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My Little Mystery Part 6
By
frogprince

My Little Mystery Part 6

Cricket and Monica disappear and things change fast.

Cricket woke up feeling sore all over. The room was dark and cold. She was in a bed, surrounded by blinking machines with beeping noises. She didn't know how she got there or where she was. There were needles stuck in both arms and her head covered in bandages. Her mind was blank and dark like the room. The last thing she remembered was talking to Mr. Wagner on her cell phone. She realized, she was in a hospital bed, but not why she was there. Her whole body ached from head to foot. Her throat was dry and her eyes saw nothing but blurry images. What she saw confused her. A crowd of doctors and nurses bustled about the person in the bed next to her. They shouted orders and commands to get more blood and saline. Whoever was in that bed was really hurt badly. Cricket saw a woman's head, but that was all and she wondered who she was. She tried to get one of the nurses to come over, to no avail. Cricket lay helpless in her bed.

As Cricket watched, the doctors and nurses slowly left the other patient. Some of the doctors shook their heads looking down at the floor, ripping their surgical caps off. The nurses were clustered around the door looking over at the person in the bed, shaking their heads. What happened? sprang into Cricket's mind.

She heard the doctor who seemed to be in charge utter, "Call time of death."

A nurse solemnly answered, "2:37 am."

At that point, everyone left the room. Cricket looked over at the next bed, as her eyes cleared. She saw her best friend and personal assistant, Monica lying there unmoving. There was blood everywhere with bandages and trash strewn about. Thoughts rushed through her head, What happened? Monica can't be dead. She was thrown clear just like me. I don't believe she is gone. Now Cricket really panicked. She wanted someone, anyone to tell her what happened. Where was Cal or Stefan or Natasha? Why weren't they here? What happened to them? Cricket's brain flooded with unanswered questions. Confusion reigned supreme. Her world crumbled before her eyes. She was all alone now. She panicked and pushed the call button for the nurse. The nurse came in and quickly pulled the curtain closed on Monica's lifeless form. That was the last time Cricket saw Monica. She was dead and a long term friendship ended so quickly and unceremoniously.

The nurse checked Cricket's vital signs and was pleased. One of the medicine bags attached to her arm was empty, and removed. The nurse asked her if there was anything she needed. She tried to speak, but only a few high-pitched squeaks and a moan came out. The nurse reached out to her, holding a cup of water and a straw. Cricket drank, as if she crawled into an oasis in the desert. She quaffed the water down quickly. Her throat felt better and she asked the nurse, "What happened?" The nurse did not say anything, just shook her head, sadly. After the nurse left, the lights got turned off. Looking out the window, Cricket saw an unfamiliar skyline. She was not in New York City. Now another question came into her head. Where was she? Nothing seemed familiar here.

A doctor came in to check on her progress. As he wrote on her chart, Cricket asked him, “Where am I? What day is it?”

He replied, “The Shriner's Burn Center, Boston, Massachusetts. It is Tuesday the 23rd .”

“Why am I here? How did I get here? Where is my friend Monica? What happened to my last four days?”

“You were medivac'd here on Friday, because your friend, Monica, needed our expert care. Unfortunately she did not make it. Is there anyone we should notify?”

“ She has no family. Her name is.... was Monica. She was engaged to be married to a man named Stefan. He was in Africa, but I expect he flew to New York City now. Does anyone know we were here?”

“A Mr. Wagner made all the arrangements for your transport and care. He was very specific about everything. It was as if he knew you and Monica were coming.”

How did Mr. Wagner know what happened? There was something wrong here. When Stefan gets here we will gather and figure out what happened. We have to solve this whole mess. 

Cricket nodded off back into a drug induced sleep. Meanwhile Natasha and Damon drove to the airport to fetch Cal and Stefan. Their planes arrived within minutes of each other by design. Natasha and Damon thought that Cricket and Monica were at a hospital in downtown New York City. That is where the ambulances took them. Cal and Stefan gathered their luggage, cleared customs and met Natasha and Stefan. As they walked to the car, Natasha and Damon explained what happened. Monica stood over the bomb as it exploded throwing her into Cricket on the ground. Security rushed in with two ambulances and doctors. Security loaded the two women into the ambulances and whisked them away. No one said anything to Natasha or Damon about where the ambulances drove the injured women. The incident caused everyone to be confused and things missed and forgotten.

As soon as they arrived at the hospital Monica and Cricket took off in a medivac helicopter to Boston. No one at the hospital knew what happened either. Monica and Cricket did not exist as patients there ever. Anyone who asked would be told no patients by that name were at that hospital. Mr. Wagner covered his tracks well. A search took days to find the missing women. By then Monica was dead and Cricket had no memory left. It was four days before Natasha found that the women were not in New York city. Where they were was still a big mystery. The four surviving members gathered in the conference room to lay out their approach to solving the explosion and where the women were.

Natasha, Damon, Cal and Stefan sat around the conference table, just staring at each other wordlessly. Several minutes passed before Stefan spoke up. “We know that the blast was not an accident. We need to investigate how it happened. While we investigate we will try to find out where the women went and who ordered it. Someone powerful with a lot of resources was behind this.”

Natasha said, “We have two problems to solve right now. First, where did Cricket and Monica disappear?. Second, how did this 'accident' happen? Which one do we tackle first?”

Cal chimed in, “Someone is trying to split us up and destroy our close-knit little group. Who would do that? We need to find out who is doing this to us.”

“Maybe we can tackle all of this together, but I think we need to split up and get moving on the two points raised by Natasha.” Said Damon.

Everyone shook their heads. It was still a little premature they thought to split the group up. After all, where would they start. What was most important? Do they search for Cricket and Monica or find out what happened at the bombing site?

Natasha broke the uneasy silence, “We have to find Cricket and Monica. They should be our number one priority. Once they are here with us, we can get more facts as to what happened. Cricket was on her cell phone just before the blast. Who called her? Was it important? We need answers!”

The group sat there shaking their heads. They agreed the first thing to be done was to find Cricket and Monica and get them back to New York City. Once that happened the rest of the investigation could commence. Meanwhile Security guarded the site of the explosion from prying eyes and trespassers. Technically it was a crime scene and needed to be kept pristine for the investigation team. Cal and Stefan were in charge of that team. They gathered some of their former classmates who were specialists in this type of work. The team flew in from all over the world, gathering at Cal's home to piece together a plan of attack.

Natasha and Damon sat at her desk listing ways to get information without raising too many red flags about missing patients. They knew the women flew out of the city in helicopters. Helicopters flew only a short distance before needing fuel. That limited the scope of the search. They knew both women had severe burns. That meant a burn center of some sort. The burn center needed to have a heliport. All of these factors narrowed the scope of the search. There were six places that had these facilities. All that was needed now was a few well placed phone calls to determine if any new patients showed up four days ago. They eliminated the two centers in New York City easily because they would be driven there. Now it was down to four centers.

Natasha took a wild guess and dialed the Shriner's Burn Center in Boston Massachusetts. She got placed on hold for ten minutes while someone there located a doctor. When the doctor answered, he was non communicative because Natasha was not a relative. He confirmed that Cricket was there, but said nothing about Monica. Natasha and Damon sat together holding hands. Fear and dread spread in their minds as the doctor explained the hospital policy of releasing information.

Natasha frustrated said, “If you can not give me information can I talk to the head of the hospital? Cricket is the CEO of Wolf's Head Oil and I am her personal assistant. I demand to know what is going on!”

The doctor tremulously replied, “I am truly sorry, but we cannot give any information about the status of a patient over the telephone. If you were to come here then I can tell you her condition.”

Natasha looked at Damon and she replied, “We will be there in a couple of hours. What is your name please?”

The doctor replied, “My name is Dr. Marconi. I will be here until midnight tonight. After that there will be someone else available.”

Unbeknownst to Natasha or Dr. Marconi, a call went out when the request of Cricket's status was made. The call went to an unlisted number in New York City which was connected to an overseas operator. The operator called the international number in Switzerland. It was answered on the second ring. A short message was exchanged and the call terminated. The person in Switzerland immediately spoke to his superior who went to inform the head master of the incident.

Back in New York City Cal, Stefan, Natasha, and Damon gathered in the conference room to discuss the day's events.

Cal gave his report, “The team of investigators is assembling at my home as we speak. All is in readiness to start combing the blast site for remnants of the bomb and detonator. We should know in a few days how the bomb was triggered.”

Stefan reported, “I spoke to the head of Security about what happened. He told me that someone had called him to request that two ambulances be standing by that afternoon at the blast site ready to evacuate any wounded personnel. He thought it was odd, but in hindsight it turned out well. The ambulances took off and it was assumed that they were being taken to a local trauma center. Nothing unusual there.”

Natasha in a happy voice reported, “We found Cricket. She is at the Shriner's Burn Center in Boston Massachusetts. They would not give me information over the phone of her status but we can go there and find out. I have the corporate jet standing by on the tarmac ready to fly us all to Boston.”

Cal almost shouted, “Why are we sitting here let's get in the air to Boston now. Anything else can wait until we come back with Cricket and Monica. Let's go NOW!”

They got up from the table and rushed to the elevator. A limousine waited outside to take the group to the airport. Traffic was heavy to the airport. It took twice the amount of time to get there. Cal fumed at the delay. Stefan talked on the phone with Security to get someone to the hospital to watch over Cricket. Damon had his arm wrapped around Natasha holding her close. Her head rested on his shoulder. She contentedly looked at Damon with love in her heart. Damon bent down and kissed her forehead. They arrived at the jetport and transferred to the corporate jet. As soon as the door closed they taxied on to the runway and took off. One hour later, they were on the ground at Logan Airport Jetway. A limousine waited there for them. It went immediately to the Shriner's Burn Center.

Upon arrival at the hospital, Security from Wolf's Head Oil met them. They had no problem setting up a guard outside Cricket's room. She slept most of the time. No one other than hospital staff entered the room. The doctors said the diagnosis was good. Her healing progressed well. Transfer to New York City could be arranged in a few days. Visitors were allowed in her room two at a time. Natasha and Damon stood behind Cal and Stefan. Natasha had phoned a nearby hotel and booked rooms for them for a few days. Cal and Stefan had private suites, Natasha and Damon shared a room. Damon had a sinister smile on his face as he looked at Natasha. She blushed but smiled back at Damon.

Cal and Stefan quietly entered Cricket's room. Cal rushed to her bed and kissed her forehead. Cricket groggily woke up and beamed at seeing Cal's face. She felt much better now that he was there. She looked over at Stefan and smiled but quickly looked away. Stefan gave her a questioning look and grabbed her hand. Cricket looked up at Stefan with tears in her eyes. She realized Stefan had not been told Monica died. She started crying softly as Cal put his arms around her and held her tight.

Cricket looked over at Stefan and said, “Monica died from the bomb blast. They worked on her for hours but she died, never regaining consciousness. If it's any consolation I was there when she died. I am so sorry Stefan.”

Cricket reached out and took Stefan's hand as he sunk down on the edge of her bed. He looked down at the floor as tears flowed down his cheeks. His shoulders shuddered as his sobs became more audible and stronger. He loved Monica and now she was gone. Someone had to pay for killing her. He looked over at Cal and Cricket, stopped crying and stood with a strong reserve and vowed to get and kill the person who masterminded this murder. He stood there turned and strode out of the room. Cal stayed with Cricket and held her close. They kissed and felt so much closer than they ever had.

Natasha entered the room tentatively. She looked at Cricket and burst into tears of joy. Cricket was alive, but Monica was dead. Now they could concentrate on burying Monica and finding her killer. The group minus one was back together. They vowed to never split up again.

Two days later Cricket walked out of the hospital to a limousine to take her back to her home and wolf pack in New York. Natasha and Damon walked behind Cal and Cricket. Cal had his arms wrapped around Cricket not wanting to give her up. She was perfectly happy to have Cal there. Damon had taken Natasha's hand and looked into her eyes with a big smile on his face. They spent the last two days alone in the same bed in Boston. Only they knew what went on there and they won't tell. Stefan left the night he found out about Monica's death. He was nowhere to be found. No one heard from him or saw him.

In Switzerland, a lone figure boarded a private plane for a long trip to New York City. It was time to break up the group.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2012, 2013 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Cal Erickson, aka frogprince

Posted with permission at storiesspace.com

All other rights reserved.

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