Forward : I do not own any of the Kingdom Hospital characters except for Mallory Merdock, Jackie Cross and Margaret Merdock who are of my own creation. The rest belongs to the talented Stephen King. I know, it may be a little crappy right now, but I'm working on it. I hope you all enjoy it, and please, give me feedback. )
- In the heat of summer sunshine
- I miss you, like nobody else
- In the heat of summer sunshine
- I'll kiss you, and nobody needs to know
That was the song Mallory Merdock and her best friend, Jacqueline (Jackie) Cross, played as they entered Lewiston, Maine at 2:58 am.
At the current time, Jackie was in the Intenseive Care Unit and Mallory was in a regular hospital bed. It was a head on collision. The car they crashed into, however, swerved and hit the driver side and Jackie went through the windshield. Mallory had a few scratches but it wasn't anything serious, and she didn't understand how that was possible.
Mallory tried to recall all the incidents before the accident, but all she could remember was the blasting of The Corr's 'Summer Sunshine' and Jackie's high pitched laughter. But ... there was ... something else she remembered. She thought she heard her name.
"Look at this town." Jackie said, putting her sunglasses on top of her head.
"Talk about dull." Mallory said, looking around as Jackie stopped at a redlight.
As they waited for the red to change to green, Jackie brought back memories of their Junior year.
"Thank God we're done with that." Mallory rolled her eyes.
"I know, right? Senior year, baby, here we come!"
The two had planned a cross country trip before senior year. It was mid-June and they have covered all of the East Coast.
The light turned green.
"Mallory ..." a voice said.
Mallory turned to her right. She saw a boy, at least that's what she thought.
'A boy?' Mallory thought. 'It couldn't have been. A boy out at 3:00 in the morning? Impossible.'
"I must be crazy." she said aloud.
"Hmmmm, new patient." a voice said.
Mallory jerked her head to her right. It was the same boy from the crash. He casually picked up the chart at the foot of her bed and flipped through the pages.
"Head on collision ... minor leg injuries ... mild bruising," he looked up at her, "intersting. Well, Mal, looks like you're in fine condition."
"Who are you?" she asked, indignant.
"Can't tell you."
"Don't asked, don't tell," he smirked. "So, tell me, how dida girl like you find yourself in the Kingdom?"
"Why should I explain anything to you?" she crossed her arms. "Besides, you saw it happen."
"Excuse me?" he suddenly looked a little anxious.
"I–saw–you–there." she leaned forward.
"Shh." he quickly moved closer to her.
"Sush," he leaned close to her, his face just inches from hers. "if anyone asks you, and I mean anyone," he snapped, "you don't tell them anything about me. Do you understand?"
"No! Do you understand? Tell no one. Got that?"
"Yes." she nodded, a little scared to say anything else to him.
"Good. Now," he backed up, "go to sleep."
He brushed his hand against her face and she fell into a deep slumber.
- Well it's not so bad
- You're just the best I ever had
- You don't want me back
- You're just the best I ever had
Mallory awoke from perhaps the craziest dream she'd ever had. She was on a raft crafted out of flowers, driftwood and pearls, floating on an endless lake. In the middle was a dock. And she felt like she was being watched the entire time.
"Alright, time to wake up." Dr hook said.
"Hmmm, yeah." Mallory said, that fuzzy feeling in her mouth.
"You can go now."
"You can leave. I looked over the tests we ran yesterday and--"
"Yes ... you do remember, don't you?"
She didn't, but she wanted to hear what he had to say, so she lied.
"Well, everything came back negative. You're free to go. I'll tell you something, I've never seen anything like this."
"Like what?" she sat up.
"This was probably one of the most serious car accidents I've ever seen, and I don't know how in the world you came out unharmed. It's a miracle. You must be on someone's good side."
"Yeah," Mallory said, "someone's ..."
"Anyway, you're cousin came up late last night and brought you some clothes," he set a plastic bag on her bed, "so you can change and I'll sign you out. I'll be in the hall."
After Dr. Hook left, Mallory changed into the denim jeans and brown t-shirt. She walked into the hallway and saw her cousin, Margaret, and Dr. Hook.
"Hey!" Margaret said, hugging Mallory tight.
"Hey." Mallory said, a little disappointed that her parents weren't here.
"Dr. Hook just signed you out. We can go home now."
"That's great, Marge. But, Dr. Hook, where's Jackie? I'm not leaving without her." Mallory looked at Dr. Hook, who looked like he wanted to avoid this subject as much as possible.
"Mallory, we have to talk. Excuse us, Margaret." Dr Hook led Mallory into an empty hospital room. "Mallory, you know that what happened to you was--"
"Dr. Hook." she stopped him, "Just tell me what's going on."
"Okay," Dr. Hook sighed after a moment, "you know the severity of what happened. You know that the car you hit swerved and hit the driver side. When that happened, Jackie's back nearly split in two. Had that not happened, she might still have a chance."
"A chance at what?" Mallory eyes were flooded with tears that were on the brink of falling out of herbrown eyes.
"Survival." Dr. Hook lowered his head. "However, there is still a small chance that she could pull through. There is no doubt in my mind, though, that she will be a quadriplegic." Mallory burst into tears. "You have no idea how sorry I am."
"You," Mallory managed, "you said she could still pull through? H-how?"
"From the scans we've done, we've determined that her ability to speak wasn't impaired. Her short term memory should be fine. But ..."
"There is a large chance that when she wakes up, she will not remember who you are."
"Oh God. She's ... she's in a coma?"
"Yes. Mallory, I apologize for everything that has happened."
"Can I see her?"
"Family only, I'm afraid."
"Doctor, if you knew anything about Jackie, then you'd know I'm the cloest thing to family that she's got."
Dr. Hook nodded and took Mallory to Jackie's room. Jackie was laying on the bed, still as could be, paler then pale. Her red hair fell around her pallid face. She looked like she was sleeping but she also looked like something out of a nightmare.
"Jackie?" Malloy bit her bottom lip and pulled a chair over to the bedside as Dr. Hook left the room. "Jack, how did we end up like this? Huh? I promise you're gonna get better. And when you do, we'll ... we'll go to California, just like you always wanted. Okay? Jackie? Please wake up. Please. ... I don't know what to do. You look so scared. Your mom and dad haven't got here yet ... if it makes you feel any better, mine didn't bother showing up ... remember when you asked me, if you could stay with me and not go back home ever again, when we crossed over from Maryland in Delaware.?I know you remember that, even if Hook says you don't ... I won't make you go back home, I won't. You can live with me, or some friends, but I won't take you back home ... Jackie ...you're not going to die," she cried, "you're not. I ... I-I won't let you."
Mallory sat with Jackie until she herself fell asleep, and then, it started to rain ...
- It's been so long, so long
- Darling don't cha know
- We miss you when you're gone
- So long, so long
- Darling don't cha know
- We miss you when you're gone
Mallory awoke with a start. She was still in Jackie's room, and Jackie still looked the same. She had another dream. She was watching a building go up in flames. It was a huge building. She was so mesmerized by the flames she didn't notice anything else around her.
She got up and looked out the window, rain. She turned back around and saw the boy again. He was sitting in the chair Mallory had just been in, his ankel across his knee.
"Are you following me?" Mallory said, out of breath from the scare.
She didn't except him to be so blunt, or for him to actually be following her.
"Well, you wanna tell me why?"
"No, not really."
"Can you please tell me who the hell you are, then?"
"Easy on the words there, Mal. The name's Paul," he stood, "Paul Morlock."
"Do you work here, or something?"
"Do I look like I work here?" he held his arms out, displaying his atire.
This was the first time she really noticed his clothes. He looked like a worker from another century ... or at least, he was only dressed like one.
"Then why are you here?"
"Do you always as this many questions?" he said bitterly.
"I really didn't want an answer."
"Sorry," she said, feeling embarrassed, "so, your name's Paul?
"Yeah, why, you gotta problem with it?"
"No. It's just ... it's not a name you hear everyday."
"That's a good perception. I'm dead."
She couldn't have heard him right. She just couldn't have.
"I - AM - DEAD. You know, what could have happened to you."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Mallory was slightly offended.
"You see your friend there?" he motioned to Jackie. "Had it not been for me, you would be lying next to her," he smiled.
"Don't even joke about that. Besides, am I really supposed to believe that you're dead?"
"Why do you think you can't remember anything from the past week that you've been here?"
"I spend a week here?" Mallory was stunned, and he smiled.
"Yeah, you did. I had a little troubling erasing your memory so you might not recall anything from last month."
"Why did you need to erase my memory?"
"If I wanted you to know why I did it, I wouldn't have done it, now would I?" he stared at her, and she stood up a little straighter.
"Well, I'm fine, thank you."
"You're welcome." he raised his eyebrows.
Mallory just stared at him. He couldn't be dead. If he were dead, she could see through him, and he looked as solid as her. It was ridiculous. But ... she didn't remember anything about the past week. "That was ... that was probably just because of the accident," she thought. She couldn't go through something like that and come out perfect. She was just lucky to be alive. Yes, that was all. The accident stunned her memory.
"You said you saved me?"
"Why. You don't even know me."
"Ding ding, that's where you're wrong Mallory Jane Merdock, the second. You live in Rivera, Maryland. Your dad is a rich lawyer. Your mom is unemployed but it's not like you need the extra money." he paced around her. "I mean, a house in Rivera, lodge in Vermont, penthouse in New York. You're set. But last year, things weren't too hot. Your mother checked into a rehab center for her alcoholism and your dad cried divorce. You had a bad break up with your boyfriend and locked yourself in your room for three days--"
"How do you know all this?"
He leaned closer to her.
"Let's just say that I have access to records that the hospital doesn't keep."
"What?" she looked at him, disgusted.
"You heard me, Mallory. I know more about you then you think."
"Then why don't you tell me what you want from me?"
"Who said I wanted anything from you?"
"If you didn't, you wouldn't still be here," she crossed her arms, "I can play the game, too, Paul. What do you want?"
"I can't tell you."
"Why the hell not?"
"Because I don't know what I want with you!" he yelled.
Mallory was silent. He was following her, but he didn't know why? That was like saying a fish couldn't breath underwater.
"Mallory, you've got no reason to trust me. But if you want to walk out of here alive, you have to. If you know anything about this hospital, then you know trouble isn't far away. I can help you and your friend, but you have to help me first."
"I'm listening." Mallory finally agreed.
"The hospital keeps apartments across the street, for the patients families. I need you to get one of those by tonight. I'll come back for you."
With that, Paul was gone. Mallory looked at Jackie. If he could help her, then maybe trusting him wasn't a bad idea. From the way he was acting, it was clear that he needed her. And if he promised that she and Jackie could walk out of her alive, then she should at least hear what he's got to say.
She walked back into the hallway and saw Dr. Hook. She walked up to him.
"Mallory, hi. This is Dr. Traft."
"Hello." Dr. Traft, a women with short blonde hair and soft brown eyes, shook Mallory's hand.
"Hi, it's nice to meet you. Dr. Hook, could I talk to you?"
"Sure, excuse me, Lona." Dr Traft walked away. "What's up?"
"I've been told that ther are apartments for the patients families ...?"
"Yes, the hospital provides them. Why?"
"I think Margaret and I will need one."
"Do you think that's necessary?"
"You said that she has a slim chance at survival. If she goes, I'm going to be here."
"Alright." Dr. Hook agreed. "I'll set one up."
"Thank you doctor."
Mallory walked back into Jackie's room and took her hand.
"Jackie, I know you're here and I know if I talk, you'll listen. It's always been like that, right? ... there's a boy, here in the hospital. I guess you could call him ghost ... he wants to help us, you. ... And I think we should give him a shot. You know? Maybe he can help. It sounds crazy, I know, but, if he can't help you ... something tells me that the doctors around here can't either."
The Corrs - Summer Sunshine
Vertical Horizon - Best I Ever Had (Grey Sky Morning)
Fountains of Wayne - Halley's Waitress