Fueled by guilt and fear, I made it out the window and onto the fire escape, painfully aware of the dangling shards of glass ready to pierce my skin like a lance. At that minute Margery moaned, and I sagged with relief. She was alive, thank God. No matter how crazy-angry my aunt made me, I’d never wished her harm.
The whole fire escape, which appeared solid and substantial when viewed from the ground, seemed incredibly flimsy and treacherous when one actually had to use it. I descended, gripping the handrail like a lifeline, afraid that at any moment I’d step on a patch of black ice, my feet would fly out …show more content…
Dropping to my knees beside her on the harsh metal landing, I sandwiched her palm between mine, chaffing it, urging her to consciousness. “Wake up, Aunt Margery! Wake up!”
Her eyelids fluttered open. She gazed around vacantly at the metal railing with its pristine cap of snow and down the corrugated metal steps that ended beside a brown dumpster, the communal garbage bin for the apartments. When she finally focused on my face, her eyes widened. “You pushed me!”
“I didn’t! It was an accident. Don’t you remember? We were fighting over the fifty. When it tore in half, I fell on the daybed, and you fell through the window.”
Margery’s eyes took on a crafty gleam I recognized. “That fall…its left me …show more content…
I looked up and saw the old lady come through the window.”
Old lady. Ordinarily, Margery would cringe to hear herself described that way, but right now she had more important things on her mind. Like blackmail.
As the teen jigged from foot to foot, the medics opened the back doors of their van, removed what looked like a flame-orange, concave surfboard, in actuality a stretcher designed for navigating difficult terrain, and commenced clambering up the fire escape. The lead medic was hatless, his hair cut so close I could see his pink scalp, and so tremendously fit he looked like he belonged on a recruiting poster. His partner had a square black tote slung over his shoulder, a life-saving carry-on full of medical tricks that could do everything from revive a seemingly dead junkie to inflate a splint for Marjory’s leg.
“Time’s running out. What’s it going to be? Prison doesn’t sound that good to me, ‘specially since you’re a cop.”
I crouched down, sinking to her level, of one of the slimiest creatures that crawled on Earth. “All right. Even though I know you know that’s not what