Possibly a new webnovella starting here. Restarted Novel 2 and have done a small amount of Immediate Justice, but then this came along and started clogging up my brain. Too hard, so many ideas, not all good.
Hopefully this will be, though.
Explosions do two things very well: destroy buildings and kill people. What they do not do well, however, is wake someone up. The often used phrase of “sleep through a bomb going off” is redundant, it’s the gentle things that have a better chance of waking someone, as Horatio Ives would happy attest.
Horatio’s flat exploded at roughly four in the morning, but it didn’t wake him. It was a small flat, almost a studio except for the chipboard divider he had erected between the bedroom and the rest of the place. Later, investigators would say it was this very divider that saved Horatio from a fiery death, others would champion the bedside window.
The flat only had one window, and Horatio had decided it should be next to the bed. This decision meant that the explosion would launch him through the window and out into the street below, still asleep. He fell two storeys and landed atop a neighbours car, slightly denting the roof. Still asleep.
When the emergency services turned up, Horatio had gathered a crowd. It was largely composed of the sorts of people you often find roaming the streets at four in the morning: students, druggies, bin men. Horatio looked dead to them, so they just sat there and stared as the paramedics set to work.
That was when Horatio woke up.
The paramedic gently brushed his arm as she was getting into position, and he shot bolt upright and punched her in the face. She fell off the car and landed on the pavement with a thud that was mostly obscured by a massive collective gasp from the crowd. It took Horatio a few seconds to get his bearings, notice the paramedic and help her back to her feet. She slapped him.
‘Hey!’ he screamed, ‘What was that for?’
‘You just broke my nose, you bastard!’
‘I thought you were breaking into my flat!’
‘Your flat’s on fire you moron!’
Her slapping hand pointed up at the shattered window of his flat, which was now belching out smoke like a strange chimney. Horatio did a triple take, from flat to car to flat again, and turned back to the paramedic.
‘Oh.’ was all he could say.
She searched about in her bag for a second and plucked out a touch-screen PDA. A stylus carefully slid out from the underneath and she began to tick things off on the display.
‘Seeing as you are awake, we might as well do this prior to treatment. It will make this much easier for me. Name?’
The little PDA flashed at her for a moment. The paramedic groaned and stuffed it back into her back with excessive force.
‘Great, a freebie.’
Horatio hadn’t noticed the logo on her, admittedly quite noticeable, chest until that point. It was the logo of Grove Transmedical Ltd, one of the largest private paramedic companies in the country, and one of which he knew the owner.
He smiled. Free medical treatment was nothing to be sniffed at in this day and age.