9.0 Inside a Yellow Room

by Matt P.

Chapter 9: Meanwhile…

“I haaaaate this hospitaaaal,” Siobhan grumbled from the back seat of the minivan as they pulled in to the parking lot. “I got jumped by death and we had to shank a demon in this hospital and it was scaaaary,” she continued to whine, kicking the back of the driver’s seat in a surly fashion. Antigone, seated beside her sister, watched with a smirk at the antics.

“One, that sounds like the most metal thing that has ever happened to anyone,” Monica pointed out as she parked the car neatly in a spot, “So why are you complaining about it? Second, you’re the ones who called us to go to the hospital. We were happily hanging out at my house doing homework when we got your call. We all could have stayed home. Second, stop kicking my goddamn seat.”

Siobhan paused in thought at the first part, and then shrugged. “Alright, when I describe it that way it is pretty metal, but we were freaking terrified when it was happening. Like an Ozzy concert, but he was trying to bite off my head instead.”

“We are all of us too young to know what an Ozzy concert is like,” Lacey pointed out mildly as she unbuckled and opened her door.

“And my lady-like posterior you were ‘doing homework’,” Siobhan finished teasingly as she launched herself out of the side door of the car, drawing indignant noises from the two girls who had been in the front of the car and a laugh from Antigone as she too exited. Antigone leaned over as Siobhan came around the car as if looking for something or examining something in great detail, before she shook her head.

“Nope, it’s about as lady like as all the rest of you,” Antigone proclaimed, and now it was Siobhan’s turn to make indignant noises and the others to laugh. Siobhan glared, and then leaned down to re-tie one of the laces on her boots casually.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, I am the very picture of feminine grace,” she responded, turning a little pirouette that was more impressive because of the footwear. Rather than responding, each of the other girls just clapped and then started walking toward the hospital. “And we couldn’t stay at home, not when Annie had a vision.”

Monica and Lacey shared a look, which the sisters were almost universally coming to interpret as ‘the look people get when they reflect on how strange it is that their life includes visions now’, before sighing. “And was it vitally important that we be here, or were we just the transportation? Are we going to find notes with our names on them again?” Lacey asked. It was a relevant concern, as the last time they had been involved in nighttime extra-curricular activities it had involved breaking in to the shop of a not-psychic and being attacked by terrorists.

Siobhan shrugged at that as they stepped up to the door of the hospital. “We don’t even know where Gabriel is, since the battle of the High School. And the way Annie described the vision it was a little more…impressionist than realistic?” She looked over to her sister for confirmation.

Antigone stopped in the doorway, shivering suddenly. The vision hadn’t been specific images, but it had come to her in a sudden wave when she was laying in her bed reading a school assignment. Fear, absolute terror that made her gasp for air and break out in a cold sweat, and the knowledge that something bad was going to happen. After she was able to breathe again, she had known deep inside of her that it was going to happen at the hospital. And that it would be worse if she wasn’t there.

“No, I didn’t get specific images,” Antigone breathed, walking forward again after a moment and reaching out to rub her arms for warmth. She sighed, pausing with Siobhan to look around the entrance to the hospital and shaking her head. “We do need to at least get people taken to other hospitals though, why shouldn’t we get to have traumatic experiences at every hospital in the city?”

Antigone knew where they were going without bothering to ask, because they had been there earlier in the day and they knew that was where they had to end up. A room off of pediatrics, which had so many fantastic memories for them both, in a yellow room where a girl was slumbering. They walked that way in silence, not even Siobhan popping off comments as they did. A tension continued to rise in Antigone’s shoulders and spine as they walked, tightening and clenching to see what sort of horrible thing would await them, when she stopped suddenly in the hall. Siobhan stopped too, and a moment later so did Lacey and Monica who were following a step behind—they hadn’t been to the hospital earlier in the day, so they didn’t know where the room was.

“Scotty?” Antigone asked, blinking owlishly. The young man was coming out of a room in the same wing they were headed to, and she would have sworn she saw a look of surprise flicker over his features before they settled back in to his habitual grin. Self-proclaimed World Class Hottie and alliteration enthusiast Scotty ‘The Body’ Rivotti walked toward them and offered a melodramatic little bow when he got close.

“The hero of the city, and entourage,” he offered before anyone else spoke, before he laughed at Monica’s raised eyebrows. “Squad? Partners? Co-conspirators? What are you all doing here so late when I know there are tests in just about everyone’s future?” Antigone considered him for a moment, noting how quick he had been to take control of the conversation. She wasn’t going to say anything, and fortunately for her she could always rely on Siobhan to say something just as quick.

“Giving condolences to a victim of backyard wrestling?” Siobhan asked with a smirk. As the not actually self appointed King of their High School, Siobhan had an almost contractual obligation to poke some fun at him—even though they actually got along well every time they interacted. Scotty matched her smirk with one of his own, shrugging.

“You know how it is, a throw goes a little bit wrong and you have to give your buddy a visit in the hospital,” Scotty bragged, shrugging. And bring them flowers? Antigone thought, noticing him surreptitiously palming a petal from his sleeve and tucking it in to his pocket. “And now to provide an honor guard to wherever you’re going, so I can ignore my own homework.”

Siobhan shot her a look, and Antigone offered an artless shrug. Scotty had been there the night they went to Gabriel Shepherd’s shop, and the athletic young man had been a help; plus he was enjoyable to be around. Fear gnawed at the pit of her stomach at the thought of involving even more innocent people in to what could be a terrible evening, but she couldn’t find the words to say no to him.

“Thank you, Scotty,” she offered instead, holding out her arm for him to take in escort, if he recognized the gesture. He apparently did and took it with another overly gentlemanly bow, as they walked toward the room they intended to visit. It hadn’t changed from the outside, but the moment they stepped in they saw something had indeed happened.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” the pale girl on the bed spoke, her voice hoarse but her eyes open and alert.