The rain fell outside as inside, protected by the warmth of insulated walls, heating, and glass windows, Chip De La Hoya sat in his armchair by the blazing fire with a newspaper in hand and a robe covering him for warmth as he sat, mustering the will to travel outside the comfort of his neighborhood for the first time in what seemed like years. In fact, it had only been a month since the awful tragedy.
A mad criminal named Nimnul, who had been running a deal for his boss, a notorious gangster known to all as 'Fat Cat', had plowed into the De La Hoya family van as it was en route to a pleasant weekend in the countryside. 'Fat Cat' had deserted the scene and no trace of him or the gang had been found.
Chip, to his disgust, had been the sole survivor of the crash and the media had been all over the place to the point where he rarely even left his home.
As Chip was contemplating dressing and going to the neighborhood pub for a drink, a brisk knock suddenly interrupted his tranquility, "Mister De La Hoya, I apologize for disturbing you," the voice of his housekeeper, Foxy Glove, carried through the door in a sweet tone. "However, I felt I should remind you that your physiotherapy appointment is today and you are running rather low on groceries."
Letting out a sigh, Chip slowly set the paper down on the side table and winced as he rose from the chair, as he had spent nearly a month in the hospital recovering from the various injuries he had received in the terrible accident and his body was still healing and still had various bandages on it.
It took a lot of energy for Chip to grab his cane from the nearby wall and use it to help him walk to the door to let Foxy in. As expected, Foxy was dressed in a pink suit and sneakers with her slowly graying hair in a tight bun while her glasses sat perched on her nose and a pink purse hung on her shoulder.
"I'm going off duty until this evening, sir," Foxy explained calmly. "Would you like me to call you a cab?"
Chip nodded, "That would be wonderful, thank you," he replied quietly, still unable to drive.
Foxy nodded and Chip quickly smoothed down his hair before reaching for his fedora that hung on the rack near the door. Self-conscious of the injuries that were still healing, he used his cane to get himself to the bathroom for a sponge bath since he wasn't allowed to bathe yet.
Once the sponge bath was done, Chip slowly returned to his room and dressed in professional, but comfortable clothing.
Pain shot through Chip's body and he slowly sat down on his bed, knowing full well that his body couldn't tolerate the long walk that the grocery store was, but he had no choice. His parents cared very little for him and his brother, Dale, had long abandoned the lifestyle that he had been expected to live.
"Your taxi is on its way, sir," Foxy said as she came back in the room and saw Chip sitting down. "Sir?"
Chip nodded, but made no effort to move, "Mister De La Hoya, if you wish to make a list, I can always go to the store for you," Foxy offered gently, noting that Chip looked ready to fall asleep. "Rest well, sir."
"Thank you," Chip spoke softly as he laid down in the unmade bed and allowed his eyes to close.
Foxy nodded, her thoughts with Chip's now deceased wife and children as she left him to rest.
A loud POP caused Dale De La Hoya, who detested the richness of his last name as much as he detested the money that came with it even if he could use it to travel, to quickly park in the first available spot on the long stretch of road where many stores were.
Fighting the urge to swear, Dale hopped out of his car and quickly surveyed the damage; a tire had blown, but it wasn't hard to get someone to fix it,
Silently cursing, Dale turned his car off, got out, and locked it with the automatic button on his keychain as he strode towards a grocery store that looked friendly. Besides, he was hungry and needed to eat.
Upon entering the store, Dale smoothed down his Hawaiian shirt and plucked his debit card out of the jeans to stock up on on-the-road food, nearly running into a well-dressed woman who was on a cell-phone as he went to grab a cart, "…Yes, Detective Jack, I'll let Detective De La Hoya know that you're thinking of him," the woman was saying in a soft voice. "…No, he's reluctant to take any pain pills."
Dale frowned at the mention of a Detective De La Hoya, seeing as the only one he knew was his twin brother, Chip, who had went into a Policing college program straight out of high school on a full scholarship. He hadn't seen Chip for years, but the mention of Chip being ill worried him deeply.
Waiting until the woman was off the phone, Dale silently crept up behind her, "Ma'am, I didn't mean to eavesdrop, but I overheard you mention a Detective De La Hoya and I was wondering if he's okay?" he asked in a concerned voice, stepping back as Foxy turned just in case she wanted to slug him.
"Are you Dale De La Hoya?" Foxy asked softly, seeing that the man was identical to her employer and remembering that Chip had mentioned having a brother.
Dale nodded, confused as to how she knew him, "I'm Foxy Glove," Foxy explained softly, gesturing to her rapidly filling grocery cart. "I'm the main housekeeper for a Detective Chip De La Hoya."
Frowning, Dale nodded, but didn't say anything, "About a month ago, Chip, his wife, and children were in a serious car accident and Chip was the only one who survived," Foxy explained quietly, frowning as Chip turned considerably pale. "He's out of the hospital now, but still recovering from his injuries."
"I should call him or something," Dale replied softly, his expression solemn. "It's been a while…"
Before Foxy could reply, her cell-phone rang again and she answered it, "Foxy Glove," she said in an anxious voice, frowning as she heard the voice on the other end. "Mister De La Hoya…."
"He's throwing up," Foxy whispered, frowning as retching sounds filled the phone. "Oh, dear."
Dale nodded and determined he would follow this woman to wherever Chip was and help him out, "Once you're done shopping, can I come with you?" he asked softly. "To help my brother?"
Foxy nodded as she waited for Chip to be able to return to the phone and say what he needed, but there was a click and she sighed, "Chip's probably resting," she said softly. "We should hurry and shop."
Nearly an hour later, Dale managed to hitch a ride with Foxy to the mansion while his car was in the garage for a new tire after he had cleaned it out.
While Foxy put the groceries away in the kitchen, Dale found himself going up the stairs and after passing several very clean rooms that hadn't been touched in what seemed like ages, he wandered into the master bedroom and saw Chip crouched on the floor of the master bathroom, silently leaning against the toilet bowl with his eyes closed and tears in them.
Is this really Chip? Dale thought worriedly as he saw the bandages and rumpled clothes on his brother, as Chip had always been neat and clean, enough that Dale had suspected him of having slight OCD.
"Chip, can you hear me?" Dale asked softly, grateful that he had used some of his money to take paramedic training and also some caregiver courses in the summers between his Policing courses.
Chip's eyes slowly opened, but he whimpered, "Hurts," he whispered. "I have prescriptions…"
Dale looked around and quickly found two prescription bottles on the counter that had Chip's name on them as well as a box that was filled with medical supplies and labelled as being from Chip's doctor.
Quickly grabbing an empty cup that was on the sink, Dale filled with water and grabbed one pill out of each of the bottles, "Here, I've got your pills," he said as he knelt down next to Chip. "Open wide."
With Dale's help, Chip managed to swallow both pills and drink some water, "I'm going to clean you up a bit and get you into some clean clothes," Dale said as he left the bathroom. "Just hang tough."
In no time at all, Dale had cleaned Chip up, changed his brother's clothes into something more warm and comfortable, and was leading Chip to bed, "What are you doing in town, Dale?" Chip asked weakly.
"We can talk about that later," Dale replied softly, helping Chip lie down on the bed. "You need rest."
Chip sighed sleepily and closed his eyes, allowing Dale to cover him up and make him as comfortable as possible using stuff in the box the doctor had sent. He silently put an IV of fluids in Chip's hand and also got a bucket from the bathroom to leave by the bed, but he left the fedora on Chip's head.
Figuring that Chip would sleep for hours, Dale silently set the box on the floor and wandered around the upstairs until he found a pristinely kept office that had framed articles all over the wall, all of them referring to some sort of accident that had killed everyone but Chip. Wow. Dale thought sadly.
A retching sound drew Dale away from the articles and he hurried back into the bedroom just in time to see Chip curl up into a ball and add another pile of light vomit to the pile in the bucket beside the bed, "I-I hurt," Chip managed to say, not looking up at Dale. "C-Call Doctor Hackwrench…at the hospital."
Frowning, Dale reached for the phone and quickly dialed 9-1-1, determined to get Chip to the hospital and make sure that his brother got whatever he needed because he had lost far too much already.
Fat Cat adjusted his dark tie as he strode into the room where several of his henchmen waited with a skinny man in dark green jeans and a light green shirt that had skin paler than the moon and a beanie on his head, "Well, Zipper, what did you find out?" he asked in a snarling voice. "What happened?"
"Ze police vere on to Neemnul and I," Zipper replied, his Russian accent making it difficult for him to speak clearly enough to avoid a beating. "I had to hide and vatch as zey took him off to ze nut house."
Fat Cat scowled and in a flash, he grabbed Zipper by the ear and escorted him out of the building with his henchmen following closely behind, "Go back to Russia, you skinny punk!" he shouted, cackling as he threw Zipper into a pile of dirt just near the wall of another building. "Come back again and I'll kill you!"
The door to the building slammed and Zipper trembled, grateful that Fat Cat had not robbed him of the backpack that he had carried with him ever since he was a boy and immigrated to America. Shaking, Zipper silently made his way down the alley and flinched as he stepped out on to the dirty sidewalk.
Now that Fat Cat had declared him useless because of the failed attempt to rob yet another store of valuable equipment that could be used to carry out their plans, Zipper knew that he was better off dead or in jail because Nimnul would never be released and Fat Cat would seek revenge for that day's failure.
What do you think? Is this worth continuing or should I do a Raccoons one?