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Chic Trombone
Jul 25, 2010

Chapter 1:

Thursday, August 27th
3:17 PM

“C’mon, Anna! Pick up the pace, girl!” crows Maggie, as she laps Anna for the second time. Anna takes a deep breath, pushing herself forward - only to barely speed up at all. gently caress, but does she hate running. She’s so not built for this. Not like Maggie, who had been Captain of the track and field team back in high school. Sure, Anna was a boxer, but running? Hell no. Her steps begin to falter, annnnnd there goes the last of her energy, too. Great. Maggie’s gonna laugh about her not even getting more than a mile in before quitting, she just knows it.

Slowing to a halt, Anna bends over and clutches her knees, gasping for air. “Mags…. I know you wanna do this 5k with me and all but…..*gasp* I’m not so sure I can do this,” she says, falling to her side and rolling on her back. Anna lets out an exaggerated groan, making Maggie chuckle a bit, running back to where Anna’s collapsed.

Offering a hand to help her friend up, Maggie says “Hey, it’s cool man. This is just training day one, the 5k isn’t for another two months. You can so make it by then!” Aw, hell. As much as Anna’s screaming leg muscles really wanted her to hate Maggie right now, the girl was just too nice for her to even summon up a smidge of resentment. She takes the hand, hauling herself to her feet and brushing off what grass stuck to her shorts.

“Tell you what, Anna, if you stick it out for another half mile I’ll buy you one of those gross almond milk lattes you like.” Maggie shoots her a smirk.

“Make it a latte and a cake pop.”

“Deal. Let’s go!” They take off running.

They’d been friends as long as either of them could remember- their mothers had put them in the same daycare center at around age three. Maggie had been shy as a kid, and as such was quickly singled out as a target for bullying by two of the older boys in the center. Anna, the more boisterous of the two girls, had seen this happening and gone up and punched the taller of the two boys in the face, and of course was instantly sent to time-out with a scolding for her troubles. Maggie thought her decking the kid was the coolest thing ever, though, and they’d been friends ever since. High school, love troubles, college applications, they’d done it all together, even making sure they both went to the same college and roomed together on campus. Everyone knew that Anna Watkins and Margaret Harvey were joined at the hip.

Monday, September 21st
9:01 AM

“Nnngh, what..?” Anna starts to sit up, head pounding and vision blurry. She feels heavy all over, like she’d been sleeping for a long time. She hopes with all her heart that it means that seeing Maggie like…. like that was only a dream.

“She’s coming around!” People come into view around her, helping her sit up. Taking stock of her surroundings, it looks like she’s in one of the patient rooms in the health services center. She catches sight of two cops, and a cold, sinking feeling curls in her gut. Guess that means it wasn’t a dream, then, she thinks. A nurse hands her a cup of water and leaves the room.

The cops barely wait for her to drink some before approaching her. “My name is Detective Hills, and this is my partner Detective Milligan. Miss, I understand you’ve received a shock, but we need you to tell us everything you remember about what you saw.”

Anna looks up, “What I saw?”

“No detail is too small.”

She begins to shake. No. No this can’t be real, she can’t do this. “What I *saw* was my best friend lying in a pool of her own blood with her, her guts everywhere and I don’t understand why she was even there. She’s not even CompSci! She’s a bio major! There’s no, no reason..,” Breath comes too quick, the room is spinning and she can’t slow down, can’t stop rambling, her best friend is lying dead in the bathroom and nothing makes sense.

“Ma’am, I understand this is hard but we need you to calm down and tell us what you saw. Your statement is important and I don’t think you understand-” Detective Hills’ stern, heavy voice is cut off by his partner touching his elbow.

“Jeff. Let’s let this young lady have a minute, here. She can give us her statement down at the station later, huh?” Detective Milligan shoots a small, consoling smile at her. It does nothing to make her feel better. Hills sighs, apparently disgusted with having to wait.

“Fine, fine. Here,” he hands Anna a card with small, official-looking script, “Contact us at this number as soon as you can. We need your statement as soon as possible, do you understand?” Anna manages a nod, hugging herself and rubbing her shaking arms. Apparently satisfied, Hills marches out of the room, on to do whatever it was cops did when they weren’t harassing shaken up twenty-somethings. gently caress, she can’t stop shaking.

After an awkward pause, Detective Milligan speaks up. “Look, I’m sorry about him. He’s just a bit-”

“Of an rear end in a top hat, yeah, I got it,” Anna bites. Normally she’d give the man the benefit of the doubt but with the day she’s having she’s feeling less than charitable. Milligan sighs.

“Well, be that as it may we do need your statement. Please call us as soon as you feel able. I’ll go tell the nurses we’re done here.” And with that, Anna’s left alone and shivering in the small room.

She’s never felt so alone in her life.

((Ch. 2 to come))