Last time: Tricked by the Boys of Summer into a faerie wishing castle, the girls each made a wish. Two months later, Marina is shot and Emilie finally figures out who has been behind their wish-induced misery!
Part Six (of Nine)
Marina Tesla was famous enough now that she had to have guards outside her hospital room. It made her smile every time she saw one of them accost a nurse. She had finally made it.
Of course, apparently part of “making it” meant getting fans like Scottbo Edwards, the maniac who had shot her. Maybe, Marina though, fame was a double-edged something. Like the two heads of science, one was dark and dangerous and a little sexy. Her shoulder was throbbing again, so she pressed the button for her pain medicine pump. It automatically gave her a small dose of morphine and she forgot about her shoulder.
There was another guard commotion. Marina stopped thinking so she could enjoy listening.
“I’m sorry, ma’am, but the rule is no visitors.”
“I’m not a visitor,” came a familiar female voice. “I’m a scientist. It’s very like a doctor.”
“I don’t care if you’re a chambermaid, you can’t go in.”
There was an uncomfortable silence, then two thumps, the sound of large men collapsing to the floor.
Emilie Tesla poked her head into Marina’s hospital room.
“Surprise!” she said.
“I figured it out, like, five sentences ago,” Marina said.
“So where does it hurt?” Emilie asked, pulling a polished silver antique surgical clamp from her leather portmanteau.
“It doesn’t,” Marina said. “They gave me nice things through my arm. Now I’m at peace.”
“Ah, yes, the same old satori… inner peace through keeping girls sedated. Remind me to leave a little something for your keeper when I spring you.”
“I don’t want to go,” Marina said. “There’s a Family Feud marathon on in half an hour.”
“That’s exactly what the Boys of Summer want you to watch!” Emilie hissed as she randomly pressed buttons on the IV pump, turning it off. “Insidious!”
“Boys of Summer? I thought they left during the fairie diaspora…”
“Apparently not. They’re here, on Earth. One of them has been dating Kate. I think they’re behind the wishing castle.”
“Ooh, I should thank them,” Marina said.
“No, you should fry them repeatedly with self-generated electricity,” Emilie corrected. “They got you shot.”
“Shot like a fox,” Marina said, the happy juice making her sleepy.
“Fine,” sighed Emilie, “It’s going to be that kind of a rescue, is it.”
Kate sat on a tall stool at the front restaurant counter, looking out the window at the Fun Zone. The castle had vanished months ago after they had cleared it of goblins and now all the eclectic shops and stalls and wandering mimes were back to normal. Kate was at Meet/No Meat, her favorite vegetarian restaurant/coffee bar/performance cafe, and the ambience there was just what Kate needed… to lose herself in a like-minded crowd.
As she picked at her Quorn mince lasagna, a white-painted mime approached from the other side of the glass. He waved, and Kate waved back. She didn’t know why people didn’t like mimes. They were usually so nice, and they were so smart they almost seemed human. This one had brought an invisible rope that he started climbing, though it must not have been well secured to its skyhook because he didn’t seem to make it off the ground. Just as she was about to applaud his efforts, a strong wind rose up and blew him off to the next cafe.
While she had been busy watching the silent performance, Cliffhanger had seated himself next to her. He looked tired, but then, she probably did too.
“Hi, Cliffy,” she said.
“I’m surprised to see you out without, um, what’s his name?”
“Cassidy,” Kate said. “I think we’ve broken up.”
“Really?” Cliff asked, trying not to sound too pleased by the news. “That… I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be,” Kate sighed. “He was a complete duck head.”
“So, um, does that mean that you got out of the wish?”
Kate peered at Cliff. “Wish? I never said anything about a wish.”
“Yeah,” Cliff blushed, “I kind of got the story from Emilie. She’s been working day and night on trying to solve it.”
“Solve what? You can’t solve love, you can only live with it and hope it stops hurting someday.”
“Yeah,” Cliff said. “I know.”
The penny dropped for Kate. “Wait… when I wished to love and be loved…”
“I, ah, hear you can’t hurry love, either. You just have to wait.”
“He never loved me. I thought it was just because he was an arse. But it wasn’t him. The… the wish didn’t specify. I kept hoping… but it was just a game to him. And when you kept stalking me from afar…”
Cliff looked abashed. “I… I didn’t know you noticed that.”
“Cliffy, you carry around a big shiny grappling hook everywhere. It’s not subtle.”
“Well, I just wanted to make sure you were okay after you left the Girls.”
“Why didn’t you say something?”
“I learned my lesson a while ago. You girls don’t need rescuers. You just need a good shoulder after the clean-up.”
“You’re a good shoulder, Cliffy.”
“Yeah. That’s me,” Cliff sighed. “Shall we get you back to Wardenclyffe and do the big reunite thing?”
Kate smiled. “Might as well,” she said. “We’ve got clean-up to do.”
“So now that we know the Boys of Summer are behind all this, I think the main question is how long will it take me to build that torture machine from The Princess Bride and strap them into it?” She was still working on the electric chair, which at this point had become dangerously over accessorized with tubes, pumps, gears and, inexplicably, a pink garden flamingo dressed in a tuxedo.
Meg frowned, which looked very piratical with the new eyepatch she was trying on under her red bangs. “Don’t you think we should go rescue Kate first? And maybe undo the effects of the wishes so you don’t go in while they still have power over you?”
“Half of one, six dozen of the other,” Emilie sing-songed.
“I have to agree with Ems on this one,” Marina said. “Did I mention that I got shot? Because I got shot because of them.”
“We know,” Emilie said.
There was a pinging noise from the security monitor. Someone was at the door. Marina looked up at the screen to see Cliffhanger and Kate Tesla, who was rummaging her purse looking for her access card to Wardenclyffe Tower.
“I rescued Kate,” Marina said from where she reclined on the couch.
“Excellent,” Emilie said, cranking a ratchet wrench to tighten something menacing looking on the electric chair. “Reunion dialogue or cut straight to the vengeance action set piece?”
“Vengeance action set piece,” Kate said as she entered the lab, Cliffhanger in tow.
“Did you hear I got shot?” Marina asked.
To be continued…
© 2013 by Douglass Barre, All Rights Reserved.