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This is a work of fiction.
Words scraped from Charleston’s dried-out throat, “Am I paralyzed?” He panicked, ignoring the perturbed cop, an older black detective towering over his hospital bed.
“Get the doctor back in here! What are you doing?”
“Stop changin’ the subject, Mr. Cranston. You’re in a lotta trouble.”
The blurry guy was probably more intimidating than he seemed. Charleston’s good eye spun in its socket. His body floated on a warm tropical sea.
“I need tests,” he said, his voice barely audible. Unable to raise his head, he sank to sleep again.
Uniformed policemen shuffled through the small curtained-off nook.
“So you were drinking?” The detective’s deep voice berated.
“Yeah. Of course. You have my blood already. The hell else do you want? Bloodsucker.”
The predicament might be humorous if only he could dig his way through the joke. Glancing right, he saw that his wrist had been handcuffed to the gurney’s railing, big silver bracelets reflecting ugly green hospital light. His body ambiguous from the morphine, the opiate splashed into his bloodstream.
“Tell me about the crash then.”
That blob of a detective held some potential. The man fronted like he already knew all the answers. Charleston resisted, swallowed, and attempted to reestablish feeling with his tongue.
“I have no recollection senator. Why don’t you ask Giordano? I’m the victim here. I need care.”
He could hear the E.R.’s cacophony outside the sterile white curtains. Doctors barked orders, and patients rolled by.
“Is that so?” The detective scratched a note. “The victim?”
“You’re fuckin’ A right. Fat fuck was trying to kill me. It’s on the video.”
Charleston tugged at his handcuff. “Wait. I’m supposed to get a phone call.”
The man grinned with pity. “Yeah? Who do you want to call?”
As he scanned the bland curtains in confusion, he realized he was friendless. “I guess a lawyer. Public defender?”
The cop flipped through his pad. “The eyewitnesses said you rammed your vehicle into Giordano’s.”
Charleston’s jaw, inhibited by a tight neck brace, forced his mouth open. “No that’s not right. I defended myself. Self-defense.”
The man cocked his head. “So you remember the crash now?”
Charleston’s un-bandaged eye peered up, pinned wide open.
“Is he uh? Is he all right? Gary? Is he okay?”
The detective shook his head angrily. “I’m askin’ the questions. Get it?”
“Well he’s not dead, is he?”
“Did you crash your car intentionally?”
Charleston breathed to stall for time.
“He fucks with me. That’s how all of this shit started. Okay? He’s a real fuckin’ asshole.”
The detective’s eyebrow tensed, and he stared down coldly.
“All of what shit started?”