[Continued: To start at the beginning click here]
She knew from experience that dying brought with it a host of hallucinations. What she thought she’d seen could only be part imagination, part trauma. How many times had one doctor or another told her what a mysterious, indecipherable organ the brain was? How lack of oxygen could cause delusions? Her brain, after so many deaths, couldn’t be trusted.
Stains did not come alive. Bugs didn’t commit mass suicide by window for absolutely no reason. And whatever it was she thought had come through the back door—they definitely had to be a delusion.
But something had happened. A robbery. A shooting.
In her mind’s eye she saw Manny’s body on the floor. Manny, who washed dishes for a living and wouldn’t hurt anyone. He was a special needs worker they’d hired six years ago. He’d been such a good employee that they’d made it a practice to hire other disabled workers, but Manny had been with them the longest. He was like family.
Who would shoot him? Was he okay? And what about the rest of them? Reece? Jim? Sal?
“Where is my brother?” she asked. “Is he alive?”
Santo cocked his head, as if weighing the validity of her query. The small questioning gesture set off a spark of panic.
“Your guess is as good as mine,” he said after a moment.
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