Dimitri lay in a restless heap. His body paralyzed with apathy and his heart to hopeless for him to try to move. The shadow of the bars criss-crossed over his face and all Dimitri could do was lay and listen to the faint scratching on the walls and the sound of a television in the distance.
Slowly and silently the Whisperers came into view. Dimitri saw them dancing in the small flickers of moonlight through his barred window. He heard them scheming there next move and he knew they wanted him to hear.
“Oh Jackie! Only he’d listened to us!”
“Yes and now Miss Sunshine will pay the price.”
“Shall she die in her sleep?”
“Oh no! That’s much too peaceful!”
“Yes. Miss Sunshine needs pain for misleading our Jack.”
“Let her suffocate in her own blood.”
“Let her bones rattle across her dying lungs.”
“Oh yes. Jackie boy is ours and only ours.”
“The pigmies will blame her death on Jackie boy.”
“Then we will all be a happy family.”
“Jackie, us and the darkness.”
“Forever in the dark.”
“No more Miss. Sunshine.”
“Only Jackie and the dark.”
A menacing giggle escaped from where the words came from. Dimitri felt his heart harden and tears stain his face. Silvia would die from her accident. He would be blamed for her death and he would go to prison for manslaughter or maybe even murder if the Whisperers wished it. A cold crept through his body and he knew he had only one way to save her from his haunts. But he pushed this cold away from him as soon as it came. There had to be another way out of this. There had to be!
Dimitri jumped upon the cell bed and using all his strength, pulled on the thick bars cemented to the windowpane. Years of struggled emotion poured out of him through his biceps until he heard the cement begin to crack and ripped one of the bars out of place. Like a madman he beat at the metal door until the bars were warped. Dimitri could hardly hear the Whisperers laughter through the pounding of his pulse in his ears. He screamed as he pulled the bars apart, twisting and molding them without thought or hesitation. Finally he pushed them apart far enough to reach the lock. Luckily he had an advantage. The jail hadn’t switched to automatic doors; unfortunately it required a key. Dimitri picked up a thin piece of broken metal and, with the last of his adrenaline, forged himself a pick.
After working for several minutes with a rapid impatience that compelled him, Dimtiri pulled open the door. It slid easily open and when Dimitri’s feet hit the floor outside of his cell a realization hit him full force. I just broke out of jail! This thought excelled him and he ran quickly through the halls, hoping to God that he wouldn’t meet anyone on the way.
His hopes were false.
He stumbled along, passing doorways and other cells. The occasional prisoner yelled out to him as he passed but he heard none of it. Dimitri thought he was going to make it until out of a doorway in front of him came a guard. Dimitri crashed into him at a full run and hit the floor in shock. With slow motion vision he watched the guard pick up his walkie-talkie and call for backup. Dimitri was frozen with fear and could only watch as men filled the hallway. He scrambled to his knees and made an attempt to go in the opposite direction but was met only with thick hands of police officers smashing him to the concrete.
“He was a weapon. Get it from him now!”
Dimitri heard this and was confused until he saw the metal bar he had carried with him from his cell. He raised it high before he knew what he was doing. The guards held fast with their taser guns and Dimitri felt the electric shock course through his body. The volts raced through him and he felt the metal bar fly out of his hand toward the man who tased him. He didn’t see what happened but when he regained his wits he saw his target had been hit in the face and blood ran down the victims nose. Dimitri only saw this for a second before he was beat down again. Blunt forces bruised his body and his head hit the concrete floor. Slowly darkness covered Dimitri’s vision, and he was rendered unconscious.
Silvia didn’t open her eyes when she woke. The humming of machines filled her ears and above her, she knew, were florescent lights. Hospital rooms make me sick. And yet here I am. Wait….why? The hours passed ran through her mind and she remembered Dimitri locked in jail. He told me about the car accident so long ago. Why are the voices out to get me!?
When she sat up and a sickening sensation filled her head so she lay back down. Her bandaged fingers were numb and her body was stiff. Silvia felt her cracked ribs with her fingertips. Pain shot through her body. There was no way to escape this without facing the terrible pain. Without raising her head, she slid her legs out from under her blankets and her feet dangled limp over the edge of her hospital bed.
God give me strength. I only want to help. Silvia sat up and steadied herself. A wave of nausea swept over her and her throbbing temples slowed her down. As quickly as she could Silvia calmly looked around the room. Next to her bed a bottle of Morphine capsules sat next to a tall glass of water on the table. Too bad it would me a zombie. It could seriously help me out right now otherwise. What else is around here? In the corner she spied a folded wheel chair. This should be interesting. . . Silvia stood and she felt her knees weaken under her weight. She held tight to the bed frame and then to the nightstand. She worked her way to the corner and reached the wheel chair safely. Folding it out was a task that occupied several minutes but after much fumbling and lost strength, Silvia found herself sitting and mobile.
She pushed her arms to work the large wheels until she was moving steadily across the room. She door opened easily, and she began to roll down the large white hallway. After a few minutes a young man walked out of the side rooms and bumped into her chair. The doctor opened his mouth to speak but she beat him to it with a large fake smile.
“Excuse me. I’m sorry but I would much appreciate it if you would be so kind as to direct me to the lost and found.”
“What exactly are you looking for?”
“I lost a book and I get so tired of sitting in that room with nothing to do. I had the book with me when I got into my little accident and the nurse said it was probably in the lost and found.” The lies came out of Silvia’s mouth and surprised her as much as the doctor believed her.
“Why didn’t you ask the nurse to get it for you. I’m sure she would have.”
“I wouldn’t want to trouble her. I can do it myself. Where exactly is the lost and found?”
The doctor smiled. In his youthful face, ignorance showed through clearly.
“Down the hall and take a left. Pass the desk clerk and take a right. Ask for your book and Charlene will give it to you if it’s there.”
Silvia put on her fake smile and the doctor walked away. Now to get out of this horrible hospital gown. The rest of the trip took more work but fewer interruptions. Charlene showed her into a small room filled with cardboard boxes. The receptionist had a phone call so she left Silvia alone in the room.
As quickly as she could, Silvia searched for decent clothes. In the end she decided upon a fuzzy purple sweater and black sweat pants, both of which hid her bandages on her torso very well. She tied her hair back and put on a pair of worn out flats. Had she not had her hands bandaged and the wheelchair for support, she would have looked like a visitor.
On her way out, Silvia passed Charlene, who, by the look on her face as she focused on her magazine, didn’t take any notice. She followed the hall signs until she came to the front doors. No one looked at her strangely when she rolled out of the hospital in her wheelchair.
Having gone three blocks, Silvia stopped to rest her arms. The cold crept through her lumpy sweater and chilled everything not covered in thick cotton bandages. She closed her eyes and thought about Dimitri locked in his cell. He tried to save my life and now he is locked up because I wasn’t careful. Silvia sat quietly on the sidewalk and waited for something to happen. Very suddenly a horn sounded on the street next to her and she saw a familiar face.
“Sil! What you doin’ out? You’re posed to be in the hospital righ now! Look at you!”
“Donny! Oh my God! Help me! Get me out of this thing! We need to go see Dimitri! He’s in jail for conspiracy! They are trying to blame him for the plane crash and my car accident. Oh, get me out of this stupid thing!”
Confused as Donny was, he got out of the car and helped her out of the wheelchair. Silvia stumbled to the door and got in the passenger seat. Once the wheelchair was folded and in his trunk they made their way to the city jail.
“Okay. So what be goin’ on wit you girl? Where’s Dem now? I ain’t heard from him in a long while and the Big B is gettin’ pretty annoyed.”
“The details would take up to much time. He’s locked up in jail and we need to get him out!”
“Oh yeah? Well what’s his bail? I’ll get him out but he gonna owe me big for it.”
“Um. Well, he doesn’t have bail just yet.”
“Then we can’t get him out just yet huh?”
“No. We need to get him now.” Silvia said this nervously, hoping Donny wouldn’t back down from helping her.
“You saying you wanna break him out of the house or somethin? Girl I thought you was crazy for walking in front of a car but now I know you lost it!”
The brick-red building came into view. The parking lot was almost empty of cars but people swarmed the grass and sidewalk.
Silvia stuck her head out of her window, craning her neck to catch the eye of a passerby. “What’s going on?”
An anxious looking woman with red hair and vivid freckles answered her from a few feet away. “Someone tried to break out and now they have the place on lock down! I’m just trying to get a story for the tribune!”
Silvia and Donny exchanged worried looks.
Donny answered her unspoken question almost immediately. “No way girl. That can’t be my man Dem! He ain’t that stupid!”
“He got to jail didn’t he? That’s stupid on it’s own!”
“Not always! I known plenty a people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time!”
Silvia rolled her eyes and looked away. She hoped with all her might that Dimitri was ok.
A sudden scream erupted from Dimitri as he woke suddenly. Remembering the last few hours he let all his rage come bursting out of him. The cold tears were replaced by burning ones and in agony he let it all go. He had to see Silvia again. He had to be with her before he did the only thing to save her and anyone else who had been a victim of the Whisperers. Dimitri’s bruised body sent thudding pain to his brain. Sobs continued to pour out of him into the air as if he was finally releasing the demons that haunted him. His wails declined slowly as he slumped to the floor in sheer defeat. And before he knew it he heard his broken voice cry out to his silent captors.
“OK! Ok. I give up. Please don’t hurt her!”
Dimitri was met by silence. Then out of the darkness he heard one of them breathing, then joined by others until the group was too numerous for Dimitri to count.
“Oh what a grand day this is!”
“Our Jack has finally ended his silence to us!”
“Our Jack will release himself from the awful grasp of the light and his Miss Sunshine!”
“DON”T HURT HER!!” Dimitri scream pierced the air.
“No. Our Jack means more to us to Miss Sunshine.”
“Miss Sunshine will dwell in the light for as long as Jackie wishes.”
Calmed by these words Dimitri stood and limped to the door of his cell. His body gave out under him and he collapsed in front of the entrance to his cage. The guard was lost in an unearthly sleep while sitting on an uncomfortable looking chair. A Whisperers coma.
“I need to get out. Get me out and I will do what you want.” His voice held no pride, only pain.
Silence was left after he spoke.
“OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!”
Giggles bounced around the room as the door creaked open slowly and then hit the wall with a clang. Dimitri stepped out into the open. He knew this time he would meet no one in the halls and the guard will sleep as long as need be. The Whisperers were on his side now.
Just as Dimitri had thought, he met with no obstacles when walking out of the jail. He didn’t want to think of what had become of them so he kept his mind clear and an eerie calm surrounded him.
The walk to the hospital seemed like it took hours to Dimitri. He passed the library where just last week he walked in to pick up for the mysterious “Harris” and the coffee shop where he ate his breakfast. The life he had lived looked so tame and pointless in his eyes as he passed the places that he had looked at as sanctuaries. The Whisperers were silently toying with him. He realized this when he felt tears streak down his face. They didn’t want him to back down. He had no intention of doing so.
The hospital came into view and Dimitri trudged toward it like he was being pulled. The gray-white building matched the sky and the wind was pushing him toward his destination and his fate. Even nature has turned against me. Rain started to trickle down from the endless sky and the drops whipped his face. So this is how it ends. Lovely.
The automatic doors welcomed him and Dimitri kept his steady pace persistent. He walked up to the front desk and politely asked for the room number of miss Silvia Swanson.
“Miss Swanson is in room 384. Would you like me to help you find that?”
“ Thank you, but no thank you.”
In a trance-like state, Dimitri continued down the hall. The elevator opened as he passed it but he moved his body forward, willing himself to take the stairs.
Well this should be pleasant. I am not going to tell her. But how will I do it? What will I say to her? “Sorry babe but I got to kill myself!” Yeah right. No, this is not going to be good. But it has to be done. It’s the only way because I’m out of options.
The staircase finally ended and opened into another hallway with soft colors and whitewashed ceilings. Reminds me of my old ward. Home sweet home. Absentmindedly Dimitri counted the rooms until he got to the one he was looking for. The window that looked into the room was paned thick, and inside the bed lay empty. Dimitri opened the door cautiously and looked around. A television was stuck to the ceiling, and floral patterned chairs sit in the corner. The bed was unmade and it looked as though its occupant had suddenly got up and left. A bottle of painkillers sit on the nightstand next to the bed, and Dimitri knew they were hers. Silvia was gone.
Dimitri walked into the room and he heard the door shut from behind him. The click of a lock broke the silence and abrupt laughter consumed the room.
“Oh is our little Jackie boy sad?”
“Look to the left!”
“Yes the happy candy!”
“It will make you feel all better!”
“No more pain for our Jack!”
“No more pain forever!”
Tears streaked down Dimitri’s face. This was it. Dimitri picked up the bottle and read it carefully. Only two were required for six hours. He didn’t need to think about what happened if he took twenty. God forgive me.