Alias Baby Face
Michelle Perry
Chapter 3 - The Heat

"Are you sure this is okay?"

"Why wouldn't it be?" The teenager pulled out a small flask and passed it to his companion. "Nobody's gonna bother us here, kid."

"But my brother says gangsters use this place to do beatings and stuff."

"Well, they're not going to do it at nine in the morning, Jack. Go on, take a swig." Jack looked around, just to be sure no one was watching, and took a swallow of the whiskey. The heat flowed down his throat, and he coughed and spluttered. The older boy laughed and took the flask back. He took a big swig with only a slight shake of his head to indicate that there was any kind of burn. "You're such a wuss."

"Shut up, Ken!"

"Oh, calm down," Ken said. "Take another sip. Maybe if you get enough into your system, you'll stop being so uptight."

Jack scowled, but took a large swallow, just to prove he could. He managed to get it down, but coughed and choked worse than before. Ken burst into giggles, pressing back against the crate he'd been sitting against and kicking his legs in his merriment. Jack glared at Ken for a few seconds, trying to decide if punching Ken would lead to getting his own ass kicked. Just as he was about to go for it, Ken knocked the crate on its side, and something tumbled out, wrapping itself in the tarp that had covered the box.

Ken stopped laughing and stood up, edging toward the object. "What is it?" Jack asked.

"Not sure." Ken pulled the tarp away and jumped back. "Jesus!"

"What is it?" Jack asked again, feeling his panic rise. It took a lot to scare Ken.

"I think it's a dead body."

"What??" Jack backed away.

"Come here." Jack shook his head. "Come here, dammit, and give me the whiskey flask!" Jack moved forward and handed Ken the bottle, looking in horror down at the body. It was a man, dressed only in his underwear, with cuts, bruises and dried blood all over his body. His arms and legs looked weird - like they were bent wrong or something. Jack watched nervously, while Ken reached down and held the flask under the man's nose. "Oh, shit! This guy's still alive!" Ken turned, grabbed Jack by the arm and pulled him back to the car.

Micky opened his eyes slowly. His eyelids felt heavy, and he was only able to open his eyes a little bit before the effort seemed too difficult. He couldn't make sense of anything he saw. Everything was blurry and dark. Micky tried to reach over and turn on a lamp, but found he couldn't move his arm. He tried to move his other arm, but it wouldn't move, either. In fact, nothing moved. He couldn't even turn his head.

Micky started to panic. His quickened breaths were making his chest feel tight for some reason, and it caused him to panic all the more. He tried to call out for help, but all that came out was a croaking whisper. Micky's heart raced, and he could hear the sound of a rapid beeping noise that made less sense than anything else around him. He could feel tears starting to well up in his already-blurry eyes. Then, suddenly, the dark blurriness turned to light blurriness, and he could hear footsteps approaching him. He didn't trust the footsteps, but he couldn't possibly run away, and his breathing quickened even more.

Someone touched his forehead, and he shuddered. "Okay. It's okay, son," a kind, female voice said. "You're in the hospital. You were very badly beaten, but you're okay now. Do you understand me?"

"Yes," Micky whispered. He remembered the last thing that had happened to him now. He was still scared, but for a different reason. Baby Face said he was going to hurt Mike and Peter! He had to get up. Had to warn them!

"Shhhh, okay, honey," the nurse said. "Be still. You're not ready to move around too much just yet."

"But, my... my friends..."

"I know, you want to let them know you're safe. You've been unconscious for almost five days, and I'm sure your family is worried about you, too."

"Five days??" Micky had screamed the words, but they came out just as if he'd said them in a regular tone of voice. The tightness in his chest turned to pain, and he felt utterly exhausted.

"Honey, calm down," the nurse said worriedly. "You've got cracked ribs and a broken collar bone, and that's just for starters. I want you to try to relax, okay? You don't want to exert yourself too much, or you might knock something back out of place, okay?"

"Okay," Micky said weakly. He could feel tears rolling down his face. Five days. Peter and Mike could be dead by now! In fact, it was almost certain that they were. Baby Face would have no reason to wait. And what about Davy? Would he have killed Davy, too?

Micky cried harder at the thought that all of his friends might have been murdered. The nurse made cooing noises, and gently touched his head. "You're all right, honey," she said. "I know you're upset right now, but you'll be okay. Nobody's going to hurt you in here. The doctor will be here in just a few minutes, and if he says it's okay, we'll let you use the phone to call someone. Just try to relax, hon."

The nurse went away, and in a few minutes, the doctor came in. Micky still couldn't see properly, but he could distinguish a taller white blob from the shorter blob that was the nurse. The doctor asked him his name, age, and if he was allergic to medicines. "Well, Mr. Dolenz," he said. "You've been the victim of a vicious attack. Frankly, I think it's a miracle you're still alive. When the paramedics reached you, your pulse was so weak it was undetectable without a stethoscope. You may not remember all of the details right now, but we'll have an officer come in to take a statement from you later, when you're feeling better."

"Why... can't I move?" Micky asked, struggling to speak loud enough to be heard. "I can't see."

"You've suffered a concussion as a result of a severe blow to the head. More than one, actually. It's normal in such a situation for you to experience dizziness and trouble seeing clearly. Your arms and legs have been broken - in fact, your right leg was broken in three different places. You also have four broken ribs, and your left clavicle was fractured. We had to cast almost your entire body, Mr. Dolenz. It will be some time before you have full mobility again."

Micky closed his eyes and tried not to start crying again. What did he mean by some time? Weeks? Months? How long was he going to be stuck in the hospital? Micky tried not to think too hard about it. He was alive, and after what Baby Face had done to him, it was a miracle. He only wished he could be sure that the others were okay. "Could I use the phone?"

"You shouldn't talk for very long, and the police are going to take your statement this evening. If there's someone you want us to call..."

"No," Micky said. He could only imagine what would happen if they called the house and Baby Face answered. What if they gave him the address to the hospital so he could come and "visit"? The idea made him feel sick to his stomach. "I... want to do it," he said. The doctor gave his consent, and before long, the nurse was back. She dialed the phone number for him and held the phone to his ear. Micky listened, with a growing sense of anxiety, while the phone rang. Please let them be alive. Please let them be alive.

Chapter 2
Chapter 4

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