The Last World

The Last World by CP Bialois Read Free Book Online

Book: The Last World by CP Bialois Read Free Book Online
Authors: CP Bialois
him? Struck by inspiration , she went to the wall phone and dialed the number for her father’s office. She smiled at the questioning look on Horace’s face while she waited for the ringing on the other end to stop. She felt a tiny pang of guilt. Maybe she was being too sadistic. She shook her head; it was time to put an end to this.
    At first, she thought her plan was defeated by dumb luck as the phone service took longer than usual to connect them. He’ll be home by the time I get through . A click signaled her call made it through the hospital switchboard. When she heard her father’s voice, her smile widened. “Hi, Daddy.” The look on Horace’s face was priceless, far better than she dreamed. “I just wanted to call and say hi.”
    Horace watched her , intent on not allowing his anxiety to get the better of him. He knew she wouldn’t really call her father just to torture him. A minute earlier, he would’ve bet his small bank account on his belief and he would now be poorer than dirt. As much as he wanted to be angry, he found he couldn’t be. She was trying to help, in a twisted sort of way.
    He was more than happy to let her talk to her old man. Even when she shot playful looks toward him he tried to look uninterested, but failed.
    “That’s just great , Daddy. Sure, we’d love to come over tomorrow night.” Janice smiled at Horace as a plan hatched in her brain. “Horace is right here, do you want to talk with him?”
    Horace’s calm shattered in an instant and his horrified look brought a laugh from Janice. “Really? Oh, I’m sorry , Daddy. Okay… I’ll talk to you then. Bye.” She hung the receiver in its cradle and turned to face her boyfriend. “Looks like you got lucky.” From the look he gave her, she could tell he didn’t feel lucky.
     
    *****
     
    Doctor Doug set the receiver down and sat back in his chair. The fact Horace was nervous was as obvious as leprosy, and he didn’t see the need to help his daughter traumatize the young man any further. He had other reasons for wanting to get off the phone. Franklin Bowen’s file needed to be updated. As a matter of practicality, he wanted to give the night staff a clean slate. His daughter’s phone call took his mind off of the task at hand and the trepidation did pass, only to be replaced with intense curiosity.
    Before any second thoughts could take root , he flipped the folder open and began to read. In general, the only information they had on a patient was the barest essentials: previous conditions, operations, allergies, and of course, insurance. What struck him as odd was Mr. Bowen’s parents and contact information was filled in by the receiving nurse. Hadn’t he come in semi-conscious? Doug thought it curious that Harriet Rice was able to gather such information. Such a task usually came later, once the patient was able to offer it. Of course, the boys with him could’ve volunteered it, but Horace told him he didn’t know the man and he doubted the Drake boy knew him if Horace didn’t. They probably asked him when they found him . To be on the safe side, he’d ask Miss Rice when he saw her next. He doubted it was some devilish plot to overthrow humanity. Such things only happened in movies or books.
    The item he noted with surprise was the young man’s father. General Winfield Jackson Bowen was well known throughout the world as a brilliant military strategist. Most likely a myth, as most reputations were, but he made a note to call the general in the morning , then changed his mind. Picking up the phone, he pressed the buttons listed as the general’s contact information.
    On the second ring , the phone was answered with a commanding voice. He didn’t expect anything else. “Winfield Bowen.”
    That was short and sweet . “General Bowen?” He didn’t mean it to be a question, but that’s how he sounded.
    The audible sigh told Doug that man’s patience for foolish inquiries was low. “Yes. What can I do for

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