Danny awoke up in a hospital he was dry and clean and warm the lights were out and he could hear deep heavy breathing coming from behind a sheet to his left to his right was a tall window the shades were open and the storm still raged outside wind and rain battered the window but it was thick safety glass it didn’t even flex with all the chaos going on outside of it. He tried to roll over he like to sleep on his side or stomach his arm reminded him he was just fine on his back. He couldn’t see very well in the dark but he noticed a plastic trash bag with his clothes and shoes in it on a chair in the corner near his good arm there was a call box he had seen them use it in the movies whenever someone wanted anything from the nurses so he pushed it, fifteen or twenty minutes later a short heavy build woman the kind that make you think of crossing humans with bull dogs came in with an almost warm smile. She was quite so as to not wake the other patient in the room. She got to Danny’s bed side and began to wrap a cuff around his arm as she did so he other arm the broken one decided it wanted some attention and he almost screamed. “God I'm dying.” He said.
The nurse having seen a lot worse just kind of looked at him for a second trying to decide if he could be joked with or not. “Nope not dying, maybe another flight of stairs and you could say that.”
“I feel like I took the whole damn building.”
She finished talking his blood pressure and started looking into his eyes with a flash light.
“One flight can hurt. Good thing they found you when they did, your head hit hard when you found the wall.”
“Yeah right the first thing that happened was the dumb tramp hit me with the door when she slammed it open probably what finished off my arm.”
“Depending on how you were laying I suppose, it is possible but she did go for help didn’t she?” Danny frowned at her. He wasn’t looking for anyone to defend the dumb witch he just wanted to gripe about it. He also noticed that the deep breathing on the other side of the room had gone quite, he wasn’t sleeping anymore he was eavesdropping.
Danny looked up at her as she put her light away and got out her stethoscope and started to listen to his breathing and his heartbeat.
“Hey lady my arm is killing me and I have one hell of a headache is there anything we can do about that?”
“Yeah we can, although from what we can see from the blood tests you take care of it yourself pretty often.” Her tone wasn’t mean it was very calm and kind of hard edged she wasn’t starting a fight so much as making a very solid statement. They knew he had a problem with taking to many medications that weren’t actually his, well what did it matter? If he paid for them they were his. If they cared it was only because he had found a way to get what he wanted and they didn’t get to charge him an arm and a leg for their permission to do it.
“I’ll be back with something for the pain in a few minutes.”
She turned and headed back out into the hallway and vanished around a corner.
“So did you hear anything good?” Danny shifted as much as he could in his bed to face the curtain.
There was silence for a minute and then he spoke again. “I know you’re not asleep your loud when you asleep.” Again silence then a deep voice shot back at him.
“We’ve been roommates for all of about twenty minutes and you already sound like my ex-wife.” This guy had a certain level of authority in his voice he was used to telling people what to do and having it done.
“And yes I have heard some funny things I bet that woman throwing open that door and slamming you with it after you fell down a flight of stairs would win you some money if you sent it into one of those Americas clumsiest jerk video shows.”
He was about to get irate until he pictured it on TV then he kind of slowed down. “Yeah I wish I could have gotten it on tape the whole thing… Danny was thinking more about those eyes than winning money on TV but then the stranger said something that caught Danny’s attention again.
“You don't need a tape son you can retire off this thing if you really want to.” The man was quite for a minute. Waiting he knew he just caught Danny’s attention.
“What do you mean retire?”
The Man smiled behind his curtain. “You were at work and the lights went out and you fell down some poorly made steps broke multiple bones and then get slammed with a door? You wonder how you can retire son let me introduce myself my name is Algie Thorpe of Thorpe, Rowan and associates. I make a living off of helping people like you retire off of things like this. But I'm sore and tired let’s talk about this in the morning.”
With that there was silence until the nurse came back in with a syringe full of some clear liquid she walked up looked Danny in the eye and grinned, Good night she told him.
She inserted the needle into the IV in his left arm depressed the plunger and he was out like a light. It was another dream or at least it seemed like it was he was walking down a street towards his house he was covered in sweat he had been out for a walk it was summer in the south humid as hell but still beautiful. As he got closer to the house he noticed a police car sitting in his drive way. He hurried a little bit, not jogging or running or anything just walked a little faster and saw the officer heading from the front door to back to his car he was sweating too Danny couldn’t blame him for it, it was a dark blue uniform and it was hot outside. As he drew closer the officer noticed him and changed his direction just enough to pass the car and meet him in the street.
“Good afternoon officer, hot day isn’t it? Can I help you with anything?” Danny was wiping sweat out of his eyes again and listening to the cicadas, they were a constant background noise this time of the year.
“Sir Do you know the owner of this house?”
“Umm yes officer it’s my house is there something wrong?”
“Are you Asmodan Nesander Noir?” Danny flinched at his full name. He really hated it, really really hated it.
“Yes sir that’s me.”
I'm sorry sir there has been an accident I need you to come with me.
Moments later Danny was riding in the back of a police car they only drove about four miles before the car pulled over and the cop turned his flashing blue lights on. He got out and opened the car door for Danny.
“Mr. Noir just up around the corner there, is a car accident your wife and brother were involved. You need to be prepared, it was bad.” The officer was pointing the direction as he spoke. Danny wasn’t really grasping what was going on in the car and as he moved around a bend in the road he saw his wife’s blue car up on its side against a tree. there was glass and fiberglass every ware. As he looked he felt numb all over. Then he began to scream.
“Stop it! What’s this about you’ve seen all this before. Stop being so damned pathetic. Your being weak, I don't want weak.”
The voice was high pitched and kind of squeaky like one would imagine a rat or maybe a raccoon with if of course rats and raccoons could speak. Danny stopped screaming. Why was I screaming? He thought to himself this is so strange is this a dream? He looked down at his hands they were there but they seemed to be missing detail like the veins that can normally be seen on the back of a hand or the creases in his knuckles but as he looked at them he could see the details start to fill in the veins the small hairs all the imperfections in one’s skin they were all there. As he looked around each thing that he looked at did the same as the back of his hand as he focused on it gained realism and detail.
“There see now you are in control of what happens. You have power here.” It was that same squeaky rodent voice he had heard a few moments ago.
“What is all this?” Danny’s voice was flat, without emotion.
“You were having what we would call a very mild nightmare.”
“Where are you?” Danny began turning a small circle and then on top of the police car floating just above the flashing lights was that same pair of yellow eyes. The voice was calm but the eyes were sinister they seemed full of hate.
“What are you?” as he asked he felt something stir in him a deep seeded rage this was the one that caused him to break his arm. The area around the visitor began to grow warm; waves of heat began to pulse around the car. The Eyes narrowed to thin slits.
“Don't do this man boy you’re not ready yet.” The voice was still squeaky but now had added venom, a menace that chilled Danny to the bone; the problem was that the fear only added fuel to Danny’s fire. He didn’t know how he was doing it but the anger that he was feeling made him also feel powerful. The waves of heat grew and the paint on the police car began to bubble and melt like thin plastic. His gaze was locked with the yellow eyes and as he stared the eyes began to take on more detail there began to form an outline of a head and neck, large bat like ears, An almost fox like face but all flesh no fur. Its lips were curled in a snarl. Its Body began to take on more detail as well filling in as if an artist were drawing in details as he watched, this artist was twisted. The heat was now an all-out fire blazing around the roof of the car the plastic on the lights began to melt and the bulbs burst. The snarl seemed to turn into a grin. The small form held up a still forming hand and snapped its clawed fingers. Everything changed at that moment the trees lining the road set aflame, the skies bled. In a matter of seconds A back country road was a scene from a horror movie. Giant winged beasts dotted the horizons, rivers of fire. It was like he was once again in every horrible nightmare he had ever had. His hair blew back and forth in the air but he did notice that it wasn’t hot not like it always had been before he looked up at the little demon on what was left of the police car; he was going to kill it. He began to move towards it just then the ground jolted beneath him. Then again, each time it was harder until he was thrown to the ground. The road split between him and the car. Flames streaked into the air this time he could feel the heat something was different he could hear screams in the distance then screams at his feet coming from the rift. He could feel the heat through his shoes, smell the rubber soles beginning to melt away. He began to look for a way out, a way to escape. There was nothing. Then he saw it, a large finger then another all a dark sickly blue. Each finger ended in a serrated nail the fingers now a large hand clamped down on the side of the hole and it heaved its self-up. Danny screamed there was evil here that he couldn’t fathom. His mind could not accept what he was seeing it would not show it to him. His scream ended with him waking up.
He shot up in his bed the scream on his lips he was soaked in sweat eyes darting around in fear it was a dream it was only a dream just like all the rest of his dreams. The early morning nurse came shooting into the room to see what was the matter but Danny just gave her a dirty look. “What? You never had a nightmare before?” he went to cross his arms which rewarded him with a grimace of pain and he rolled his head to look away from her. She shot him a dirty look and left the room.
“Don't be mean to them, next time you want a shot of Darvocet they might not move so fast.”
Danny was gonna shoot his roommate a remark about where he could keep his advice but thought the better of it when he considered the man’s earlier comments about not working again. Maybe he’d be a little nicer to Mr. Thorpe. After a few minutes of silence Danny herd movement from Algie’s corner of the room and saw a crutch wave out from behind the curtain that covered his bed and then the door to the room was pushed shut. A moment later the same crutch came through Danny’s side of the divider and moved the curtain out of the way. Once they could see each other, Danny wasn’t impressed with what he saw. Algie was not a man in the greatest of shape but there was an aura of power about him his hair was clean cut, short on top and shaved on the sides like someone who had been in the military for a while and never gave up the hair cut. His eyes were serious and he seemed to look much more focused. His mouth was almost too big for his head his nose was even bigger Danny could see where the snoring and loud breathing came from. His stomach was large and his arms and legs looked too thin after a second or two of staring at him he decided that this man looked like and not too well thought out attempt at a living Mr. Potato head.
“So you some sort of a lawyer or something?” His tone was neutral no sarcasm just an honest question.
“Yes. Yes I am and I work with a lot of others. We work cases for special clients.” Algie kept staring at Danny almost as if he recognized him from somewhere but wasn’t sure.
“Special clients probably mean clients with the money that can afford to be called special. Unfortunately I’m not one of those.” Danny started looking out the window.
Algie laid back in his bed smiling to himself
“No not yet but we will see what happens” he said quietly to himself.
Danny reached over for the wand that controlled his bed and hit the button that would summon a nurse. He brought himself into a position that helped with sitting up and waited for the nurse. As he waited he started looking around for a television which he didn’t find.
“There isn’t one I have a book if you’d like to read it.” Algie was leaning on his bed in Danny’s direction.
“No thanks.” The door to the room opened with the same nurse he had been short with earlier she walked over to him with an arm cuff for checking blood pressure and a thermometer. He glared and held up his arm and then she took his temperature. When she was done he asked for something for the pain, and she left. He lay back in the bed and waited after a few moments there was snoring coming from Algie’s side of the room. “Great.” He mumbled to himself. After a while the nurse came back with a syringe she went over to his IV and ejected it and watched him as his eyes glazed over and he took on a decent little drug induced grin.
“There is that better?” The nurse said, she looked like she was expecting him to bite her head off again but he didn’t.
“You’re not all that bad, sorry about earlier.” His apology was sincere but the fact that he was starting to drool and staring blankly at her chest, made her uncomfortable. She walked over to check on Mr. Thorpe saw that he was asleep and turned back to Danny
“The Doctor will be in to see you sometime before your lunch today he will discuss you going home and what you should and shouldn’t do.” She turned and left the room and Danny went to sleep.