The Sequels to Syrrah's Game SGSequels

chapter 43

Monday, September 25th, 9:02 PM

Minneapolis, MN


“Lloyd, it was a simple oversight. We were understaffed, Miguel and Darren had just quit, we needed someone ASAP, and that kid came along, just at the right time.”

That kid. Of course. Carter only used those words when referring to Evan, one of the youngest team members on the tour.


She breathed faster, shallower, though somehow this relaxed her troubled, aching heart.

Felt so sick. So nauseous. Why did he have to mention it again?

But he said he was sorry. He was so sweet. So caring. Damn him. Damn him to hell.

Free hug?

How are you so freaking strong!

He smiled. Tiger blood. Can’t help it.

Her stomach aching, the pain in her joints and muscles intense, she could only sink down into the sofa. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t know the people at risk, of being harmed, or worse, killed. No, not just killed, but tortured to death. He just doesn’t understand.

But that memory. Dana’s memory. That very deep, long in the past, terrible memory. She could feel it. She could feel the very surface of this extreme memory pushing, forcing itself through, more than ever. Was ready to break through the dam. Soon now. She could feel it. Soon now.

But no! It’s not supposed to be set free!

Dana. Please. Will you tell me what is wrong? I…I have never seen you like this before.

Of course you haven’t. No one has.

She looked at him. Evan. My dear Evan.

He leaned closer. Handsome, rugged, so masculine…and he smelled of some musky deodorant and cigarette smoke. And now, so close. Yes. I do. I do need a hug.

He wrapped his arms around her. But she couldn’t feel enough. She needed more. I thought Evan’s hugs worked wonders. I can…I can barely feel them.

Baby. He called her baby. Again, and again. He felt way too good when he wrapped his strong, muscular arms around her body. Way…too good.

Why are you so nice to me?

His answer. Why did he have to give this answer? A precious angel, a precious hurting angel. Needs help. So true. So incredibly true. She felt herself sink within him and become enveloped and trapped inside his heart, imprisoned by him.

No. But she felt so weak. And his body fought against her. She didn’t want it to end. Please don’t leave me.

I won’t, not ever.

But he did. He did walk away. But only because he doesn’t know!

He doesn’t understand what is really happening here! It’s not his fault.

She felt her breathing increase.

“Never did a proper background check, Carter. You know what I want.” Dana’s father. Who else could it be? “He needs to be taken out. But we’ll have them do it, like before.”

“Certainly. I understand.”

Her father. That voice. Dana’s father. “Video monitoring of the fans before Dana rushed off to the bathroom show something suspicious, someone suspicious.” Similar words. “She needs to be taken out, likewise.”

The memory would not stay down. It had to rise above.

Dana. Maybe two years old. That far back a memory? She was looking up, way up. Daddy turned and stared. He smiled. He leaned over. Hey, my little pumpkin. What are you doing here? He tussled her hair and smiled at her again. He picked her up and held her before his face. You need to get back in bed. Okay, sleepy head?

But his eyes. His eyes weren’t right. Dark. Scary. Lacking…something. A soul?

The memory lost some of its force. Coma. She had heard someone say coma, waking from a coma even. Was she in a coma? Or was someone else?

That terrible memory had other plans, and regained its steam, a relentless freight train. This was it. Her own mind was being invaded and forced to see it. No. Don’t want to. Not supposed to! Don’t want to look up. Too small. Only two years old. But she had to. She had to look up. Way up. Someone, someone she loved. The person’s feet, bare feet, hanging. No. Can’t be this. Hanging, but trembling, and then shaking, violently. She felt, and heard, a scream break through her mouth like an explosion. She looked up again. Someone was up there, where they shouldn’t be. 

But there was something more. Something happened before this. A hand, shaking, attempting to do something it didn’t want to do. Forced, somehow. Forced? Forced to do what? Before. Before the bare feet up there.

Everything felt upside down. This didn’t make any sense!

Her mind couldn’t take anymore.

“NO!” Her throat felt on fire. “No! Help me, please!” Her words came out in the same manner as little Dana, like an explosion, rattling her ears, making her throat hurt even more. “Please! Help me! God, help me!”

“It’s all right, it’s all right,” a woman’s voice said. “I am right here. I can help you.”

She wanted to open her eyes, right away. But her eyes would barely open, her lids so heavy. She wanted to move, and lift her arms, but felt restraints holding them down.

“Dana. My name is Cathy. I am one of your nurses. Is there something I can do for you?”

She was finally able to open her eyes. Immediately she sensed being in a hospital. A heavy-set, older woman with short blond hair, in blue nurse scrubs, sat before her on one of those hospital stools. “Huh? Why am I here?”

“You were in a coma, from excessive drinking. But you’re going to be all right. You have been coming in and out of consciousness for several hours.”

“Why does…why does…my goddamn throat hurt so fucking much?” She tried again to move both arms but could not, the entirety of both her arms confined within large, cushioned cuffs. “And why am I restrained?”

“Your throat hurts because you had a breathing tube in place periodically. But since you were able to breathe on your own several hours ago, we removed it. And with coming in and out of consciousness for hours prior, you were fighting to remove the throat tubing and the I-Vs in your wrists, so that is the reason for the restraints.”

“What? I don’t recall any of this!”

“That’s all right, Dana. This can happen with a coma. You have not been completely coherent for a while now.”

“Did my…did my father and his associate, Carter…did they visit me?”

“Yes. Several times. They’re on their way now to see you again. They just went out to get something to eat.”

“Oh. They’re coming back?”

“Yes, yes.” She touched Dana on her left hand. “They’ll be here soon.”

Dana shook her head and felt something in her nose. “No. I don’t want them here.” She fought against the restraint on her right arm to remove the uncomfortable device. “I want this out of my nose, right now.”

“Another nurse will be in shortly to do that for you.”

“You don’t understand. I don’t want my father here and I want to get out of here, now!” 

The nurse stood up. “I’m sorry. But we cannot release you yet. You are not well. You cannot leave yet.”

Dana glanced over her arms. There were IV insertions in both arms. She felt trapped. She didn’t know what to do.

But one thing was for sure. She was figuring a way out of here as soon as possible.