Peripherals

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Chapter 3

“Name, Sir?” The receptionist asked the white haired boy.

“Jack Frost.”

She shook her head, “Let me see your I.D. Card.”

Jack felt around for his wallet. His eyes wide at the loss of feeling that his wallet was not in any of his pockets,

Jack looked sadly at her, “I don’t have my wallet on me.”

She looked unsurprised by Jack’s statement as she spoke, “Do you at least remember your Social Card number?”

Jack had needed the number so few times in his life he didn’t bother to keep the number to memory. He just stared at her blankly.

The Australian man was forgotten about through the short conversation with the receptionist when Jack jumped from being startled by his voice.

“’Ey,” The dark tanned man reached his arm in front of Jack as if to protect him, “He broke his hand, just get ‘em to a doctor already.” He let his accent carry through most of speech. He eyed the receptionist, noting that her name-tag read: “Lucy”.

He leaned in real close, a foot away from her face, “Lucy, would you kindly get Jack here a doctor to patch up his hand?” He held back his accent this time, and used succeeded in using a slightly seductive tone.

She blushed, her red cheeks matching her hair.

She looked away and smiled, “Sure thing,” she started typing on the computer which he assumed was to get send the next free doctor available to look at Jack’s swelled hand.

He leaned back and crossed his arms. With slight nod of approval, “Thank ya.”

He turned to look at Jack, who had apparently disappeared. He looked around briskly, not spotting him anywhere, began to walk around the more than large, crowded waiting area. Geez, compared to the other blokes in here Jack is the least of the doctor’s worries.

He scanned the room more thoroughly as walked through the waiting people nursing their ailments. How hard is it to lose a kid with moon silver hair?

After several minutes of standing awkwardly amongst the people searching for Jack, he spotted him sitting on a short windowsill staring outside. There he is! Relief flooded him as he made his way over to Jack with moderate strides.

He stood behind him, following his line of sight. Jack wasn’t staring at anything. He must be lost in thought. Well, it’s time to come back to reality.

Jack let out a very short yell as his shoulder was tapped. He turned to see who had touched him. Looking up, he was staring into a forest. Wait. That’s not a forest. That’s the Australian. His eyes, they’re gorgeous. He shook his head, not wanting to look into those eyes again he looked past the Australian to the doors that lead to the E.R. Jack was looking through the small square window that was like a gateway into something horrifically organized. He looked back to the Australian. His eyes went to the man’s shoulder and a hand was beginning to grip it. Jack’s eyes went broad with fear as he became conscious of the hand, it was a grossly black, long fingered, and sharp clawed hand that was dripping a black liquid thick as blood.

The Australian shivered, and rolled his shoulder. It felt like an ache that came with numbness and a pressure that reached his bones, as if they were trying to shatter themselves. He looked away from his shoulder and rubbed it gently, attempting to coerce the feeling from his shoulder. The pain didn’t go away in the slightest, so he ceased his useless massaging and looked at Jack.

Jack’s eyes were fixed on his shoulder. And they looked afraid. He looked towards his shoulder and caught a glimpse of something resting on it but, disappeared before he could get a better look at it. He turned around to see if someone was behind him but alas, No one was near him or Jack. He faced Jack once more, his eyes were still frightened.

Attempting to distract him The Australian spoke, “So,” Jack looked to his face. Good, I have his have attention. “Your name’s really Jack frost?”

Jack smiled a little and nodded, “Yeah, I know right? Frost fits though, considering my looks.” He brought a hand through his hair, and tilted his head back and to side to exaggerate his point. Thinking about names, Jack asked the handsome man who was kind enough to carry him to the hospital and not some dungeon for human trafficking, “What’s your name?”

He smiled, “Mah name is-”

He was cut off as a doctor walked out of the E.R., “Jack…Frost? Is there a Jack Frost here?” He had to shout to some extent to cut over the noise of the room.

Jack stood and walked with the man who he had yet to figure out his name. The doctor nodded at the sight of the boy. He opened the door for them both and waved arm to go through. They stepped past him, Jack in front. The doctor walked fast to catch up and take the lead.


Jack sat on the edge of the bed in the small plain room. The doctor making him wince whenever he put unneeded pressure on his broken hand.

Speaking as if no one knew what was wrong, “Yup, It’s broken,” The doctor looked between Jack the Australian, “It’s gonna need a cast for about four weeks.” He said matter-of-factly.

“Well o’course, ya dill! That’s why we’re here.” The attractive man sort of yelled at doctor as he spoke.

The doctor leaned back feeling threatened. He looked to Jack with a look that said ‘You really deal with this man?’ To which Jack just shrugged his shoulders.

The doctor looked at Jack, “This hospital doesn’t accept Medicare or Medicaid, In case of the receptionist neglected to mention that to you.” The doctor walked over to the cabinets across from the bed.

Jack looked to the Australian that somehow was at his side without him noticing. And wondered what he was going to say to his next statement.

Jack shrugged his shoulders again, and looked back towards the doctor, “I don’t have any insurance. Of any kind. So this better be free.”

The Australian was stunned that Jack didn’t have any insurance. How does he pay for medical visits? Has this kid even been to a hospital before? Well of course he has, he went to school I assume.

Jack trying to distract the striking man, “What’s your name?”

The Doctor looked back at the pair. He couldn’t ignore the fact they didn’t even know each other.

He turned towards them, “Sir, If you don’t know the patient, please exit the room.”

Jack glared at the doctor, “No, he can stay. He’s the one who broke my hand.”

The Australian lightly slapped Jack’s shoulder, “You’re the one who lost balance! If I wasn’t there ya’ wouldn’t be here at all! That car would’a hit ya’ head!”

Jack hit the man back with a little more force than necessary, “If you weren’t there I’d be home right now!”

Jack’s words rung true to the tanned skin man. He knew that was true. We’d both be home. But, then I wouldn’a met such a beaut of a guy. Silence hung in the air, only being broken minutely by the hiss of pain of from Jack as the doctor wrapped his hand in cloth and a plastic material over it. When the doctor finished, Jack stood and moved his arm around. Poking the now hardened plastic, he was relieved it didn’t hurt.

The doctor turned toward the Australian, “You can pay upfront or be billed. Either way,” he turned towards Jack, “It isn’t going to be free.”

Jack stared back at the doctor, seeing a floating smile. Its teeth were like needles against the solidity of black. Jack stared placidly at the doctor, focusing on the smile that hung there behind the doctor.

The Australian looked to Jack, wondering how he was going to pay. They would him at least one-thousand dollars. This hospital was the closest and the most expensive to where they were when Jack broke his hand.

Jack shook his head at the doctor, “I’m sorry but, no. If anyone’s paying for this, it’s gonna be you, Doctor…” Jack looked at the doctor’s coat for the first time, and spotted his name tag, “Williams.”

The doctor was taken aback by the kid’s statement. Quickly composing himself, “No, Mr. Frost. You can go-” He was cut off by Jack’s words though.

“No! I don’t even need to be here! My hand will heal on its own in a few days!” Jack was shouting at the doctor. The doctor looked at Jack as if he’d been expected that outburst.

Jack felt a strong hand grip his shoulder, and a strong voice to match spoke over his head, “We’ll be leaving now Dr. Williams. Feel free to pick up the tab.”

The Australian looked to Jack next, “Mah name is Matthew, Jack.”

Matthew then subtly guided Jack out of the room and out of the hospital.


They walked to where their first encounter was. And stood on the corner awkwardly. Matthew rubbed the back of his neck as he attempted to form a coherent thought in his head. Matthew felt a light cold hand, touch the forearm of his hand that was hanging at his side. He looked up to see Jack smiling at him with sapphire eyes.

Jack spoke first with a blush forming on his cheeks, “Can I have your number maybe? Maybe we could uhh... Go on a date this weekend?”

Matthew was beaming at Jack, “Yeah, here,” he reached into his back pocket and pulled out his wallet, he pulled out a business card and handed it to Jack, “Maybe after your hand is healed though? I’d hate to make it worse.”

Jack read over the card. Speaking his thoughts quietly, “E. Matthew’s Paintings. He’s an artist, huh. I never would’ve guessed,” He glanced up and held Matthew’s gaze, “It’ll be healed by this weekend, it is just Tuesday.”

Matthew shook his head, this kid really thinks he’ll heal like that. Well okay, I guess I’ll see for myself just so I can say ‘I told you so’.

“Okay then, Jack, Saturday at eight work?” Jack gave a nod in return, “Call me so we can set where.”

Jack smiled and nodded in return. He began to start walking when he remembered something he forgot.

He turned back to Matthew who was still standing there, “I forgot! Thank you!”

Matthew waved at him dismissively and walked where he was originally headed watching Jack walk away from the side of vision. He swore he saw something walking next to Jack but when he turned to look, they were out of sight.


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