The One Without Feeling
The car drove smoothly. The interior was dark, the windows tinted a deep blue. The air was still and the moment was quiet. Phoebe took in the environment around her. She wanted to feel the earth moving beneath her. She wanted to hear anything but the silence roaring in her ears.
Standing in the parking lot with blood on her shirt, she had no choice but to get in the car. If she stayed, someone would have come for her, someone from the casino would have seen the incident, someone would try to kill her. If she had run, they would find her. And if they caught her, they would have known better than to believe her cries that she wasn't Ursula, and Phoebe would have died for her sister's sins.
"Say something," the driver begged. Phoebe sat still. Her eyes pointed down at her blood-stained clothes. What had led her to this point? Her hands were still, at least that. But she couldn't tell if she had been so emotionally abused that there was nothing left for her to feel. "Phoebe!"
"Why did you kill her?" she asked calmly, raising her eyes to the road.
"She was going to take you straight to Wayne."
"She was going to help me."
"Phoebe, she was going to sell you to him so that she could get out from under him. She owed him a lot of favors and you were her ticket out of there."
"She had answers for me," she nearly yelled.
"I have the answers you need!" The car rolled on eastward as the moon rose higher in the sky. It was a cloudless night, but driving through the woods made Phoebe feel claustrophobic.
"What are you doing here?" she demanded.
"I'm here to help you. I'm here to take you home."
"Mike, what are you doing here?"
"What are you doing here?" Ursula said to her sister.
"This was part of the plan," Phoebe tried to explain.
Ursula slammed the motel door behind her. "Joey, what is she doing here?"
"I don't know what you're talking about." Joey backed up against a wall.
"Ursula, calm down. We talked about this. The plan, the money, the drugs. It's all safe." Phoebe tried to assuage her sister, and spoke calmly. "Can we just sit down for a minute?"
Ursula took off her leather jacket and threw it to the floor. "Shut up. You have no right to be here." She turned to Joey, "What the fuck is she doing here?"
"I'm here to help you. I'm here to take you home." Mike glanced at his wife. She was battered, but still the most beautiful woman he ever knew.
"I don't want to go home. Not until I find out what happened. We need to find Ursula—she's the only one who knows what went down in that motel last night."
He drove quietly for a moment to process the statement. "You don't remember anything, do you?"
"Joey's dead and Ursula was there. She wanted money. You ran over a stripper. I remember that much."
"Joey's dead and Ursula was there," he repeated. "Did she kill him?"
"What do you think?"
"Phoebe, I'm asking you: did Ursula kill Joey?"
Her eyes continued to train on the road ahead. The moon was bright and high now. "I don't know." She took her eyes from the road and looked at Mike. "I don't remember. I was passed out, I think."
"You don't remember because you were passed out?" he stated more than asked. "Phoebe, it's not that you don't remember. You choose not to."
She wanted to ask him what he meant by that—she chose not to remember—but the back windshield shattered with a spray of bullets and Phoebe was suddenly hit by how much bigger this was than Joey, Ursula, Wayne, and Diana.