The Lady Wore Red – Chapter 2
Copyright Mark Graham 2012
Published by Mark Graham at Smashwords
Michael woke with a groan when his bedside clock blared its siren. His body ached in weird places and he couldn't remember exactly how he made his way home last night. The evening was a blur after his fifth glass of beer at the bar. Sixth? Seventh? There was that woman and giving her a car ride home but everything after that was fragmentary. Snatches of images and distorted sounds swam to the surface of his memory and then fled when he tried to latch on to them. He rolled over and sat up, slamming the clock to silence it. No time to think about it now – it would come to him or it wouldn't but right now his headache was killing him. He ran his fingers through his hair, twisting his neck left and right. With another stretch he stood and nearly sat back down again. His body felt heavy and stupid. Fucking hung over and a rough night. He told himself as he made his way to the bathroom.
The warm shower helped tremendously. Michael stood with his back to it, feeling the warmth soak in. Soap and shampoo followed shortly after and he was soon toweling himself dry. His headache was slowly fading but when he looked in the mirror to shave, he was consumed by a sudden and intense wave of vertigo. He leaned forward immediately and gripped the sink to keep him steady. Raising his head to try again brought a fresh wave of nausea and cold sweat to go with the vertigo.
When the room stopped spinning, he reached for his toothbrush and fought the trembling in his hand to hold it steady. His mouth smelled like death and felt far worse. The nausea drained away while he scrubbed and was completely gone when he finished brushing. He left the bathroom without looking in the mirror, superstitiously believing he'd get sick again. He padded naked to the bedroom to quickly dress himself, adding a sweater over top. The morning seemed to be especially cold and, anyway, today was.... He paused. What was he doing today? Working in the field? That didn't feel right. Wasn't he in the office today? For something? He could feel the nausea building in his stomach and temples again. It was the office, he finally decided. His shift supervisor needed him to come in for paperwork. Of course that was it.