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Doll Face(8)

By:C.M. Stunich


“Your sister's dead.”

In the movies, hospitals always shut down at night, and it's real fuckin' easy for the characters to sneak out of their rooms and prowl around. I don't even make it out of bed.

“Miss Saints,” the nurse exclaims when she comes in to check on me and finds me collapsing to the white linoleum floor. “What on earth are you doing?” she growls as she moves up behind me and hits her hand to a button on the wall. Within fifteen seconds, two more of the bitches appear and drag me back into my bed, upping my medication while I scream slang phrases at them that I'm not even sure I understand.

“Go suck pond water, you buggering bushies!” I wail as I let them hook me back up to the machines. I don't even fight. Why bother? A drugged up bitch with a bullet wound is hardly any match for these crazy ladies in their teal colored scrubs, faces hard as stone. I thought nurses were supposed to be nice? “You think you're the cat's pajamas? You're nothing but a cattle duffer,” I growl at one of them. She gives me a look and a raised eyebrow. Yeah, I know I'm not making any sense, but I just found out my sister's dead, and I'm hyped up on God only knows what. I ain't making any excuses. I spit at one of them and she jerks back, mouth agape. “Put that in your juice box and suck all over it.” I kick my legs, but the motion only causes me pain, so I quit that pretty quick. “I want to see Ronnie,” I tell them, but they're not listening to me anymore, not even when tears begin to fall down my face and soak into the neck of my hospital gown. “My sister's dead,” I tell them, but they're already on their way out. “I'll make sure to leave something good in the bedpan for you, you scum dog bitches!”

I sink into the pillows and squeeze my eyes shut, fully prepared to spend a miserable night alone.

“Lola?” My attention snaps to the door and a smiling face belonging to Sydney Charell. She slips inside and moves over to the edge of the bed. I don't know the woman all that well, but I like her, enough that as soon as her fingers curl around mine, I start to sob. “Shh,” she whispers, brushing back my hair. I wonder how the hell she got in here. At this point, I'm well aware of the guards that are sitting outside my door. I decide not to even ask. Who cares?

“Ronnie?” I ask her as she tucks my head against her chest and pats my cheek.

“He's fine, everyone in Indecency is okay,” she ventures, and I know she's thinking about my sister, too. “Naomi's just been moved out of surgery, but she's still in critical condition.” I close my eyes and try not to think worst case scenario.

“How many people are dead?” I whisper as Sydney takes a step back. I feel like a smashed crab next to her, snot pouring from my nose, hair tangled, bare foot and dressed in an ass-less hospital gown. Sydney's makeup is perfect, lips rouged in a purple red, tattoos hidden by a long sleeved black sweater and some tight jeans with crazy amazing purple heels.

“Four,” she says and then rushes to fill in the blanks. “Stephen, America, Joel, and … ” She doesn't bother to finish her sentence. She doesn't need to. We both know what name goes in that particular blank. Poppet. My heart constricts and squeezes a few last tears down my face. I promise myself after that that I won't cry anymore. What's the fucking point? Poppet was dead long before she physically passed away. Hell, the girl I knew shriveled away in France before she ever showed up here. Can't give Stephen/Tyler all the credit. “I came here because I knew they were probably keeping you in the dark.” Sydney looks around at the shadowed room. Stupid bitch nurses turned the lights off on me when they left. “Didn't know that was a literal thought.”

“Give it to me, babe. All of it. Tell me what special brand of shit's been smeared across the wall of my life. I want to hear it.” I sniffle and wipe my arm under my nose. Sydney sighs and looks around for something to sit on. There's an ugly chair in the corner, clean but covered in a fabric that I'd label baby puke pink. She drags this over next to the bed and sits down with a sigh, pulling off her heels and tucking her legs up by her side. “I wasn't going to ask, but fuck it, I want to know anyway. How'd you get in here?”

A smile lights Sydney's lips, but not a happy one, a twist of her mouth that says she's resigned to her station in life, even if she really does want something better.

“A wad of green I got from cashing one of my brother's checks plus breast implants and some sweet talking equals free entry. And that's just for the hospital staff. Brayden's people let me in without taking a dollar. Somehow though, I feel like the price I'm going to pay is a hell of a lot higher.”