Luna’s turn to take the reigns, and she is not loving it. Nedjma launches herself from one quandary straight into another.
Nedjma froze and her grip on the key slackened, falling into the lock with a quiet clang of metal. Turning sharply, she could see a taller, stern looking man, eyebrows knitted together as they stared with contempt at the key that seemed to move of its own accord .
“Asif?” Dr. House paused her conversation with the nurse at his announcement. Her hand went to slap her hip, no doubt finding her lab coat key-less, and her eyes widened. “It’s the thief!”
“Yes, we’re past that, Doctor,” Asif said snidely, to which the doctor gave an indignant huff. “I’ll have to get my money from Jeff later, I knew it was a wizard…” Making sure to say the last part loudly, Asif turned to scan the room slowly and Nedjma gave a sigh of relief, then rolled her eyes.
“If I wasn’t technically nearly dead right now, that would have done it for sure,” she said to the rat now skittering up her clothes to sit on her shoulder. Chanel seemed unfazed and Nedjma agreed. “You’re right. Just gotta get these stupid meds while that airhead keeps them looking elsewhere for some…”
She cringed, letting her head fall forward to hit the door. There is a wizard nearby and he’s toting my soulless body! The thought of him getting caught and her body getting sent to the morgue sent her pulse racing again.
“Screw it!” She phased through the door to the supply room with a grunt, pulling down meds she only knew by the color of the labels slapped over the little glass bottles. She tugged a set of folded spare sheets from a drawer and wrapped the bottles up haphazardly, shoving them in a bag and grimacing at how much black goo they had gotten covered in. “That’s not gonna wash out.”
She sighed and reluctantly turned to the only window in the room, not even big enough for her head to fit out of normally. “Time to try out that idiot’s stupid suggestion, finally,” she said more to herself than Chanel, who sniffled at her ear inquisitively. She hadn’t admitted it the first time they had attempted this kind of theft, but she didn’t have confidence that she could pull this kind of stunt, and she still didn’t, but now she had no choice.
Maneuvering the bag through the crank-open window to hold it outside was the easy part- next was her. Wall physics in the Kingdom of Virithiel were like nothing. Falling into a body of water was effortless, and so was coming out. But outside walls were more like barriers, not as easily passed without some kind of opening to squeeze through.
She braced herself and hesitated there, staring at the window with several breaths of confidence before she finally broke. She hopped on the spot and whined, dreading what she knew was the most uncomfortable feeling in the netherworld, or the real one for that matter. What Jose wouldn’t give to see her like that- nonstop teasing ammo for the rest of her life.
“I’m not sneaking away from the coroner’s office again! One time was enough!” Nedjma flung herself to the window before she could let herself think about it any more. As her malleable astral form squeezed through the opening, it didn’t hurt, but it felt so weird and gross, her not-entirely-present stomach churned. It was like constantly hitting your ‘funny bone’ nerve on an electric fence.
When her legs were finally pulled through, Nedjma started her ghostly descent with a dramatic shudder, rubbing her arms in a futile attempt to get rid of the lingering feeling. Floating down at a leisurely pace was all she could do, but the panicked squeaks of Chanel Stamp mirrored her own worry. The bag of medicine was now nearly covered in black gunk from touching it too long and was beginning to get too heavy and slippery for someone without a body to hold.
“I don’t suppose you could help?” Nedjma said to the shaking tail hanging in front of her face as Chanel sat atop her head, peering down at the 4-floor drop. “Three floors left to go and if gravity weren’t so…” Her complaints were cut short when she tried to readjust her grip and it started to slip, but the multiple swipes at it only succeeded in knocking it spinning as it fell.
Nedjma wished she hadn’t just heard the sound of the bag crashing into the shrubs below. It barely covered clinking of glass that probably sat in a broken mess in those sheets now. She also wished she didn’t just see Jose run around the corner at the noise. Without her body.
“Nedj! Is that you?!” he yelled in a whisper, that was probably just as loud as his normal speaking voice. She watched helplessly from now two stories up as he crept over to inspect the bag, then peering up to the tiny open window on the fourth floor. He had the audacity to smirk. “I knew it wasn’t such a dumb idea.”
He quickly wrapped the bag closed and shoved it in his rucksack, not even noticing the goo that was all over his hands and bag now. “Nedj, wherever you are, I got the stuff! Let’s grab some grindage at the diner on the way home!”
Finally landing her feet on the ground and regaining her movement, she circled the unknowing boy as he crept back around the corner. “I am so gonna give you a fresh one when I get back in my body for making me do all this again!” She flung a fist at the grinning boy for emphasis, stopping short of actually making contact. “Just you wait, narbo-“
“Cruuuuuuuud!” Jose whispered, hopping behind a grimy dumpster and peeking around the corner. Nedjma looked straight ahead, finding the nurse that Dr. House was talking to earlier outside. She was kneeling over the body leaning up against the building wall right next to the door. Another nurse she’d only seen in passing before came over at the first’s call, and Nedjma could hear something about “an OD, probably,” and that it “looked like a high schooler, what a shame,” but that it still had a pulse.
“Nedjma’s gonna kill me,” he whispered. Both of them watched the two nurses cart the body inside on a small stretcher. Jose got a hard punch to his arm and he bit his lip, knowing her answer was a definite, and angry, “no doy.”
Sound effects courtesy of zapsplat.com