The cop said they found Turner’s daughter, but she wasn’t at the Palo Alto PD, she was in Emergency at Stanford Medical. It was bad. Even over the phone, the cop couldn’t conceal the anguish in his voice. Real bad.
Turner told his driver to take the Rolls right up to the Emergency entrance. Three car-accident victims were also coming through, their twisted limbs spelling out some terrible omen.
There had been other hospitals, other calls from Emergency, and Turner had come for her. From the boardroom, making hasty exits from important meetings, he had always come. Anger and displeasure with her had long ago replaced most of the worry. He thought of himself, self-righteously, as fulfilling his fatherly duties at moments like these. He wondered what crazy prank she’d pulled this time.
But nothing could have prepared Turner for what had happened to Angela.
The crisp, mottled thing with no fingers or toes or recognizable face lay packed in ice water beneath a plastic tent. A web of tubes was somehow keeping the alien-looking body alive.
If alive made any sense.
Jeanine, recovering from her faint in the lobby, began a hysterical chant, “How could she do this? How could she do this?”
Turner told her to shut up. Ever the obedient wife, she did.
“Well?” Turner confronted an ashen doctor.
Angela had suffered second- and third-degree burns on more than ninety percent of her body. The cops had found her in some East Palo Alto shooting gallery. The bedroom had gone up like a torch. She and her hoodlum boyfriend had been cooking up a methysynthetic known on the street as blue moon.
The boyfriend hadn’t made it.
Turner assembled these facts in an orderly fashion and filed them neatly in his mind under an incomprehensible heading called Angela. He bent over the tent. Fury filled him.
“Angela,” he said. “You dumb little bitch. I could kill you for this.”
“Mr. Turner,” the ashen doctor said. “She’s not expected to live through the night.”
He didn’t want to in front of all those strangers, but Turner began to cry.
Copyright © 2012—2013 by Lisa Mason
From the author of Summer Of Love, A Time Travel (a Philip K. Dick Award Finalist and San Francisco Chronicle Recommended Book) on BarnesandNoble, US Kindle, Canada Kindle, UK Kindle, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo, and Sony;
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