“Jorvyn? Jor honey?”
“Anika….” It felt like it took him forever to get her name out.
“Are you okay?” Her voice sounded echoy in his head.
“I am sitting on a cloud eating rainbow flavored pop-tarts.”
“Jorvyn, what happened?”
“I didn’t answer the three headed dog’s questions right and it chewed me up. I was shat out this morning.”
“FireSpring is beside himself.”
Jorvyn giggled. The thought of the spiky redhead with a twin was highly amusing.
When he woke next, the clock, and his pork medallion in wine sauce lunch on the table, said just after noon but his body felt like ten past hell.
“Fantastic, now I know what it feels like to be thrown out of a perfectly good airplane without a parachute.”
Alongside his lunch, to his great surprise, was a six pack of snickers, two bottles of Gatorade and a note. The note said, “I’ll be back at two. Dr. Riley.” Jorvyn glanced at the wall where his almost portal had been and sighed.
Jorvyn’s lunch stayed down, as did one and a half snickers. He figured he’d earned the extra dose of sugar after his rough night. As best as he could tell all his body parts were still in working order. He was sore as hell, very sore in some places, but nothing had been broken or removed or rearranged. In fact, unless you knew where to look and what to look for, there was almost no evidence of last night’s shenanigans at all.
Jorvyn curled up in the corner of his cot, one pillow behind to cushion his faintly throbbing head and the other in front. He didn’t remember much of the morning but he had a queasy feeling that he’d said something offensive. He knew, given his track record, that was a pretty safe bet.
Two after two the door creaked open and Jorvyn hugged his pillow tight.
“Doctor Riley.” Jorvyn nodded to the doctor as he came further into the room and sat in the chair.
“How are you feeling?”
“Better than this morning, but still not great.”
Doctor Riley sighed.”About this morning….”
“I’m sorry,” Jorvyn cut him off. “Whatever I said, or did, it was probably out of line and I’m sorry.”
Doctor Riley studied him for a few moments before taking a deep breath. “It was not out of line. I’m furious at the situation but in no way am I upset with you. Concerned yes, upset … definitely not.”
Jorvyn released the white knuckled grip on his pillow. “Cool.”
Doctor Riley smiled faintly. “Cool.” The smile faded. “I owe you several apologies.”
Jorvyn blinked at him in surprise.
Doctor Riley frowned. “I should have been more discrete in removing Charlie from the rotation. And, I have not been able to fire Grady and Burell.”
Jorvyn shrugged. “I’m not surprised. Cornholio is fond of them.”
“It’s what we call Doctor Cobb. Get it, Corn cob, thus Cornholio from Beevis and Butthead?”
Doctor Riley fought his smile and lost. “I will continue to try and have them removed.”
“You’d have to catch them in the act and that’s not possible. They’re too sneaky.”
Doctor Riley’s smile held an edge of malice. “Don’t dismiss my abilities to counter sneak someone.”
Jorvyn chuckled. “By all means Doc., counter sneak away.”
“Rest up. I’ll see you later on this evening.”
“For what, Doc.?”
“I have a plan.”
Jorvyn groaned. “That worries me.”
“You’re not the one that should be worried.”
Jorvyn felt both relieved and anxious after Doctor Riley left. Relieved that whatever he did or said in the morning wasn’t going to be held against him, yet anxious at whatever the doctor had cooked up. “Anika?”
“Jorvyn! Are you alright?”
“Yeah, I’ve been better but I’ve been worse too.”
“What are you today, Anika?”
“I’m an octopus.” She sent a mental image of a giant octopus with a round female face complete with long luxurious lashes.
“Awesome, do you change colors when you talk.”
“No, but that’s a great idea. I’ll have to try that next time.”
“You’d said FireSpring needed to talk to me. Is he available?”
“Yes, but isn’t it in the middle of your day?”
“Yeah, but the way things have gone crazy around here I don’t know if I’ll ever get any peace and quiet during the night again.”
“Okay, give me a few to see if he’s free.”
“Thanks, Anika.” Jorvyn picked at the fringe of his pillow case while he waited. Luckily, Anika didn’t leave him hanging long.
“He’ll meet you at Cross Point.”
“Thank you, Anika.” Jorvyn slid off the bed and stripped. He laid his clothes over the back of the chair and placed it near the section of the wall he preferred to use for the portal. He used to use the bathroom wall but figured if someone came looking for him in the bathroom it would be pretty damn obvious he’d just stepped out of a dimensional doorway. However, if he used the wall right outside the bathroom he could possibly give the illusion he’d been in the bathroom all along. It was weak but the best he could do given the crappy living conditions.
Jorvyn stepped through the gray into a purple and pink twilight. Wet grass prickled his feet and stuck to his ankles.He leaned back against the now solid rock he’d come from and took a few deep breaths to clear his head.
“You look terrible, Jor,” FireSpring said, his eerie orange gaze traveling up and down the length of Jorvyn’s naked body.
“What an amazing coincidence.” Jorvyn knew FireSpring was seeing him with more than just visual sight.
FireSpring was not amused.
Jorvyn pointed at the robe dangling slack in FireSpring’s hand. “Is that for me or are we doing this meeting in the buff?”
“Oh, sorry.” FireSpring handed over the thick brown cloth and Jorvyn wrapped it around himself with a grateful sigh.
“I don’t have much time. What’s so important you can’t send it through Anika?”
FireSpring grimaced. “Your father’s been spotted at Whisper Hollow.”