This is the continuation of a story. You can read the rest here.
When I wake up, I’m alone in a tiny car and I can’t feel my legs. Great. I’m paralyzed in a compact car. This is not what Mrs. Foster was talking about in elementary school when she told my parents that I had a lot of potential.
I can’t see out the windows. They’re all fogged up. I throw my sleeve at the closest one and see that I am outside my office. The car door opens with a pathetic tinny sound and I try to unfold myself from the pygmy deathtrap Bets calls a car. Having been origami’d for so long, my legs refuse to work in the proper way the manufacturer intended, so I pour myself onto the sidewalk instead.
I lie there for a bit, wondering how I arrived at the particular station where lying on a sidewalk in daytime while completely sober is a thing that I do now. In my mind’s eye, I see the furrowed brow on Mrs. Foster’s face, normally directed at Scott Wilson.
Walking is something I can theoretically do. It would be awfully silly if someone named Walker Drake couldn’t walk. I’d have to change my name to Francis. One foot in front of the other, primate.
By the time I make it upstairs, the blood has returned to my legs and brought with it the pain I am rightfully owed after getting conked on the head, crashing off a cliff, then mountaineering aforementioned cliff. Bets is sitting at her desk. Shamus jumps on me, which doesn’t help in my effort to stay vertical. “Why didn’t you wake me up?”
“I did. You growled and tried to bite me. I don’t mean that figuratively, but a real growl-bite like a wild animal.” She makes claws of her hands and bares her teeth in a snarl, which is probably meant to be menacing, but lands somewhere around adorable. “I don’t get paid enough for rabies shots.”
“You’d make a terrible soldier, Bets. A shower is in order.” The clothes I’m wearing would make a hobo smell fresh as daisies in comparison. I always loved the word hobo. When I was a kid, I wanted to be one, complete with a bundle at the end of a stick. I don’t want to be a hobo now though, so I go to my adjoining apartment to take a shower, which actually does make me feel more human just like the soap commercials show us. I’ve always found that not being covered in pee is a better way to start the day. Actually, today is the first time I’ve found that to be true, but it still counts.
“So, Bets, what’s the word? Where’s the coffee?” I hobble over to the coffee maker and find enough lukewarm liquid for about two gulps.
“The word is depressing and make more coffee. Abel called with a quote. You’re not going to like it.”
“The guy in the mountains who saved your life and is fixing your car, dingus.”
“That’s no way to talk to your employer. Did you hear from our client?”
“Nope. The last place he was seen was here and I haven’t found out what happened to him next. I’ve got Macky out looking.”
“We have the original missing girl, plus a newly missing client, rounded out by a bunch of goons who are probably still intent on killing me, and we have no idea why any of this is happening in the first place.”
“So, just another day then. ” I sit down at my desk to make some calls. The delicious sound of coffee percolates in the background. I decide to wait for it to finish first. It’s going to be a long day.