To Lorin Oberweger, thank you for my starter, I hope you enjoy the story.
“The wheel never stopped burning…”
This was the last line of the song that she could remember. When she woke up, she was in more pain then she could even imagine was possible.
She cracked open her eyes and the room was dark and smelled of… wait, was that blood? She tried to sit up but her head swam and she had to lay back and breathe again for a minute.
She closed her eyes and tried to remember what had happened the night before. She had gone to The Wheelhouse bar to meet up with Mason. He said he had a lead.
Why The Wheelhouse? That place was a dive on the edge of nowhere and pathetic. It didn’t matter now.
She remembered there had been a band. Her thoughts became fuzzy again as the lyric played through her mind again “The wheel never stopped burning….” What the hell did that mean?
Her hand throbbed and she held it up to her eyes. It was broken, or at least terribly damaged. She tried to move her fingers which shot pain all the way down her arm. Although, the pain was excruciating she remembered something. A man’s face. She had struck him. Taking a deep breath, she sat up, using her non-broken hand as leverage.
She looked around the room she was in. She was lying on the floor of what looked like a cheap motel. It had a terrible picture hanging above the bed that was of a bowl of fruit.
As she scanned the room, she could see there was someone on the bed. She could also see that there was blood on the bedspread.
She moved her knees under her, which also seemed a little scraped up and stood up. She almost fell as her head swam again and now there was a throbbing pain in her jaw.
There had to be a mirror in the bathroom and this would allow her to clean-up and assess the damage to her face.
Besides the assessment of damage to herself, the loss of memory she needed to regain her attention focused now on the person, or body on the bed.
It was a man, his face was bruised and he had two gunshots in chest. She peered a little closer and realized this was the man she had broken her hand on the night before. Whoever he was, he was dead.
For a moment, she tried to register some emotion. Had she killed him? She looked around for a gun and didn’t see one easily. Instead of continuing to hunt for it, she made her way to the bathroom to see how bad off she was.
When she turned on the light and first looked, she almost gasped. Her left eye was bruised and bloodied. It was swollen and there was dried blood on her lips and nose.
She pulled a wash cloth from the towel rack and ran it under the cold water from the sink. She started to carefully wipe the blood away when she heard the lock from the door click and the door open.
She froze for a moment, instinctively looking around for a weapon of some kind. She wrapped the wet cloth around her fist since that was all she could find and looking at her hand, she wasn’t sure she could use it anyhow.
“Jess?” Was that Mason? she thought.
“Jess… Shit,” the voice continued. Whoever it was, was moving around the room.
Jess peered out from the bathroom. It was Mason. She opened the door and walked out.
Mason looked up. He had something in his hand. It was a gun. She opened her mouth to speak but before she could, he said, “We have to go now. They know where you are…” and grabbed her arm, pulling her from the room.