She sure listens.

“Oh, Rachel,” Brigitte sniffed and she turned to me and then there was a loud crash of broken glass and a scream and the girl I’d pulled out of Hell came hurtling out of a window about 7 stories above us, yelling all the way to the ground, which she hit with a thud right in front of us.

Almost immediately, she stood up and ran at me and grabbed me and shrieked “You brought me here! How did you do that! Why did you leave me! Where is the man!” They were meant, I think , to be questions but they didn’t come out that way; they came out as accusations. Brigitte let go of me and pulled back, frightened. The girl literally had a froth in her mouth and her eyes were so wild that she almost didn’t have pupils.

There were shouts and yells and Brigitte tugged my arm. “Let’s go,” she said. “We’ve got to get out of here.” I looked around. People were staring and two guys in uniforms of some sort, near the hospital entrance, were eyeing us up. One spoke into his little lapel microphone.

I stood up and pulled the girl’s hands off of me. “I can help you,” I said to her, looking her right in the eye “but only if you shut up right now and come with us.”

She stopped instantly and stood straight up. Her arms hung at her sides listlessly and she stared blankly at me.

Brigitte stared at her and reached out a finger and poked her. The girl did not react. I looked at Brigitte, who looked back at me quizzically.

“Let’s go,” I said. We started walking and the girl fell in behind me, walking docilely along. We tried to act as though we had every right to walk away, and for all I know, we did have every right to walk away, but I didn’t feel like we had that right and so I was nervous and also, it was hard to act nonchalant when we were being followed by a naked girl.

We walked a few hundred feet towards the sidewalk and I stopped. “Wait,” I said. The girl stopped and Brigitte looked at me. “This won’t work,” I said. “We can’t just go walking around Chicago in a hospital gown and her naked and all. Whoever’s looking for us or wanting to talk to me will find us in a second.”

Just as I said that I knew the worst was going to happen and I looked up and two police officers came walking around the corner. They might have just been on patrol, for all I know; Doc said police get gas-powered cars because of emergencies, like soldiers do, but these two weren’t driving that I could see.

“Damn,” I said. I looked at the girl. I looked at Brigitte and the cops spread out as much as they could, watching us and eyeing us up. I stared back at them.

“What’s going on here, ladies?” asked the younger of the two. I wouldn’t figure he was the leader so I thought maybe he was a rookie or something and the older guy was letting him take charge. As I worked through that I tried to figure out both how I knew what a rookie was and also whether that was good or bad. If they really knew that we were people they wanted to talk to and also that the naked girl behind me had jumped out of a window and lived, would the older guy let the younger guy talk?

“Nothing,” I said.

“Why is she naked?” asked the rookie.

“Her?” I asked. Stalling.

The cop just looked at me, his mouth not smiling and his eyes not smiling more.

“Yeah, right, her,” I said. “She doesn’t have any clothes.”

The rookie opened his mouth, ready to fire off a second question but I think I surprised him with that because he looked at the older cop then back at me. “Well, I can see that,” he said, trying to work his way through the system. I guess he wasn’t expecting honesty, especially unhelpful and obvious honesty. “Where… where are her clothes?” I saw his eyes flick to the older cop again and I don’t think he meant to ask that question.

“I don’t know,” I said, deciding to stick with honest answers.

“Where are your clothes?” the cop asked. I held up the hospital gown’s edge a little. It didn’t cover very much in the first place and as I held it up it sort of flashed my pubic area.

“These are my clothes,” I said.

“Your other clothes,” the rookie said.

“I don’t know where they are,” I told him.

Brigitte stepped over by me and took my hand. She looked at the cop.

“We’re kind of in a hurry,” she said.

“To go where?” the older cop asked, maybe trying to keep the rookie from messing this up further.

“Away from here,” I said, and flipped my head back at the hospital. More and more people were gathered in front of the doors, I could see. Some were pointing up, some were pointing at us, and most were milling around. Those two uniformed guys, who didn’t look like these two uniformed guys, were still standing there.

“You have anything to do with those people all staring at you?” the older cop asked. So he hadn’t come here just to get us and didn’t know anything about us; he’d just stumbled across some half-naked girls and naked girls walking down the street.

The rookie, I noticed, was staring at my hand where Brigitte held it and looking from that to her and back to the hands. I figured he thought Brigitte was pretty and couldn’t believe that she was a lesbian. I wanted to say Ha! But I held back.

The older cop looked at the rookie and then held his hand up to his ear. I didn’t know what he was doing. He cupped his hand over his ear and leaned his head over a little. He held up his right hand to the rookie, one finger up in the air. I didn’t know what that meant, either.

Then he took his hand down and nodded. “You ladies are coming with us,” he said. He turned his head to the rookie and said “Get the cuffs” and I saw a little red dot-thing in his ear and realized it must be a radio. He’d heard something on the radio.

The rookie began pulling little plastic strips from a slot on his belt and said “Okay, let’s not have any trouble here. Hold your hands out. You first,” he said to the naked girl, who was standing off to the side of me and Brigitte.

She just stood there, blankly.

“Come on,” the rookie said, “Hold out your arms.” The girl did not react. She just stared off into space. The older cop had backed up a step or two; I guessed he was covering our escape route. His hand was on his ray gun. “Let’s have ‘em,” the rookie told the naked girl and she still did not react. He held his hand up cautiously, reached for her hand. She did not react as his hand neared hers. He touched her hand gingerly, not wanting to seem inappropriate, maybe, and then grabbed it more roughly, pulling her arm up. He took one of the plastic strips, holding the other two in his teeth. He wound the strip around her wrist and slotted it through. Those must be cuffs, I thought. Having gotten it around one of her wrists, he said “Now the other one,” gritting it out through the strips in his teeth. But the naked girl, as before, did not react. He held her arm in one hand and reached his left arm out to grab her right hand, but that brought him uncomfortably close to her naked body and the full, firm breasts that he kept looking at without trying to seem like he was looking at them, so he dropped her right hand and it swung down to hang limply. He then picked up her left hand and realized that he had the same problem. He turned to us.

“Is she drugged or something?”

“She’s dead,” I said. I tried to sound helpful.


“She’s dead. She was in Hell and I brought her out. I’m not sure how she’s even got a body. But she does, because you can see it, only she’s dead.”

The rookie looked at the older cop, who’d had enough. He pulled out his ray gun and pointed it at us. “Cuff them. She’s not doing anything.” He looked back at me. “You’re not funny, you know.”

“I’m not trying to be funny. She really is dead.” That fazed the rookie a little, and he hesitated. I thought of something, and I looked at the naked girl and said “Attack him.”

I didn’t specify anyone, but it worked. She leaped at the rookie and barreled into him, moving surprisingly fast and heavily for a slim girl who had been standing perfectly still. I don’t know if she planned it or not but she shoved with him into the older cop, who was knocked back and stumbled. His ray gun fell and I yelled “get the gun,” and the girl abruptly let go of the rookie and scrambled for the gun and the older cop tried to get it, too, but she head butted him and grabbed for the gun and held it in her hands and stopped.

The cops sat up and she was just kneeling there, gun held in her hands, cupped in them, almost. As they moved towards her I realized what had happened and said “Give it to me,” and she shouldered over and rolled down and threw the gun to me and I took it and gave it to Brigitte who would know how to work it. The cops froze as Brigitte pointed the gun at them.

“She listens to you,” said Brigitte.

“She sure does,” I said.

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