The Vagrant – Episode XX

Groggy, head throbbing, Christopher reluctantly opened his eyes again.  Only one person sat before him and she was only a pressing reminder of his failure.  He had been in blissful ignorance all the painful days of his journey since that accident, as to how much more shamed he could be in life and now he lay in a hospital room.  Alive.  A failure.   Everything inside him, slow moving as it was, turned about and seemed to say he needed to own this as well.  That to deny culpability, his own conscious action and what it had wrought, would mean a loss of self he had yet to experience.  So strange to lay in a hospital bed being angry at life, at the person who made sure he still had it and still not knowing what he would do next.

“I know how you feel,” she said.

The voice was quiet, a dark, hoarse whisper that had him reflexively inclining his head, eyes drawn to the pale face and then her feet as she walked slowly to the door and closed it.  Her movements were stiff, awkward, hands almost twitchy as she smoothed the sheet on his bed.  She was as captivating to him as he thought any demon should be – a lure meant to ensnare with comfort and deny choice.  And so he was, he ruefully acknowledged, captivated.  She began with telling him how she found him, how she knew what he had set out to do and, finally, how she withheld that information from the authorities when she called for help.

At her pause he looked down upon his wrists and saw no restraints present.  Frowning, he looked up at her and tried to speak, only to find no voice.  Susan nodded sympathetically, a concerned line appearing on her forehead as she answered the question he had been unable to ask.

“I didn’t want you to know those chains.  I also want you to still have a choice.”

He shook his head, mouth opening wide to scream obscenities, to mock her idea of respecting choice and was greeted with a chirp.  His fist bounced off the mattress as he struck it, shocking her into removing her hand from the edge and pulling back slightly.  Seething he looked upon her and saw the iron clad resolve upon her face.  No trace of doubt or remorse.

“Christopher, I have a proposal for you but, first, I want to tell you the rest of my story.”

Another piece of the puzzle will fall into place on Thursday as we find out more of Susan’s past.  Please come back and check it out!

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