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191 40 ~ Emily Well, not exactly home. I tried to find a comfortable position on the molded plastic chair. The waiting room was less crowded and Pippa stretched out across three chairs and went to sleep. I passed the time painting mental pictures of all the things that could still go wrong, listing them, and prioritizing them in order of awfulness. Nan could have gotten the message and sent a squad car to the hospital. When he got home, Andy could have called back to the E.R. to check on Pippa, found out that she was gone, then notified Marge. Some civic-minded busybody living near the park might report my license plate number. The cops could already be on their way to Anna’s house. My beeper buzzed. I pressed the button and read Nan’s phone number on the digital display. I shook Pippa’s shoulder. “Is it my turn?” “No, Nan paged me. I’ll call her back. Wait here, in case they call you.” “Good luck.” The phone booth was on the far side of the waiting room, next to the glass doors. The storm was over except for a few solitary flakes. I punched in Nan’s phone number and she answered immediately. “What’s going on? Where’s Glenning?” “We’re at the E.R. Waiting. She hasn’t been seen yet.” I was relieved to tell a small truth. “It’s after one a.m.” “It’s been insanely busy here tonight.” I could answer that question truthfully too. “Just as we got here, three ambulances arrived. Major accident, I guess.” “Which hospital?” “The Medical Center.” “How’s she doing?” 192 ~ House Arrest “The hives are halfway up her leg. They’re getting worse.” There was a deep sigh on the other end of the phone. I could imagine Nan’s bullshit meter setting off alarms. “And why’d you leave me a message on my work phone, instead of calling my cell?” “Sorry,” I said. “I didn’t think about it, just dialed the first number on your card. Hopefully she’ll be seen soon. I imagine they’ll give her some medicine to stop the reaction ,andthenI’lltakeherhome.” “By the way.” Nan’s voice changed in tone, became more distant. “Judge Thomas decided late this afternoon to sever the cases, to try Glenning separately from the others. He asked me if I thought she would agree to move out of the Pioneer Street house and live somewhere more wholesome.” “That’s great. I don’t know what she’ll say about moving out though.” “Tell her I’ll call her in the morning,” Nan said. “Later in the morning. Call my cell when you get her back to her house, so I can reset the monitor, okay?” “What if they have to cut it off?” “Then I’ll send a squad car out, and they’ll replace the strap.” “Not with another rubber one. That’s what she’s allergic to.” “I’ll figure something out. One more thing.” Now Nan’s voice turned sly. Almost like she was teasing me. “Did you hear what went down tonight in Forest Park?” “No. What?” I held my breath. “The cult leader, the one they call Tian? He escaped from jail and hightailed it to the park. The cops had set him up, were ready. Can you believe he fell for the sympathetic guard trick? Anyway, they brought in the whole gang, except your Glenning. She wasn’t there.” “She was here with me.” Each word felt leaden, mined from someplace deep, hard to locate and hard to extract. “I’d better go see what’s happening with her. I’ll call you later.” I hung up the phone and steadied myself against the wall. My ears buzzed with exhaustion and fear. Maybe a jolt of cold would help the airless tingling in my lips. I stepped outside for a moment, into the frigid air, and searched the sky. I used to joke with Daddy that I could see Orion in his eyes. They were so dark, almost black. He loved the night sky and the stories behind the constellations. He taught me the myths and legends, never limiting his words to what people thought a little girl could understand. His favorite was Orion, the skillful hunter who thought himself indestructible. But a scorpion was sent to sting and kill him. His mourners placed him in the sky, where they could always...


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MARC Record
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