strifeclaw.

Puddlejump pinned his ears back in dismay.  “He was here…”

Lisa went forward a few steps, frowning at the mass of wreckage.  Then she saw Loki climbing the staircase from the Bucket of Blood.  “‘Ello,” he said to her.  “You headin’ down?”

“Is Beryl in there?” she asked.

“Indeed so–by the fire, I think”

“Thank you.”  She waited until Loki had gone a little way away, then whispered her thanks to Puddlejump, and hurried down the stairs and through the door.

Inside, she saw Jimmy, Petra, and Ruddy Bones standing near the door.  “Hoy, Lisa,” Jimmy said.

She greeted them, but distractedly, looking around for Beryl.  Then she heard someone greeting her–in Feline.  Knowing that could only be Beryl, she hurried toward the fireplace, where the voice had come from.

Beryl looked up at her, and finally said, “Oh… hi.”  Lisa hissed in a breath at the sight of the lacerations on his arms, and the sluggishly bleeding wound on his head.  “You are coming with me to the hospital,” she said firmly.  “Now.”

Ruddy Bones called out, “I think I’m gonner head home.  Thanks fer the hand outta there, Beryl.”

“It’s all right,” he replied.  “It’s what I was there for.”  He stared up at Lisa for a moment, and finally said distantly, “But I’m feeling fine.”

“Feeling so doesn’t mean you are,” she argued.

“Well, I don’t ‘feel’ anything right now.  So I assume I’m fine.”

“You don’t look fine,” another voice put in.

“I don’t?”  Beryl sounded vaguely surprised.

“Far from it,” the voice said.  Lisa was too intent on getting Beryl to go with her to even bother looking to see who was supporting her.

“You look like hell, Mr. Barrel,” she heard Petra say.  She nodded, but then decided she needed to take a different approach, so she stooped down, holding out a hand.  “Come on, Beryl,” she said coaxingly.  “I’ll get you something good from the kitchen.”

Beryl stared at her a moment, then took her hand and slowly stood up.

“Do you need assistance getting him there?” the strange voice asked.  Lisa finally spied the speaker, and frowned slightly at the sight of the boy’s clerical robes.  “No, thank you, sir,” she said, tugging at Beryl’s hand to get him moving to the entrance.  Beryl looked back and waved to everyone, then followed her into the street.

As Lisa began retracing her route, Beryl asked, “Where are we going again?”

She frowned.  “To the kitchen in the asylum.”

“Oh, right,” he said, following her docilely.

Lisa was definitely concerned about his behavior.  This memory loss was not a good thing.  She tugged and coaxed him along, reminding him from time to time that there’d be food at the end of their walk.  It seemed to help.

She led him, though, to the front entrance of the hospital.  “We’ll go through here,” she told him.

“Right,” he said puzzledly.  “What are we doing again?”

Instead of answering, she led him behind the front desk, then stopped and called out, “Dr. Viper?”  She must have let some definite urgency color her voice, for the lizard-man appeared almost immediately.  She stiffened at the sight of him, but her concern for Beryl was stronger than her fear.  “Beryl’s been injured, sir,” she said.  “Please help him.”

“Again?”  The doctor eyed Beryl coldly.  “Your medical file will be growing again. Lay down.”

“But I’m fine,” Beryl insisted.  Taking no notice, Dr. Viper led him to a nearby bed and indicated he should get on it.  “Minor lacerations along his arms, many of them, but not life threatening,” the doctor said, examining Beryl thoroughly.  “Damage to his head is worrying.  Dirt. Contaminates.”

“Can I help with anything?” Lisa asked tentatively.

“Water to clean his wounds.  Disinfectant.  I will see to the rest of his potential injuries.”

Lisa nodded and gathered the requested materials, handing them over to the doctor.  He began cleaning the wounds slowly and deliberately, checking to see if Beryl reacted to the sting of the peroxide.  He didn’t.

“I believe his injury has interfered with his thought process again. He does not seem to feel the pain he should be in.”

“I really think I’ve had worse,” Beryl objected.

Dr. Viper ignored this, but Lisa sighed.  “Yes, you have. But that doesn’t mean this shouldn’t hurt.”

“We must keep awake, no matter how much he might wish to sleep.”  Dr. Viper began removing Beryl’s shirt to check for more injuries.  “He may feel his injuries better in a few hours. If so, he should still not sleep for several hours after that.”  He shook his head as he inspected Beryl’s bared back.  “More lacerations. Possible bruises.  Hard to tell. Fur.”

“They said some debris fell on him.”  Lisa watched as the doctor finished cleaning the wounds, and took the peroxide bottle back from him.

“How much debris?”

“They said a building exploded.  It might have been a wall, or part of one.”  She put the aid supplies back in their proper places, and hurried back to Beryl’s bedside.

“We shall watch over him then. Do not let him sleep.”  Dr. Viper gave Beryl a distant stare.  “He is fortunate to have survived.  He should not have.  Walls are not known to be forgiving on the ones they crush.”

“Yes, sir.”  This certainly ranked high in her list of uncomfortable situations, being in the same room with this strange, cold doctor, but she would do it.  She just hoped he wouldn’t bring up the subject of the examination he wanted to give her…

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    • Leon Leon April 24, 2013

      Petra had returned from her trip to Falun by now

      • Felisa Fargazer Felisa Fargazer April 24, 2013

        ((Yes–these multi-part stories take much longer to write than to live, so to speak.))

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