“And the man then tried to attack you with a machete, correct?”
“Yeah…” Kendra tried to not lift her hand up to touch her wounded shoulder. The pain that oozed from underneath the bandages like a running sore made that easier than it would have been before a psycho tried to hack her head off with a weapon she associated more with Rwanda and jungles and maybe a few really cheesy slasher movies than with real life.
Wait, since when was Rwanda fictional?
She ignored that thought, instead looking back up at the pair of officers who were talking to her. Both of them looked so similar – despite being opposite races, genders and varying heights – that she had a hard time remembering which one was which. One of them had a small pad of paper which was socketed into a larger hunk of plastic and metal. He was using a mechanical pencil to make scribbling notes that were far shorter than the sentences she was saying.
That, plus the sunglasses that the other officer wore despite being inside, gave Kendra a distinct feeling of being untrustworthy. She found it far too easy to imagine that the officer was writing nothing but the words ‘totally nuts’ over and over and over again.
“And you had never seen him before in your life?”
“Now, just wait a second here!” Dad cut in. Dad was tall and stork-like, complete with a too long, too thin neck. He thrust it forward at this moment, showing off the bad posture that comes from decades sitting at a desk. “This…crazy person was some PMC operator, right? How would my daughter have met him before?”
“That is just what we were going to ask her, sir.” The officer clicked the mechanical pencil he was using, then scribbled again as Kendra shook her head.
Mom, Kendra saw, had put her hand on Dad’s shoulder. Kendra was pretty sure that she had just stopped him from asking for the fifth time if they had read her her Miranda rights…despite those for being when people were being arrested. Right now, they weren’t arresting her. Kendra wasn’t really sure if that was actually true, but even if they had been arresting her, she didn’t have anything she particularly wanted to hide.
Except for, well…you know, the whole being an immortal.
That part, she definitely did want to hide.
“Do you know why he kidnapped the student Marshal Kliner as well?”
Kendra closed her eyes, then said: “Because he tried to rescue me. Kind of. Okay, like…” She paused. Weird. The events that had happened were so clear, at the time – everything happening in a kind of crystal focus. But now that it was over, everything became blurry. Had Marshal come out to rescue her, or had he just been curious? Had they grabbed him just to stop her, or…or…
She shook her head. “No, no, he wasn’t trying to rescue me. Sorry, he…we were practicing. Uh, that is, the saxophone section…” She continued to explain, shakily. And, like picking at a scab, tears started to prick at the corners of her eyes.
Kendra decided right then that she preferred how Bijay had let her talk to this questioning. After managing to get the lump out of her throat and continue speaking – detailing what she remembered the goons – she realized that the big part was that Bijay knew what was going on. She didn’t need to explain it. Also, she didn’t need to lie.
At least the lies were by omission…
When the two officers left, the one with the sunglasses said something that might have been meant for comforting: “Don’t worry, this is a clear cut case of self-defense. You’ll probably be fine.”
“Probably!?” Dad exclaimed as the door swung shut behind the officers. He stepped over to stand beside Kendra’s bed. “You’ll probably be fine? That’s ludicrous, absolutely ludicrous! This man kidnapped you and-“
“Harold.” Kendra’s mother managed to stop Dad’s whole tirade with a single word and a soft touch. Once he stopped raging, Dad let Mom speak. “They say that you should be out of the hospital in a week or two...but we know that you like your cartoons and your pony things, so we will swing by every day with your laptop!”
“Um, they’re anime, Mom-“
“And…oh! Oh!” Mom reached behind her back and pulled out a large card that had a cardboard angel pinned to the front. Opening it, she saw half a dozen names had been scribbled in there – along with a few sentences, the best being “Sorry you god kidnapped and machete’d – J&T” – and a smile came to her lips.
“Your friends signed it and dropped it off at the house,” Dad said, nodding sagely. Kendra sighed, softly, closing her card up and sliding it under her pillow.
There was a moment of silence, where the only noise was the faint mutter and murmur of the P.A system – paging someone, without a doubt.
Then Dad spoke up: “So, why did he kidnap you?”
“I already said!” Kendra looked at her parents. Mom was looking exasperated, but Dad ignored her for the moment. “I have no idea.”
“But we’re not even rich!”
“He tried to…” Mom cut herself off – clearly unwilling to say the words ‘kill her.’ Instead, she leaned Kendra gently.
“Dad, I don’t know why crazy people do crazy t-things, that’s why they’re c-crazy!” Kendra’s voice caught and she shook her head. “I…I was too busy being scared…”
Dad sighed, then reached down to pat her unhurt shoulder carefully. That didn’t seem to be enough, so he also ruffled her hair – eliciting a ‘Dad!’ from her.
“You showed him what a Watt can do!” He said, sounding very proud. Kendra knew that the only reason why he was proud was because he didn’t think about how she had ‘showed’ Adder what a Watt can do.
“Yeah, Dad…” Kendra gulped. She smiled at her parents…
And was already wondering when she’d never talk to them like this again. How long would it take?
As her parents left without her saying a single true thing to them, she realized…it had already happened.
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