Kindling 1.5

August 15th 2014 – Molly

Beep… Beep… Beep…

Something was making noises. How rude, some of us were trying to sleep… It should shut it’s pie hole… Or I would… I drifted off again.

Everything was fuzzy. Not the bad fuzzy like when a shag rug tries to eat you, but the good fuzzy. And it was warm… Except my toes, those were cold. I snuggled up and started to fall back asleep. Then I stopped. I wasn’t dead. I’m not dead! I’M NOT DEAD MOTHERFUCKER!

I tried to jump out of bed. It didn’t work all that well, I had a cast on my right shin and forearm, so I just ended up kinda rolling to the right and slamming my head into the bed rail. Bed rail? I finally looked around and took stock of my situation. I was in a hospital. The room was kinda dingy, the walls and most of the fixtures had been painted white, in another lifetime. Now all the paint was yellowing, peeling in an unsanitary looking sort of way. I was lying in a raised bed in the center of the room, bars on both sides of the bed keeping me from falling out. There were cabinets everywhere, filled with all sorts of medical supplies. Another botched job, another shitty hospital.

I was attached to a monitor on my right by a bunch of wires, and to an IV bag on my left. Pretty normal for a hospital. I also wasn’t handcuffed to the bed rails, which is a bit of a first for me. Normally when I lose consciousness and wake up in a hospital, the police have at least a few questions for me. I was wearing one of those silly looking greeny-blue and white hospital gowns with the weird print. And bandages, lots of bandages. I was pretty much a mummy under my gown, and I felt about as flexible as one. The bandages chafed uncomfortably whenever I tried to move. I started looking through the cabinets behind me, as much as I could without pulling off my leads. I had to get out of here soon, I couldn’t afford another ridiculous hospital bill.

I removed the tape keeping my IV in place. The bag was finished anyway. Then I pulled out the catheter, and slipped a pad of sterile gauze on it. After giving it a moment to stop bleeding I wrapped it in the sticky gauze. I’ve had some practice with this sort of thing, way too many of my jobs have ended with me in a hospital with no memory of the last week. At least it wasn’t a central line. I’d removed one of those before, in front of a mirror. I bled like a stuck pig all over my bedroom. It was bad. My landlord had not been happy with the large bleach spot in the middle of the carpet.

My clothes were nowhere to be found. Which was hardly surprising. If they hadn’t been burned, I would have been a bit surprised. And I’d probably need to find them and burn them, ugh, that’d be a pain. Another thing on my to-do list. If I didn’t… I shivered, bad things happened to people who were careless about bodily fluids. In the magical world, unintended pregnancy was by far the least of your worries. People leaving body fluids willy-nilly found themselves turned into ghouls, targets of curses, tracked, influenced, compelled, stuck in mirrors, and generally in unpleasant situations. One of the few upsides of relying on pyromancy is that it often renders that sort of thing a bit of a non-issue.

I’d miss that jacket though… I suppose it was a bit gaudy, but it had been warm. It was also a nice reminder of one of my more bad-ass moments, it had belonged to some poor hothead midget biker. I liberated it from him after we had a disagreement regarding the disposition of a certain goblin. I also liberated the goblin. And his wallet. I’d wanted to take his bike too, but I gave up on that pretty quick. My first attempt to ride it ended with me taking a turn too slowly and sliding clear across the other lane into a ditch. Ever since then, get a class M license and steal a bike has been on my to-do list. It’s somewhere below pay rent and somewhere above get health insurance.

I checked out the chart at the foot of my bed, more out of curiosity than anything else. It was nice to find a hospital that still used paper charts. Trying to walk behind the nurses station in a patient’s gown was always so very awkward. I was registered as ‘Jane Doe’, that made sense, my wallet was in my backpack. Which was burned to a crisp. Shit, now I needed a new passport. Well, new new ones. That was an actual passport, I just happened to have had more than one. I’d lost passports and licenses before, enough so that I’d started buying them in bulk. I knew a guy who knew a guy who had some poor government official charmed so badly he thought was forging passports for God. I’m not sure how that works, or why the big guy would need a U.S. Passport, but the guy will copy your passport for a few hundred bucks. Anyway, that was my last fake passport. I had the original in some safe somewhere, or maybe in a filing cabinet. Look, it’s somewhere, and probably in my apartment. Probably. I’m not all that big on organization.

Anyway, the chart said I had suffered four broken ribs, pulmonary contusions on two lobes of my left lung, a closed displaced fracture of my right ulna, contusions across most of my abdomen and thorax, and an open shaft fracture of my right tibia. My head CT was clear, according to the note. I suppose that’s a plus, it’d be kinda anticlimactic to survive yesterday just to go and die from a brain bleed. However, the chart was kind of worrying. Not the injuries, those weren’t too bad, particularly considering what I’d been through. I was more worried why my injuries weren’t more severe. There was blood everywhere on the runway, way too much to be just from some scrapes and one open fracture… There weren’t all that many options. I suppose I could have suddenly developed some sort of superhuman healing ability, but lets face it, the universe doesn’t like me that much. Or my chart could be faked, unlikely, since I would still have those injuries… My memory could be wrong, but I didn’t have any head injuries… It might be possible to alter memories with magic, but I’m not sure how that works. It’d be futile to consider anyway, if I can’t trust my memory, I’m screwed. That leaves the most likely possibility, given who was left standing at the end of the fight on the runway. Less-than-divine intervention…

Not good. Not good at all. I couldn’t remember the exact wording of my deal with the demon, but it was starting to look more and more like he had taken several miles in addition to the explicitly offered inch. I didn’t even want to consider the strings that might to attached to being physically healed by a demon. I’m pretty sure that’s how several strains of vampirism got started, that’s one of the few factoids that stuck with me from all those lectures on the history of the magical world. I needed to find a priest really fucking soon and figure out what the hell was going on. Demons were the Serbian loan sharks of the supernatural world. Except, instead of breaking your legs and stealing your kidneys, they slowly corrupted you into a horrible unholy abomination and ruined everything you ever loved. And then they made you watch them eat kittens. So, priest, I need one, asap. I don’t like priests, they’re all hypocritical assholes. But, hating lawyers doesn’t make it a good idea to defend yourself in court. Same principle applies.

I got out of bed, and smoothed the covers as best I could. I silenced the alarms on my monitor, then started pulling the cardiac leads off my limbs. I pitched the leads, and hung the blood pressure cuff and pulse-ox back on the hanger by the monitor. I was about to ditch a hospital without paying, no need to be an ass about it. There wasn’t any bag of personal stuff in my room, and I couldn’t exactly ask a nurse.  I’d just have to hope for the best on that count

I straightened my gown, and walked out through the curtain onto the hospital floor.  First I saw the beds. And then I saw the television screen.

God… What the hell have I done…

(For more of Turniper’s work, please visit )


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