Episode 3 is with the editor. Barring any really big mistakes or rewrites, it should be coming very soon.
In anticipation of that, I’m going to try something new. Here is an excerpt from Episode 3. Not going to go into lots of detail. Those of who who have read Episode 1 and/or two know who the characters are. Truthfully, you don’t need to know that to get this passage. And if you haven’t read Episode 1 or 2, maybe this will tempt you to try them out.
A nurse came in to adjust Vargas’ medicine. It was too early for him to wake up. She raised the dosage.
“He’ll be asleep again in five minutes or less,” she said as she left quietly.
Bannister nodded. Thanked her. Turned to Vargas. “Dude, I think she’s sweet on you.”
Vargas started to laugh then tried to restrain himself. It didn’t work very well.
“I swear, Bruno, I think she winked at you.”
“Stop, man, please. It hurts so much.”
“Aww, what are you crying about? Ribs aren’t even broken. Some day I’ll tell you about the time I got blown up in Iraq,” Bannister said.
“Yeah? Did you have to walk in the snow? Uphill both ways?” Vargas was smiling. Bannister started to laugh. “Save it,” Bruno continued, “I think I’ve heard that one before.”
Vargas was smiling, but his eyes were turning glassy. Bannister knew he was starting to float into sleep. He stood there. Watching over his new charge. Watched his breath rise and fall evenly. Painlessly. Knowing that it was his fault. Knowing that if he had killed Ziccardi the first time they had tangled then this wouldn’t have happened.
“Vargas. Don’t worry about a thing. Z-dog won’t ever bother you again.”
Bruno didn’t answer right away. He was fading in and out now. JC’s words filtered through his foggy brain. Started laughing. His bruised ribs didn’t hurt anymore because of the pain medication.
“Why?” Vargas said. “You gonna kill him?” Laughed again, then faded completely into sleep.
Bannister waited. Until he knew the young man was asleep.