Chapter 2 (Eric)

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Eric heard a crack from behind him, turned and saw Quetzocoatyl face down on the ground. He yelled in shock and sprinted as fast as possible over the icy ground, almost falling himself several times, to his friend. Fear engulfed him when he saw the snow quickly turning red around his face. He seized his shoulders and turned him over.

Blood was coming from both Quetzocoatyl’s nose and from an awful looking wound on his forehead. Eric groped frantically in his pocket for his cell phone and punched 911 in with fumbling fingers.

As he waited impatiently for the ambulance Eric cradled Quetzocoatyl's head in his lap and covered him in his coat in an attempt to shield him from the cold. When the ambulance finally arrived Eric was reluctant to let his friend go. The medics pried him free though and placed him on a stretcher. Eric followed them dazedly as they loaded him into the ambulance. When they got to the hospital, nurses rushed Quetzocoatyl out of Eric’s sight and he was forced to wait.

Waiting was torture for him. He kept glancing at the clock and starting whenever the door opened. While he waited, he became vaguely aware that he was clutching the bag of popcorn that he had gotten from the DVD store. Frustrated, Eric flung the bag into a nearby trashcan. Finally, after what felt like an eternity, a nurse walked over to him. “You can go and see you friend now,” She told him, “He’s conscious but weak. Try not to wear him out too much.” With that, she led Eric briskly down the corridor and into a small room. There was a bed in the centre of the room.  Quetzocoatyl lay there, looking pale and fragile in amongst the cushions and blankets heaped on the bed. He had a bandage wrapped around his forehead. Surprisingly, he also had a grin on his face.

The nurse checked some things on the machines scattered around the room and then turned to Eric. “He has hypothermia and laceration on his forehead which we have stitched up,” she told him quietly, “I’m afraid that you can’t stay in the room for very long; he needs to rest.”

Eric nodded and the nurse turned to leave.

As she was stepping out the door, she turned back. “Oh, and a word of warning,” She said, “He’s had some pretty strong painkillers. He’ll be acting a bit differently than you’re used to.” With that, she turned on her heel and left the room, her shoes clicking softly on the sterile linoleum floor. Eric nodded although she was already out of the room. “Hey, hey Eric,” Quetzocoatyl called giddily from his bed, “Eric, hey, do you know how celebrities stay cool?”

“Huh?” Eric wasn’t expecting that.

“They have lots of fans!” Quetzocoatyl giggled helplessly while all Eric could manage was to blink at him. “Ah, I miss it,” He said, suddenly sober.

“Miss what?”

“My potato gun. The United Nations took it away. They said I couldn’t have weapons of mash destruction.”  Once again, Quetzocoatyl dissolved into paroxysms of laughter. Eric sighed quietly. So this was what the nurse meant. He narrowed his eyes cautiously at Quetzocoatyl. “How are you feeling?”

“I feel like I’m floating,” Quetzocoatyl remarked dreamily, “I get to come home tomorrow, baby!” Eric chose to ignore the ‘baby’ part and smiled. “Hey, Eric, come here.”

“Why?”

“I want to whisper something in your ear.”

Eric eyed Quetzocoatyl suspiciously. “Can’t you tell it to me from here?”

“No, it has to be a secret.”

Eric hesitated. Surely Quetzocoatyl had realised that there was no one else in the room. When he looked at Quetzocoatyl’s face though, all wide-eyed and imploring, Eric couldn’t say no. He leaned down to Quetzocoatyl. Instead of whispering his secret message in Eric’s ear, however, Quetzocoatyl took Eric’s face in both hands and kissed him.

Eric stiffened in shock but Quetzocoatyl wasn’t about to let him go. He pulled Eric down to him; one hand on the back of his head, buried in his hair, the other now working its way down his back.

Slowly Quetzocoatyl pulled away from him and once free Eric lurched a step backwards. His heart raced and he tried to think of something to say. What the hell do you say when your best friend kisses you? He wondered dazedly. It must have been because of the drugs; that much he knew, however Quetzocoatyl’s expression seemed almost lucid.

“I, uh, I’ve got to go,” Eric said lamely. A mixture of emotions crossed his friend’s face but he simply nodded and said, “I’ll see you tomorrow.”

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