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This Shoal of Space:

Zoë Calla & the Dark Starship

(World's First E-Book—Published On the Web in 1996 For Digital Download)

a Dark SF novel originally titled Heartbreaker

by John Argo


Preface   Chapter 1   Intralog  Part I-Chapter 2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37   38   39   40   41   42   43   44   45   46   47   48   49   50   51   52   53   54   55   56   57   58   59   60   61   62   63   64   65   Part II-Chapter 66   67   68   69   70   71   72   73   74   75   Outlog


Heartbreaker

Chapter 68.

When ZoŽ drove up to the school and saw the cream and red ambulance, she felt like crying—but fear only dried up her eyes and made her heart pound. She found Max being loaded onto a kind of chair-stretcher. His face was white as paper. He gritted his teeth in pain and stared horrified down at his leg, which was dressed in white splints and bandages. His knuckles were white as he gripped the stainless steel bars.

ZoŽ remembered to control her tears just long enough to get on her knees and cradled his head. His eyes were wide with pain. He held himself stiffly, sucking tortured breaths. "Oh Mommy," he said, "it hurts."

"It's okay," she said, "we're going to the hospital and get it fixed." She felt her heart breaking.

"Am I going to be all right?" he asked, turning scared eyes toward her.

She squeezed his upper arm, feeling the new muscles there. "You'll be fine," she said.

Sister St. Cyr said: "He was playing basketball with the boys and they say he twisted the wrong way and went down. They heard the bone snap. Sort of a popping noise." ZoŽ stood numbly by the ambulance, trying to sob but paralyzed. Her chest heaved, only to fight a huge weight that was descending on her. Sister Sincere reached out and grabbed ZoŽ's lapel and shook roughly. "Let's get in, ZoŽ, the boy needs to get to the hospital." ZoŽ let herself be half pulled, half pushed into the cold steel jaws of the ambulance just as the paramedic physician assistant bent close with a hypo of some local pain killer. In a corner, Sister St. Cyr sat, with eyes closed, praying silently. Her pasty white fingers kneaded like dough around hard black rosary beads.

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Copyright © 1990-1996-2014 by John Argo, Clocktower Books. All Rights Reserved.