Snow


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Simon half-dashes across the road and presses himself against the wall of the hospital. He needs to find somewhere to hide, and quickly.

He stares around him, desperately hoping that there's a shop or a cafe or anywhere to escape to, but all he sees is an empty road, lined with parked cars. He glances back toward the hospital entrance.

There's no-one out there. He's safe for now.

But it won't be long before somebody comes to take his wife's empty bed away and then there'll be nowhere for him to hide.

"It's got to happen soon," he thinks to himself. "I can't stand the suspense any longer. Time to take action." He continues to stare around him, seeking a place that somebody else must have parked in.

And then, as if somebody's been listening, a parked car slides into view from around the corner. He can make out a hoody, a red scarf and a blonde head tilted back against the open window.

Yep, it's a car alright, but it's a car that's entirely different from anything else around here, and it's the last thing he needs.

He turns around and begins to walk back toward the hospital entrance. He has to pass it to get to his wife, and he has to do it now, anyhow.

He turns and tries to walk faster without looking in the direction of the car again. But he still can't help glancing down to see what's going on with the woman in the car.

He keeps walking, and the car gets closer and closer. When it finally passes he keeps his eyes on the road, staring at nothing in particular until he arrives at the hospital entrance.

He touches the little red light on his wrist, to ask for directions.

When he turns around, there's no-one in the car.

"That's strange," he thinks to himself. "Nice car though. Does she come here often?" He looks straight ahead to the main doors of the hospital. Time to go back.

Simon tries to enter the building, but finds his way blocked by a woman standing in the doorway. She's wearing a white gown and holding a clipboard, and she's smiling at him.

"I'm sorry," the woman begins. "Thank you for waiting. I just need to check his chart to see where Simon's wife is."

The woman takes the clipboard from her chest pocket and begins to scan down the page with her thumb. Apparently she finds what she's looking for because she lifts the clipboard out of his way and continues to smile. He can't believe it. It's not her. It must be someone else in the building.

"What's going on?" Simon rasies his voice a little, wary.

"Oh, you need to go back to your car," the woman in the white dress tells him.

"I don't understand," he says. "What's going on?"

"I'm sorry," she says. "It's just that you can't come in here. Not yet. She's been in an accident, and they're busy preparing her."

"What? Who? What do you mean she's been in an accident?"

"Her car," the woman says through a smile. "We don't have time for this. Please, go to your car. They'll be along directly."

"My car?" he says, angry that he can't see her. She's just vanished before his eyes. "What's going on? Tell me! What's happened to my wife?" He pokes his finger against the woman's chest. "I want you to tell me now." The woman stares at him. "Please!" he says. "Tell me! What's wrong with my wife?"

"There's nothing wrong with your wife," the woman says. "But there's something wrong with your wife's car. You have to go now. Someone will be along shortly to tell you more. We can't help you."

"What does that mean? What's happened to my wife's car?"

"That's enough!" the woman finally says. "Please, go. I'll tell them to send someone back out to you later. Please, go now."

Simon hesitates for a moment. Something about her voice doesn't make him entirely comfortable, but he's got no choice. He's got to go now. He looks around the outside of the building, wondering if he can see his wife walked back into the hospital on some other floor.

But it's all the same.

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