I’m taking part in the StoryADay September 2015 challenge. The main reason being to explore my characters from the Morgan and Fairchild Series. I will endeavour to incorporate the daily prompts, though, as it’s a continued tale, it’s not strictly a story a day. It’s more a story within a story. I’ve given myself a word limit of 600 words.
Prompt: Sept 9th – Write a story based on Gabriel Fauré’s “Pavane.”
Recap: Justin Chambers, part of the team at Morgan & Fairchild, is approached by a friend who needs a favour. Justin accepts the missing person case, and agrees to look into it in his own time.
Justin listened to the steady rhythm of Paul’s heart monitor. There were other sounds, accompaniments which belonged to the precise and orchestrated movements of the nursing staff. Beneath that he detected the hushed tones of relatives walking to and from the ward, and the hiss and buzz of machines working their magic.
The atmosphere was subdued, a quiet, painful melody that gave Justin an appreciation of the intricate dance of those around him.
He rubbed his hands over his face, trying to rid himself of the melancholy. His mind often drifted to the architecture of life; those inner workings he enjoyed to study and dissect. It was a coping strategy, and the hospital was a complicated system he couldn’t help but admire.
Justin jumped to his feet, jolted by the welcome sound of Paul’s voice. “Hey, buddy. You gave us quite a fright.”
“I’m sorry.” Paul swallowed, and his eyes flickered shut. “Olly’s dead.”
Paul’s eyes opened. They held such raw emotion Justin wanted to look away.
“I visited the shelter, just to check in… you know. I was worried about him.” He stared past Justin, and his expression became haunted. “He was hit by a car. The police…they found a card in his pocket and they…” Paul’s words trailed off.
Justin could fill in the blanks. “I’m so sorry.” He didn’t know what else to say; words seemed inadequate.
“Thanks.” He met Justin’s eyes. “I appreciate all you tried to do. It means a lot that you wanted to help.”
Justin wanted to remind him that he still had a job to do, that there were others still at risk. But it wasn’t the time. “Anything you need, Paul. I mean it.” He placed a hand on his friend’s arm. “When you get out of here, I want you to stay with me for a while.”
Paul nodded, a small smile tugging at his lips. “You always look out for me.”
“We look out for each other.” It was the absolute truth. Their lives had taken many different turns, but they had sworn to protect one another as children. Justin learned about friendship and honour long before he joined the army.
“You never give up on me.” Paul’s voice was sleepy, the words slurred.
“I’ll never give up on you.”
Or those kids.
Justin’s instincts told him that, whatever had happened to Paul’s friend, there was a real threat out there. Someone was targeting vulnerable teenagers. It was a conviction JJ would appreciate – a man who lived by his gut.
When he detected the change in Paul’s breathing, the slow and easy rhythm of sleep, he pulled the chair closer and sat down to wait. This time his mind was quiet and, after a few minutes, he felt his own eyes begin to close. It had been a long night.
Thanks for stopping by.