shelley_winters: (sad/tired)
[personal profile] shelley_winters
Shelley lies still for a few moments before opening her eyes. The air smells of smoke and her whole body hurts in a vague, aching way. Opening her eyelidS to let in a slit of light tells her it's still day, and the blinding light that had - what? Knocked her out? - is gone. Bracing herself for pain, she hesitantly rolls over. The ground feels dry and weirdly warm under her hands.

She looks.

She closes her eyes again.

The earth and grass around her is faintly blackened, but not nearly so burnt as where she, Ralph and Elan had been standing before the explosion. No wonder she aches, if she was thrown that far. It's hard to think, even as she gets slowly to her feet, just about hearing the wail of sirens in the distance. She's alone. The smoke from burning vegetation makes her cough when she draws in a breath, shuddering at the smell. And then her cheeks feel wet before she notices that her eyes are stinging too, both from the smoke and from crying without realising. The devastated park and playground doesn't- It makes sense, but she can't...

Shelley turns around and away from the scene, swaying slightly, and starts to run, staggering at first, then picking up speed. The air hurts her throat as she breathes fast; then it starts to feel good against the tight ache in her chest. All she wants is to get away from the crater that used to be a playground, and to not think for a few moments. A stitch stabs across her midsection, and she grits her teeth with a choking sob and keeps moving, running down the road that joins onto hers, not slowing until she realises that she can still smell smoke.

She rounds the corner, panting and staring thought slightly blurred eyes at the fire engine stopped in the road, outside a house with black clouds pouring out of the windows. Step by step, she keeps moving closer, in blank disbelief - even though of course its hers.


Shelley keeps walking forward, chest hurting from running so fast, head swimming, only thinking, stupefied - But I just left it, just-

"Miss! Please, you need to stand back-" A hand grabs her arm, and she stumbles, turing vacant eyes back around to a uniformed man who looks once at her face and takes her other arm to guide her away.

"Come on, Miss. Is that your house? We have to know, is anyone inside?"

She swallows as he sits her down, one hand shakily wiping her face and smudging the soot already there. "Yes," she manages. "No-one."

He's gone.

"All right, that's fine, can you just- Miss? Are you all right?"

Shelley thinks she might be laughing, for a second, until it starts hurting more, folding up on herself and shivering as the noise turns into a distant roar. She feels hands checking her pulse and tilting her head back as a voice calls for an ambulance, and closes her eyes, letting it all wash over her.

One sickening lurch, and the world dissolves into darkness, and for once, she is grateful when awareness goes.

"Hey, Shelley."

A pink and brown blur resolves into Fallon, peering at her from the side of the bed. The other woman eyes her, then grins.

"You overslept. They're releasing you today, into the tender care of me and my spare room. Oh, and Amy, but she's still in bed as well."

"Oh," says Shelley, feeling strangely nonplussed. "Okay. Sorry, I won't be long..."

Fallon snickers, and pats her on the head. "No rush. I won't say I have any clue what happened to you yet, but I know it was a hell of a lot. Take your time, and I will be in the cafe trying to find a decent cup of coffee. Want one?"

"Ohhh, god yes," says Shelley fervently, sitting up. "I think I need to talk to my doctor once more, then I'm free to go."

Free. Funny concept.

"Don't think I won't be watching you, though," Fallon warns on her way out. "You're due for a nice, boring, relaxing time, 'kay?"

"Okay, Fallon," Shelley says meekly. She watches her friend leave the room, then rubs her head, hand slowing as she notices the black mark still circling her finger, a slight shiver running through her at the reminder.

A lot can change in two days, she thinks blankly, staring into space for a moment. Then she sighs slightly, very softly, and reaches for her clothes to go and get dressed.

Date: 2008-02-05 12:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

[Enter Elan]

Elan [to the readers]

My gentle readers, surely you can see
The vast and trackless waste the heart can be.
So judge us not by deeds that you call base,
As you yourself have not stood in our place.
Even the palest shade of Love will stain
Yet still, no will can Love restrain.
So readers tell, what course were we to set
With ev'ry path so laden with regret?
And thus I let this single sentiment
avail as cynosure and testament:
"Though all the world be clouded in your sight,
Yet know, of all you see, that Love is right."


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