Saturday, March 11, 2017

Episode 01 - Have A Heart

In the middle of the night, Lisa wandered the streets with a colony of cats beside her. Her short red pleated skirt drifted in the gentle night breeze. Her bangs drifted in the wind towards the west. A calico colored tabby with orange eyes was wrapped around her shoulders meowing.

“So, two more blocks down and then to the right?” Lisa asked while scratching the top of her short blue hair styled in a way to resemble pineapple leaves sloping down. The moonlight glowed off the gold heart shaped badge pinned near her heart on her gray shirt. The cat meowed. “Oh, three blocks down. Didn't quite get that between the hairball you were coughing up. Alright, Boots.”

The neighborhood looked well kept. Shops were open and their front doors were free of debris. The area had neon lights in every place they could pop up, almost as if the neighborhood agreed to see how many they could collectively get away with before someone would cry about sensory overload. Her blue eyes kept focused on the path ahead. She got an assortment of looks as she was accompanied with the gather of felines around her making an assortment of noises.

At the end of the third block, Lisa took a left turn towards an apartment building and headed into the alley as per Boot's instructions. He pointed a paw towards a window on the third story. “Alright, could you all keep it down a bit, you're drowning Boots out.”

“Hey. Could you and your cat friends keep it to a low roar. I’m trying to think.” A woman with black hair called down from the third story.

“Oh, sorry. Were you sleeping?” the blue haired girl asked while stroking Boots and looking up at her. “Cats really like me.”

“I noticed, and it's only eight. Just keep them from screaming to loud. I’m trying to think.”

“I get that. Deadlines can be a real pain. Maybe I can help you with whatever it is?” the blue haired girl offered.

“No, no thanks, I can handle it on my own.” the black haired woman insisted. Lisa tilted her head.

“Hey, I don’t mean to pry, but you seem...upset. Oh! Would be a bit less weird if we had one another’s names. The name’s Strife. Lisa Strife.” Lisa introduced while Boots licked her face.

“Nothing you’d care about. We don’t even know one another. But since you introduced yourself, I’m Evan Green.”

“So, you’re the one Boots was talking about.” Lisa smiled. “He told me you were upset about something. The cat I’m holding. He’s Boots. I found him in a boot on a rainy day.” Evan cocked her eyes.

“Really? What did Boots say to you?”

“That you’re dying of something. He didn’t hear what.” Evan’s brown pupils swelled to the size of dinner plates. “Are you okay?”

“I- I’m fine. I just didn’t think cats could talk...or people could understand them.”

“Animals talk a lot. Getting them to shut up is the trick.” Lisa laughed. Boots scowled. “Oh, come on, Boots It’s a joke. Laugh a little.”

“Well, I don’t know how you know these things, but since, well, I’m dying, what’s one more risk? Come on up, but leave the cats outside.”

Lisa frowned while placing Boots on the ground. “Alright, everyone stay outside. I don’t want to cause a fuss.” Lisa walked towards the front of the building before Evan could even give the apartment number and no sooner did five seconds pass did she hear a knock on the door and looked through the peep hole.

“What the- How did you get up here so fast?”

“I walked.”

“But, I’m a few stories up and the elevator was broken.”

“That’s why it took me so long to get in.”

Evan unlocks the door just as Lisa brushed some dust off her skirt. “Well, come in, Lisa.” Lisa took a seat across from her arm chair on the sofa across from the table between them. “So, when did you learn to talk to cats?”

“About when I was five. Dawn taught me.”

“Who’s Dawn?”

“A purple penguin. She’s a friend of mine.” Lisa said in a nonchalant manner.

“Wait...you still have an imaginary friend?”

“She’s not imaginary, but for some reason only I can see her.” Evan just slowly nodded her head while wondering if she didn’t make a mistake. “Wait, there were these eight kids, a stoner and a hobo who saw her, but the hobo was color blind so he thought she was blue.”

Without a word, Evan got up and walked into the kitchen and brought back a tray of brownies, tea and sugar cubes and place it between them and offered her a cup. Lisa placed in six cubes and drank the tea while it was still piping hot. “Aren’t you in pain from that?”

“It’s only tea.”

“But the steam was so hot it was obscuring your face.”

“The heat makes it taste better. Lose the heat, lose some flavor.”

Evan just eased back in her chair. “Alright, I’ll take your word for it.” and took a bite of a brownie. Lisa poured herself another cup and took eight cubes of sugar. “Would you like any brownie with all that liquid?”

“I’ll eat some later. But more importantly…” Lisa gulped down the tea in moments, let out a satisfied sigh and leaned in towards her while giving an intense stare “...what are you dying from?”

“My heart is failing.” Lisa gasped sending her cup flying. She dived over the table to catch it. Lisa laughed nervously and leaned back into the sofa, gentling placing the cup back on the table and let Evan continue. “I wasn’t a sickly child and I always ate well. So, someone up there must hate me because they sent someone to screw me over.”

“May I ask what made your heart weak?” Lisa questioned while leaning in attentively.

“Someone spiked my drink with some sort of designer drug and it didn’t just make me pass out. I had a massive seizure and my heart felt like it was on fire and tried to claw its way out of my chest.”

“Did they catch the person who did it?” Lisa wrung her hands tightly.

“No...they fled before anyone could get a positive ID on them. Don’t even have a gender to go by. So, here I am. A month away from death at age twenty-one just because I took my eyes off my drink to talk with a friend for literally a second.”

“That sucks. I’m sure something will work out.” Lisa uttered while pulling on her long bangs.

“It doesn’t help that I’m Rh-null. So that’s working against me.”

Lisa slammed both hands on the table and bolted from the sofa. “I’ll make sure it works out. It's not fair that you have to get stuck with this. I’ll move mountains if I have to, even if no more mountains remain to be moved!”

Evan got up, took Lisa by the hands and looked her in her blue eyes. “That’s nice, but hearts don’t just appear. Also, someone would need to die to save my life. Can’t live without a heart after all.”

Lisa pulled Evan into her and gave her a hug, ending up between her bust. “I’ll come through for you. Just try to avoid any sudden movements and stuff while you wait.”

“You’re cute, Lisa. But, we literally just met and even if you could, why?” Evan asked while holding Lisa.

“For happiness.”

“What?”

“For happiness. You know, for the sake of someone being happy.” Lisa smiled while slowly breaking off her hug. “You don’t need to have a personal investment in someone to do something nice for them, do you?”

“But, that’s a pretty big deal-”

“People have random hook ups, random sex with strangers and commit random acts of violence. Why not random nice stuff too?”

Evan shaked her head in agreement. “Look, don’t sweat it. I know you want to help, but please, nothing insane like carving out people’s hearts.” Lisa laughed and pointed a finger at her while smirking.

“Don’t worry about it. I’ll just let myself out, Evan.” Lisa walked towards the open window “Thanks, for the tea, and the brownies.” Lisa held the brownies in a makeshift napkin baggie up and leaped out the window as Evan rushed to stop her. She looked out the window and saw Lisa standing upright and waved Evan off as she and the cats left the alley. Evan could only blink.

***

Lisa wandered the city streets taking in the sights and sounds. The air was stale and the rats were plentiful in the darker corners. The block she was on looked worn and uninviting. The cats stayed close to her with Boots around her neck. The rest of the colony let out a combination of soft mews and growls as they went down the worn, cracked pavement. In the distance a woman’s scream could be heard. The group stopped in their tracks. “Yeah, this is a bad neighborhood, alright.” Lisa muttered to Boots.

“Tell me about it. This is the kind of place that if you only hear someone shriek twice before midnight, it's a good night.” Boots quipped while licking his paws. A woman wearing only a bedsheet runs by them. A red hand mark could be seen on her face at a glance while a tall man in a blue suit ran past them trying to catch her.

“Don’t fuck with my money, ho!” he screamed. Lisa looked at Boots, sighed and gave chase with the cat colony close behind.

“That’s kind of human is called a ‘pimp’, right? Humans have strange sounding terms and titles for a lot of things.”

“I think the term you’re looking for since he slapped her over money is ‘sub-human garbage that won’t be missed’. Okay, that was a bit wordy.” Lisa commented while they cut through an alley and hopped up on the rooftops to gain a height advantage. From the roof she could spot the man cornering the woman near an abandoned house. She saw the man and could hear a noise coming from within him that sounded like a distorted scream. “Well, there’s nothing good in his heart. Only the screams of an abusive bully.”

“Uh, screaming? He was yelling.” Boots cocked his head as his tail stood up.

“Right, I forget you can’t hear these things.” the woman ran into the house as the man tried to break down the door. Lisa placed a hand behind her back and produced a metallic, rainbow striped bat with a yellow happy face on it. In her free hand a rainbow color surrounded her hands and produced a brick from it. “Boots. You and the others distract him for just a bit.”

“Where did you get that bat?”

“Explain later, run distraction now!” Boots and the rest of the cats jumped down from the roof and hissed while surrounding him. Forcing him away from the house. He tried to kick and swat at the cats, but they kept their distance and hissed.

“Fuck off, you stupid little shits. I don’t got no food for you. You’re interfering with my business!” he cried. The sound of metal colliding with stone caught his attention. He turned his head just as a brick flew into and crushed his windpipe, snapped his neck and collapsed in the street, mouth agape and eyes bugged out. The cats gasped.

“HOLY SHIT, SHE KILLED HIM!” one of the black cats cried as Lisa came to them. She dug into his pocket and rooted through his wallet. She ignored the credit cards, pocketed several hundred dollars and checked his ID.

“Yes, he’s a donor!” smiled Lisa, quickly turning to a frown when she looked at his blood-type. “Oh, he’s not the right blood type. The search continues, but at least this bully won’t be abusing anyone ever again and I get an extra life.”

Boots coughed and spoke up to the rest of the colony. “Look, what she did is no different when we kill mice for fun. She was just having her fun too- wait, what was that part about an extra life?”

Lisa gasped. “I didn’t kill him for fun! I killed him because he’s a misery generator. He actively made people’s lives suck, so he had to die. Killing for the sake of it is sick! Also I was hoping he was Ms. Green’s blood type so his heart could be harvested and let’s not forget the woman he slapped and chased.”

The woman looked out the window and saw Lisa talking to the cats. She could hear the meows and other cat calls as she was chatting with them. She crept out of the house, hair messed up and bed-sheet barely covering her. “Um...thanks for the save.” she nervously let out.

“You’re welcome.” Lisa smiled back with a thumbs up. “You need an escort to home or somewhere?”

“Thanks. Name’s Trish.” Trish introduced while trying to keep the cover from slipping out of hand.

Lisa shaked her head. “No need to be nervous. You’re just naked.”

“It was just a bit...cold running for my life in the nude.”

Lisa reached behind her back and produced her with a change of clothing and presented them to her with the cat colony close behind. A pair of blue jeans and a black, long sleeved top. “It might be a little on the tight side, but least it's warm.”

“Where did you get that from?” Trish’s pupils shrank.

“My house. It’s part of my costume pile.” Lisa replied.

“But, I just saw you reach behind your back.”

“Well, I did hesitate a bit.” Lisa laughed. Trish took the clothing while keeping an eye on Lisa.

“Thanks. You’re full of surprises.”

“As are nuts. Did you know that if you listen to them carefully as you’re cracking them that they can give you information?”

Trish slowly stepped back inside. “What kind of information?”

“Oh, random stuff. All of it true. Did you know that cats aren’t allowed to lie to one another, but are encouraged to lie to its prey?” Lisa smiled. Trish slowly closed the door and locked it as she got dressed. She turned around to place the cover down and screamed when she saw Lisa behind her. Screaming and throwing the clothing in the air. “I just forgot I didn’t give you any shoes or panties to go with that stuff.” Lisa had in hand a shoe-box with folded up pink panties and socks.

Trish looked around. All the windows were sealed shut and the fireplace was boarded up. “How did you get in here!?” Trish screamed.

“I got in through the hole.” Lisa pointed to a mouse hole under one of the front windows.

Trish shivered and bit her lip as goosebumps washed over her. “Am I hallucinating? Is this happening. Are you real?”

Lisa shrugged. “I try not to think too hard about existentialism. Last time I did that, things got really screwy. Everything tasted purple for a week, dogs were having kittens and Dawn became a wildebeest instead of a penguin.”

“That sounds pretty insane.” Trish slid onto the flood after moving as far back as she could before running into a wall. Lisa tilted her head.

“I KNOW, RIGHT!? Who ever heard of a purple wildebeest!? But I did see a plaid one once.” Lisa handed her the stuff and sat across from her on the floor, legs spread. “Anyway, I’m glad I helped you out.”

Trish relaxed her muscles and let out a sigh. “You’re pretty strange, but I am grateful you saved my life. I’m sorry I can’t pay you back with anything.”

“Good deeds are their own reward but, maybe you could give me some information?”

“What kind of information? I can try to help you.” Trish asked reluctantly.

“I made a new friend and she’s dying. To save her, I’m going to need someone with an Rh-null blood type.”

“That’s a tough break. I’m not sure I know anyone with that blood type. Maybe try asking at the blood bank?”

Lisa snapped her fingers. “I didn’t think about that. Thank you, Trish.” Lisa reached across and gave her a firm hug. Trish couldn't quite figure it out, but something about this girl hugging her filled her with an odd blend of relief and confusion. Lisa got to her feet and walked towards the door and turned her head back, smiled and waved. “Oh. By the way, I don't think this kind of work makes you a bad person.”

“You're not bad either for a crazy person.” Trish replied with a slow draw.

“Crazy is relative. I mean we have so many things that qualifies someone for crazy, but nothing for normal. Now that's crazy.” Lisa finished with circling a pointer finger around her head while giggling. “Bye! Be safe. All sorts on unstable people are attracted to these places.”

Trish blinked and got dressed just as she closed the door and stared at the hole near the window. Pondering how could anyone get through such a hole, or if the stress of the night was getting to her, causing her to mishear Lisa. In the distance she could hear the sound of an aerosol spray going off while the cries of many cats fading into the distance. She peered out the window in time to see Lisa round the corner with the cats following suit.

***

Minutes later Lisa and the cats found themselves at the blood bank that was locked for the night. Lisa sighed while scratching Boot’s head. “Well, we got to let ourselves in.”

“So, we’re just going to waltz in there and find someone who could give her a heart?”

“Well, normally, I would just knock, but since this is an emergency, we have to go in uninvited. Manners can be ignored if you’re doing so is for good reason, and saving a life is a good reason.” Lisa reached towards the handle and pulled open the door, waving the rest of the cats in. “Come on, come on. Just don’t bring in anything dead or use the place like a toilet. We got to leave things as we found them.”

“What blue hair said.” Boots motioned his front paws for them to hurry up. The group went through the hallway looking for anything that could be of help. “Hey, Lisa. There’s a computer in that room to the right.”

“Good catch, Boots.” Lisa scratched him under the neck and opened the door, powered up the computer to be met with a screen asking for a password. “Well, it’s password protected but I’m not leaving without that information. A life is on the line!”

“Well, have you tried saying open sesame?”

“Boots, that’s just silly. Might as well had made their password, password or swordfish.” Lisa commented while shaking her head and spinning around in the swivel chain. As she spun she noticed a security camera and snapped her fingers. “I GOT IT. If this place has cameras, then there has to be a security room and from their, I can figure out where a filing room is.”

“Right, because humans put cameras near important things, like I pee on places that belong to me.” Boots purred and smirked. “Why didn’t I think of that?”

“You’re a silly kitty, that’s why.” Lisa lightly poked Boots on the nose and went to try to find the security room, closing the door behind them. “Now, if I were a security room, where would I be?”

“OH! I know. Let’s go back towards the front desk.” suggested Boots. After a moment of searching around Lisa had found the security room and took a seat in the chair while looking at all the monitors. Out of the corner of her eye she noticed a warm cup of coffee and a half eaten donut next to her.

“Hey, someone just left their coffee unattended.” she took a deep whiff of the cup. “Hazelnut? I LOVE hazelnut coffee. This guy has good taste.” drool dripped from her mouth. Boots ears perked up and twitched.

“Lisa, we might want to stay out of the guard’s way. If he catches us, you could be in a lot of trouble.” Boots softly warned.

Lisa shrugged her shoulders as she made her way out of the room. “Relax. You only need to run when you’re doing something wrong. That, or running away from a flying shark, or something dangerous or painful.”

Boots growled. “Alright, but I don’t think he might be too understanding about us breaking in. I’ve seen cop shows and most people don’t seem to take kindly to that sort of thing.”

“I didn’t break in. I just opened the door that was locked and came inside a place no one explicitly let me into. Besides, a life is on the line.”

“Good point.” Boots nodded as Lisa walked and bumped into a person with a pot belly wielding a nightstick in one hand and a donut in the other. “Oh shit. I think the jig is up.”

“Well, look at who we got here…” the middle aged looking man looked down to get a good look at Lisa and her cat companions which seemed composed. Lisa all smiles.

“Hi! I’m Lisa. What’s your name?” the guard took a step back and put his nightstick in her face.

“How did you get in here? And tell the truth, because you’re in enough trouble as is.”

“Boy, don’t I know it. I walked in through the front door and tried to use the computer, but I couldn’t figure out the password. So then I had to find the security room to find out where I can find anyone with an Rh-null blood type because my new friend needs a donor badly.” Lisa explained while motioning her hands in an animated manner. “She’s dying and could really use the help.”

The guard tilted his head and bent his knees to make eye contact with her. “I’m sorry to hear that, but you can’t just go breaking into places. Doing the right things the wrong way is still doing wrong.”

“I know...I just want to save her is all.”

“You know I’m going to have to call the police on you, right?” Lisa moped. “Not that I’m heartless, but everyone should know that a wrong doesn’t make a right.”

“Even if I’m trying to save someone’s life? That sounds stupid just like the idea that wildebeests can come in purple when they only come in browns, blacks and plaids.”

The guard placed a hand on Lisa’s forehead, looked into her eyes and sniffed her breath. “Well, you don’t smells like you’re drunk, or look like you’re on any drugs. This friend of yours dying must have fried your brain.”

“Sort of. I’ve been roaming around all night trying to find a solution.” Lisa leaned against the wall while petting Boots. “So far it hasn’t been working out, and she’s such a sweet person too. Not fair she has to die because some stupid jerk spiked her drink and damaged her heart.”

The guard leaned right beside her and patted her head. “Look, I know you’re probably had a long night, but getting her new blood isn’t going to fix that issue. She needs a heart transplant, and Rh-null is pretty rare around these parts. Only like, twelve people I know of even have that blood type.”

Lisa picked up her head. “How do you know?”

“I’m the guard here. Sometimes, I get a little bored and snoop around in the files for things of interest.” he leaned down and whispered into her ear “But you didn’t hear that from me.”

“Oh, I didn’t hear anything. I guess you’re not going to tell me who they are, are you?”

“Nah, that’s private information I can’t just go giving out. They’d fire me if they found out.” he laughed heartily breaking it with a soft cough while giving Lisa a stern look. “I shouldn’t be doing this, but you got an honest face. And since you didn’t break or steal anything I’ll let you off the hook. But only this once.”

“Really?” Lisa’s face lit up.

“Just this once. I see you break in here again I’ll turn you in.” the guard went to the door and unlocked it to let Lisa out. The colony of cats followed close behind with one white cat that fell behind. “Now, you and your friends get a move on. Goodnight and be careful. Psychopaths love attacking girls at night.”

“Thanks. I got these little guys with me. They’ll help if things get hairy.” she said while widening her arms. “I hope you have a good night, and a pleasant tomorrow. Keep up the good work.” The white cat rubbed up against her leg to get her attention. Lisa bent down. “Hm? What’s up, Felix?”

“I got the names and addresses of the people on file.” the white cat purred.

“REALLY? Felix, that’s awesome. But how did you get into the room?”

“That stupid guard left the door and filing cabinet open, so I had a look.”

Lisa stroked his back and the purring got louder. “Felix, he’s not stupid. I don’t think he’s stupid. No one who likes hazel is an idiot! It’s the flavor of choice for smart people.”

Lisa and the cat colony left the area and went to a nearby park. She heard the cats talk over the details while she ate a brownie sitting on a bench with legs spread, kicking as they spoke. Who the people were and how nasty they were. If the world would be better off without them. “Alright calm down, everyone, I think we have a winner.” Felix chimed in over the mummers. “Lisa. The person who would need to kill to save Ms. Green is a woman named Susan Parks.”

“Why her, exactly?” Lisa scratched her head.

“Well, she’s mean.”

Lisa shrugged. “ANYONE can be mean. Even I can have my bitchy moments.”

“Okay, if that’s not enough to convince you, then Sandy will convince you.” Felix pointed his paw at a black cat with brown splotches “She was nearly killed by her.”

“You mean by accident, right?”

“No, no! Not an accident at all!” Sandy cried. “I thought so at first when she backed up on me. She tried again. She did it because she didn’t like the fact I brought her half the rat I caught on her property.” Sandy cried. “All I was trying to do, was be a little generous, and she repaid it with trying to murder me.”

Lisa cracked her knuckles and her neck, looked down at Sandy from the bench she was sitting on and said “Well, that settles it. Now the question is where does she live?” Lisa asked in a calm tone sporting a neutral expression.

“Follow me.” Sandy beckoned as the group once again hit the streets. Lisa took out her rainbow striped metal bat and took practice swings as they walked. Lisa raised a finger towards the moon and fog rolled in on the winds, thick as soup and giving the environment an ominous feel as they disappeared into it.

***

The wind slammed branches against buildings, leaf litter across the ground and scattered across houses as it howled through the night. In this cul de sack the winds brought with them unrest. A tree falls in the distance disturbing a woman in her house in her mid twenties. She turns on the lights, throws on a robe and rushes down the stairs, lighting up the house as she came down.

Reaching into the closet she took out a shotgun and went outside to check the disturbance. Her hair curlers rocking with the hard breeze eastward. She saw the downed tree and sighed. “And here I thought someone was starting trouble.” she laughed softly and closed the door back. As she was returning to bed she saw a light in the kitchen. Taking careful steps she cocked her gun when she heard someone closing the refrigerator and hearing loud gulping sounds.

She rounded the corner only to spy Lisa drinking directly from a jug of chocolate milk. Lisa spotted her from the corner of her eye, but only jumped when she noticed the shotgun pointed in her direction and fumbled the jug and making eye contact with the woman. She throws up a hand and smiles. “Hi. I’m Lisa, and you must be Susan Parks.”

Susan cocked her gun and pointed it right at Lisa’s head, tilting it downward to compensate for how much taller she was than Lisa. “How did you know my name? How did you get in my house?”

Lisa licked the remaining traces of milk from her face before answering. “I went through the front door and a cat told me.”

“What kind of nonsense are you talking!?” Susan pressed the gun against Lisa’s forehead. “I would had seen you. Now tell me, how did you really get in here.”

Lisa gulped slowly. “You could really hurt someone with that thing you know. You opened the door, I went in, got myself some milk to drink while I waited for you to get in.”

“How stupid do you think I am, kid!?” Susan pressed Lisa against the fridge.

“Kid?” Lisa titled her head “I’m eighteen years old. I’ve been eighteen for the last five years.”

“That’s not how age works. You mean you’re twenty-three.”

“No, I know what I said. I’ve been eighteen for the last five years. You’re not very nice either.”

“Why should I be nice to a lying sack of shit that broke into my house!?” She flipped up the butt of the shotgun and smacked Lisa across the face, drawing blood from her nose on impact. “Now stop fucking around with me and tell me how you really got in here before I blow your fucking head off.”

“Sandy was right, you do deserve to die.” Lisa cried softly. Susan hit her in the face again, drawing blood from her mouth with the second blow. Lisa staggered.

“Last chance. Comply or die you crazy bitch.”

“Alright, since you don’t believe the truth I’ll show you how I did it. We’ll need to go outside.” Lisa wiped the blood from her face with her sleeve. Susan pulled Lisa away from the fridge and pressed the shogun against her head as they walked outside. “Okay, are you paying attention?”

“Show me.” Susan hissed. Lisa walked forward to face Susan.

“This is how I did it. Like this.” Lisa walks towards Susan. Halfway towards closing the gap, she vanished. Susan was rubbing her eyes and turned around seeing Lisa in her doorway. “See? Like I said, I just walked.”

Susan quivered. She rubbed her eyes and tightened the grip of her gun. “Alright. I’m going crazy. That’s what this is. You’re not real and the stress from work is getting to me.”

“Well, I think you might be a little nuts, but not for the reasons you’re thinking.”

“Shut up!” Susan fired off a round and Lisa took a flying leap onto the grass and ran into the street as Susan unloaded shell after shell. Pumping out five rounds. “This is all a dream. People don’t just teleport around. So why not have a little fun and blow you away?”

“You’re not asleep you nutcase! How did you even make that leap in logic!?” Lisa shouted back from the fog. The sound of a semi-trailer truck speeding through the fog causes Lisa to sprint across the other side of the street as a sixth shotgun blast rings out in the night, hitting a front wheel of the truck. The driver screams as the large truck becomes more visible to Susan by the moment. It flipped and collided into her. Metal met pavement through several rotations until the truck came to a complete stop.

Lisa ran into the distance. Metal shards could be found on the street along with torn up asphalt. She saw the overturned truck and got to the windshield and saw the man was alive, but rattled and caught in his seat-belt and airbag. “Hold on!” Lisa called out taking Mrs. Sunshine and shattering the glass in a single hit, crawled into the truck and undid his seatbelt and helped him out of the overturned vehicle.

The driver got up and looked at Lisa. “Thanks, little lady.”

“A good deed is its own reward, but are you alright?”

“I’m alright, but…” the driver checked under the truck and saw that the woman’s head was crushed underneath the truck. “Oh God, I killed her!” the man teared up.

“No you didn’t. She shot at the truck, blew out your tire and you lost control. Don’t blame yourself.” Lisa begged seeing that he was struggling to hold back tears and gave him a hug. “Not your fault. I saw the whole thing and I’ll tell the police what happened.”

The driver cried and gave Lisa a hug. “She’s dead. I thought getting lost in the fog was bad enough, but now I got to live with this for the rest of my life.” Lisa tightened her grip.

“There, there. You can cry all you want. I’m just glad I told the cats to go home before coming out here.” Sirens blared in the distance accompanied with the flash of red and blue lights cutting through the fog heralding in the arrival of emergency workers storming onto the scene. As promised, Lisa stuck around to help him out.

***

While soundly sleeping, Evan was awoken by her cell phone going off in the middle of the night. She checked the number and saw it was the doctor and answered. “Hello, doctor? Please don’t tell me it’s bad news.”

“Well, for you it’s good news. We found a donor and I booked a room for you. We can do the surgery this afternoon.”

“Really? That soon? I didn’t think a heart would be found so soon.”

“Well, life is strange.”

“I know this is going to sound a bit morbid, but do you mind if I ask how the donor died?”

“She died getting hit by a truck crash she caused in a fit of hysteria according to eyewitness accounts.”

“I see. That’s pretty terrible. Was anyone else hurt?”

“No, no one else was hurt, but the driver was rattled and this blue haired girl with hair sort of resembling a pineapple helped him out of his truck.”

“Lisa?” Evan caught herself saying under her breath.

“Do you know that girl?”

“We met a few hours ago. She’s a little...peculiar, but harmless. I’d be more worried about her getting taken for a ride out their. She’s odd, but sweet.”

“Seems like you two are fast friends.”

“I don’t really know anything about her other than she really loves cats.”

“Oh, well, rest up. Tomorrow is going to be a big day.”

Evan had rested up and went to the hospital to get prepped for the procedure. She counted the tiles as she was drifting off awaiting for the anesthesia to kick in as the team was preparing to operate. The beeping and various other sounds in the room ebbed into the background, and darkness set in.

After three days in ICU she was moved to a hospital room. On the second day, she saw a familiar face pop into her room baring gifts and several balloons with the words ‘get well soon’ on them. “Evan! I would had been here a lot sooner, but the doctors told me you needed to be isolated for a while to make sure you were alright- WOW, THOSE ARE A LOT OF TUBES IN YOU!” Lisa was taken aback as she placed the wrapped gifts on a side table and put the balloons beside her.

“Lisa. How did you know I was in this hospital?”

“The cats told me.” Lisa gleamed a smile.

“I...see. Well, you ended up missing my parents by a mile. It's nice of you to see me and I heard you’re something of a hero.”

“Where?” Lisa slapped her head. “Oh, the news. It wasn’t a big deal. Anyone would had done that.”

“You’re very modest.”

“I don’t know. From time to time I have been known to swim naked in lakes in the winter.”

“I didn’t mean that kind of modesty.”

“Oh, THAT modesty.” Lisa slapped her head and laughed. “Still, you might want to try it at least once. Really opens the pores.”

Evan laughed. “You’re also really honest...perhaps to a fault.”

“HEY, I can keep secrets and stuff hidden.” Lisa chimed in. “I’m just so glad you’re okay and smiling.”

“Well, thanks. Though I’m just a stranger...why do all of this for me?”

“Like I told you last night. For happiness.” Lisa hugged Evan softly taking care not to pull the tubes. She stayed for hours until the staff told her to leave, much to Lisa’s complaining and Evan’s laughter.

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