Blue Bloods
Robert C Roman
Astronomers predicted the asteroid would miss the Earth. They couldn't predict the fallout of its ... Show More
Genres:
Adventure, Cross-Genre, Fantasy, Sci Fi, Superhero
Tags:
Disaster, Astronaut, Aliens, Hospital, Doctor, Firefighter, Reporter, Junkyard, Musician, Cellist

Damage Control

     Drew Williams stared at her bathroom mirror in disgust.  Six years on the force wasted.  Four years of college, four years of graduate school, all shot to hell by one stupid bust.  Fog crept up the mirror as the reprimand played over and over in her head.  The rhythm of the words settled into the pounding of her pulse, reinforced the headache that dragged her from her bed.

     She reached groggily for the medicine cabinet door, even that slight motion causing pain to shoot through her skull.  The latch stuck.  She pulled harder.  It gave with a crack, swinging open and smacking her in the forehead.  Aspirin forgotten, she slammed the door open, driving it against the wall over and over.  The glass shattered, sending shards across the floor.  She kept hammering at the cabinet until the door tore free.

     She stood panting, her twisted, broken prize clutched in one hand, leaning against the sink with the other.  The shower head had slipped free of its cheap setting again, and it was dangling in the tub, spraying water against the door. 

     Stupid cheap shower tub.  Stupid cheap medicine cabinet.  Stupid cheap apartment.

     She turned to throw the shattered remains into the wastebasket.

     Her feet slipped out from under her on the slick, wet floor.  She slammed butt-first into the tile, pain spiking through her head as it bounced off the hard ceramic of the sink.  Her feet and thighs slid through the shattered remains of the mirror, covering her with painful cuts.  She howled, her fists and feet lashing out at the sink, toilet, and shower tub.  Over and over again she struck, pounding out frustration, pounding out depression, pounding out the injustices of the world.

     Long, uncounted minutes later she lay in a puddle of bloody water, her rage burned out.  Her bathroom was a bloody, broken mess.  She wasn’t much better.  An alarm started going off in the other room, and she groaned as the sound cut through her head.  She had to get cleaned up for the party tonight.  At least she had another two days before she had to be back at work.  At the training, anyhow.  She wouldn’t be going back to work for a while. 

     A mostly clean washcloth wiped across her face let her know that at least there were no cuts there.  That was good, she didn’t want to give the shrink any more ammunition than he already had. A quick glance told her she might need some work on her hands, but it was hard to tell with all the old scars.  Her legs would need all kinds of little bandages and stitches.  Without thinking, she groped for her first aid kit, dragged herself into the tub, and started pouring alcohol on the cuts.

     Her adrenaline was spent, leaving nothing but depressed disgust in its wake.  Nothing she did made a difference.  All the attaboys in the world were erased by one mistake.  She’d had no idea the suspect had been an undercover cop.  She had no idea he was going for his badge.  She had no idea why, after the fact, they were blaming her for his injuries, docking her pay to cover his insurance deductible.

     And I don’t need any stupid anger management training!

***


     Charlie looked through his book collection.  He thought about bringing some of them along to the party.  At first it seemed like a good idea.  Everyone loved books.  After a while, he decided against it.  People did stuff like eating, drinking, or doing other stuff with their hands at parties.  After that, they wanted to handle his books.  They never wanted to take the time to properly clean their hands, never wanted to let their hands dry.

     As he was putting his boxes of books back on the shelf, his cell phone chirped.  It was a text message from the hospital administrator.  Something had gone wrong with the electric in the older elevator again.  Charlie shrugged, holstered his cell phone and grabbed his gear vest.  The denim settled comfortingly on his shoulders; he could feel the weight of each tool pulling in its accustomed spot.  He walked the door, pulling his keys from the retracting lanyard on his belt.

     Three locks and a chain to open the door, four locks and a security system to arm and he was ready to leave.  A single button press and he heard the deep roar of his pickup truck’s engine coming to life.  He sauntered down the walk, giving the truck time to warm up.  Mrs. Gardner next door called out to him, and he walked over to find out what she wanted. 

     “How are you doing, Charles?”

     “Excellent, Miz Gardner.  How are you?”

     “It’s good to hear you’re well, Charles.  I’m getting on in years, and I’d hate to think what’s going to happen to you when I’m gone.”

     “I’ll be fine, Miz Gardner.”

     “I’m sure you will.  You’ve always been such a good boy.  My arthritis is acting up again.  Could you carry my bag down to the curb for me?”

     “Sure, Miz Gardner.  I’ve got to get going to the hospital now.”

     “Such a good boy.”

     He smiled, picked up the bag, and took his time carrying it to the street.  By the time he had it firmly ensconced in the trash can, his truck was warmed up, the engine running smoothly, with no funny knocks indicating it had been tampered with.

     The trip to the hospital was uneventful.  The classical station was playing something weird, so Charlie toggled his built-in mp3 player, bringing up a playlist heavy on Mozart and Beethoven.  The music soothed him as he waded through the traffic to the hospital.  It was pretty bad, and took him nearly half an hour to drive the ten short miles to the hospital.  Most of that was traffic from the turnpike.  Some folks were going to the shore to see the light show when the meteorites hit.  The smarter ones were driving west, getting out of the potential flood zone.

     Charlie backed his truck carefully into his reserved parking spot.  When he was done, he took a few minutes to ponder the meteor once more.  Everything he read on line said it wasn’t going to hit.  It would do one pass around the planet, then slingshot toward the sun.  When he thought about it, he got a tight feeling in the pit of his gut, fear that gripped and wouldn’t let go.

     He gripped the steering wheel and concentrated on breathing.  In, out, in, out, he focused on the endless cycles of his body, the way they’d shown him so long ago.  After a little while the fist let go of his gut and he forced his hands from the steering wheel.  The meteor was going to make some pretty lights in the sky, then go away forever.  The elevator needed fixing, now.  Charlie thumbed his cell phone, sending a preprogrammed “I’m here” text to the hospital administrator, and gathered up his tools.
Log in to add a comment or review for this chapter Chapter updated on: 9/16/2012 9:16:10 PM
  • Nimrod Tzarking commented on :
    6/26/2017 4:42:41 PM
    This is a really exciting beginning. I've been hungry for new superhero web serials to read, and this has some of the best prose of any I've checked out so far. Very nice ... Show More
  • Yashita Ghazi commented on :
    5/31/2017 3:23:52 PM
    i am miss yashita ghazi i have a proposal for you via at (yashitaghazi11@gmail.com)
  • Pablo S. Rivera commented on :
    2/11/2017 8:47:34 PM
    This seems pretty interesting. L
    • Robert C Roman Thanks Pablo! How much have you read so far?
      2/12/2017 8:55:20 PM
  • Callie Pygian commented on :
    10/13/2016 3:28:44 AM
    Despite only spending a little while with these characters, I'm already intrigued. I love the powerful wording. Will read more later!
  • ANN brown commented on :
    5/6/2016 12:12:57 AM
    Hello good day, i will like to meet you in person, am miss Anna, am from France and am leaving in London, please contact me on my email id at (annh1brown@hotmail.com), ... Show More
  • Rene Kuylen commented on :
    4/11/2016 12:04:51 AM
    She really needs to control her anger, as opposed to Charlie. Really liked the first chapter.
  • anna brown commented on :
    3/31/2016 2:03:27 AM
    Hello good day, i will like to meet you in person, am miss Anna, am from France and am leaving in London, please contact me on my email id at (annh1brown@hotmail.com), ... Show More
  • Joe Green commented on :
    2/12/2016 8:32:24 PM
    This first chapter has really grabbed my attention- I'm looking forward to delving deeper into this.
  • Ellen Dearing commented on :
    1/15/2016 6:27:51 AM
    Really enjoyed this! Looking forward to seeing how these two characters are developed!
  • Andre Clemons commented on :
    12/1/2015 5:41:40 AM
    I've had this serial in my bookshelf for a while, but am just now getting around to reading it...and now I can't wait to catch up. Drew apparently has some issues...and ... Show More
  • A S commented on :
    11/30/2015 4:48:16 AM
    I like the start here. The writing is slick and has a nice touch of humor. Great characterization of Drew. A delightfully unhinged character. I like her already!
  • Dev Chatterji commented on :
    10/24/2015 2:12:07 AM
    Great start to the weekend. I've been wanting to read these chapters back to back for some time. Excited.
  • Geoffrey Ng commented on :
    6/24/2015 5:44:25 PM
    I like the introduction of the two characters, Drew and Charlie. You did a good job of showing, not telling, and the prose is fluid in most places.
  • Leigh Everette commented on :
    3/10/2015 8:56:17 AM
    WTF Drew seems positively psychotic. I sort of like this idea of a mentally unstable main character. You have my attention.
  • Ryan Watt commented on :
    8/3/2014 3:29:29 PM
    Alternate title for chapter: Drew and the Terrible, Horrible, Very-Bad, No-Good Day. Although it does seem like she brought that all on herself. The juxtaposition between ... Show More
  • Conni Byron commented on :
    7/25/2014 12:46:01 PM
    Intense opening chapter. I really want to know more about her character and what she has done. Charlie seem completely opposite. I like your character building. Very ... Show More
  • F.A Carrillo commented on :
    4/3/2014 10:02:59 AM
    Promising start. Added and voted.
  • Stella Purple commented on :
    2/8/2014 6:09:19 AM
    Hi. I was wondering if you would mind taking a look at my story? And even perhaps endorse it?
  • Ashley Nicole Andrus commented on :
    9/18/2013 9:20:36 PM
    Ooooh! This is pretty good so far~ I'm sure more plot will unfold through the next chapter. I'm curious as to who the chica is in the first scene. I'm hoping she plays an ... Show More
    • Robert C Roman Thank you so much for reading, and for the compliment!
      9/19/2013 9:47:16 AM