Heavy traffic steadily began to diminish as nightfall took over the bustling metropolis. Underneath the damp comforts of an overpass there rested a drunken homeless man. Cracking bones echoed in the tight place as he lay to rest his tired shell. With half closed eyes he examined technology's little miracles zooming towards their destinations. His dirt caked palms reached behind him to flask of alcohol; solemnly he pressed the final remains to his cracked lips. Cool trickles of whiskey leaked down his bushy beard. A weak grin formed on his face as smashed the empty container onto the cement ground. Particles of glass slid down into the grassy ditch below only to be picked up by the wind. Sleep yanked down his eyelids; urges for more whiskey opened them back up. Between his dozing spell he heard loud booming noise blasting from one of the passing vehicles. Usually that wouldn't be enough to shake him from his sleep, but this music was extremely clear. Harsh words clashing against a harmonic beat, he sat up for this.
"Look like it's coming from a dolled up Oldsmobile, puke green. What were they thinking-they are opening the door…did they hear me?"
He leaned forward as the car door swung open; a frail body hung out the side of the car. He swayed to his feet before his legs gave way. Fear sobered what little strength he had in him as he saw the body being shoved out the car. Running wildly down the slope he went to go find the person. Cowering from shock, the man fell to his knees as he recovered the helpless individual. Oozing scratches covered her convulsing frame.
"Oh no Booze…Ooh no. I know…I know I want to help, but you can't. It isn't worth being caught is it?" He mumbled drunkenly, as his eyes glanced over to a speed limit sign. "Seventy miles per hour…though, there is no way. I can't just leave her here. There is a hospital only five miles from here, but they ask to many questions… damn it. What do I do! Fine, fine you know what you can do whatever makes you happy, you're going to die soon anyway!"
Booze lifted the young woman up the best he could while dragging her safely towards the city. Each few steps he took a break due to her weight tearing at his loosened muscles. Through the shadows he crept with the woman, keeping her concealed from other's eyes. Hot, funky mixtures of blood and street water absorbed itself into her white cotton dress. Gritting his teeth he completed the walk in two gruesome hours. Bright lights washed over his youthful features as he entered the bustling Emergency Room. The nurse at the check-in counter stood up, which surprised much of the other clients who got little to no attention upon their entry.
"What's going on?" The hefty nurse shouted, her nose pressed against the glass.
Booze dragged the girl to the check-in spot and rested her securely on the wall before explaining what he had seen. From the other side of the protective barrier the woman could smell the alcohol emitted from his breath. At that point on she wasn't buying his story; red spots were all over the victim's attire and weeds where tangled in her honey brown hair. She picked up her phone and gave the necessary information.
"A stretcher is coming for the girl. Now before you go, I am going to need you to fill out this information."
"Naw, Ma'am I can't do that. Look now I told you all you needed to know. So just help this woman, I got to go." Booze said before struggling to walk away. "What…the hell is wrong with my legs? Agh…shit my chest!"
Light soon washed over everything blinding him from sight; the first time in years he regretted drinking. A simper formed before things went cold; Booze's always thought a woman that got him sober would kill him. Visions of the girl rolling into the ditch plagued his thoughts; hopefully he did something right for a change.
Get well soon balloons and large floral bouquets were placed injudiciously about the hospital room of the young lady. For the first time in weeks the woman had remained awake longer than five minutes, confused at all the items and the beeping devices next to her. All she could assemble was a muttering complaint about the racket. An older man about his forties rested his hand on hers before laughing.
"Beeping is a good sound, Natalie…that means you're still alive."
"Dad, what happened to me? Why am I here?" She asked, while struggling to lean forward. "Everything feels so numb."
"Well that's what we are trying to figure out dear. All we have is the word of the drunkard that brought you in."
"A drunken man brought me here?" Natalie groaned weakly.
"No, no one knew where you went that night or who you were with. All we do know is that it involved a green car. Is there is anyone you know that owns a green cutlass?"
"No. I don't know that many people that have a green car, let alone drive one."
Two faces appeared at the entrance of the room along with a couple of weak knocks. The father opened the door for the pair. They smiled at Natalie before flashing their badges.
"These are the detectives Moore and Jackson; they're working on finding out those responsible. The doctor said it was okay for them to question you. Now I want you to cooperate with them."
"Sure." Natalie groaned, while pushing herself up.
Moore stood a tall six feet and had the body of a plus sized model; yet those arm muscles and stern eyes showed no softness. She yanked a nearby chair to the bed as though it were a feather. Her partner smiled at Natalie as he sat on the end of the bed. Cigarette breath ushered from Jackson's mouth as he inquired on how she felt.
"That's to be expected." He replied nicely. "Now is there anything you can tell us about the night you were attacked?"
"I was leaving work...early."
"Why were you leaving early?" Detective Moore raised the inquiry.
"There was this thing I was supposed to be going to. Something important…but I can't remember what exactly I was going to."
"We'll re-question your co-workers and see if they can remember hearing anything about the situation. How about you Mr. Davis? Do you know anything about this party?"
"Oh no, I wouldn't know. It's been a while since I'd last spoken to Natalie. We went on separate paths after her mother and I divorced. Now this happens. I am just glad she survived. I am never going to leave her side."
"My cell phone is buzzing, excuse me for a moment." Jackson stood up from the bed to answer the call. "The guy that brought Natalie in is finally okay interview. We're going to head over to his hospital room and question him."
Comfortably the homeless man lay in the sterilized bed watching the rainfall. His eyes were a sober kind of hazy. Dark circles around his crystal blue eyes dimmed his outer features despite his smile. Without knocking Detectives Moore and Jackson entered the hospital room with an attitude of almost certain guilt on the part of the drunkard. He sat up extending his hand to them; only Jackson shook it.
"We were informed that you don't have a name for yourself."
"It's like I told the other gentleman that questioned me today, I've been homeless for over a decade, after awhile I just forgot my real name. People that know me just call me Booze."
"Oh and why is it that they call you that, huh, Abusive drunk maybe?" Moore asked, crossing her burley arms.
"No ma'am. I just drink and drink. Some nice stranger took me to the doctor once, and they found out that something was wrong with my heart and liver and that I needed immediate attention. Well that's where that stranger's friendliness ended. I don't have much longer to live. "
"And let me guess that led to you raping and brutally beating that poor girl you dragged in here?" Jackson pressed for answers about the girl.
"You two are awful detectives." Booze said. "First off I told the lady at the check in desk exactly what happened."
"Well it was her that said you confessed to raping that girl—"
"What no way. That woman must be crazy! When I came in I told her I was under the I-42 overpass watching cars and getting drunk. Then I saw this ugly green Oldsmobile open up and some white guy push the girl out the vehicle going seventy miles per hour. I ran out to help her so I brought her here."
"If all you are saying is true, why not just take her to a pay phone, call the police, and wait there for help instead of dragging her for miles?" Moore asked.
"Police showing up in downtown Old Port City, ha that's a joke! Police are scared shitless of Downtown O.P."
" I don't know what cops you've dealt with but I live downtown okay, and I am not about to be afraid of nobody. Jack and I are going to confirm this story just sit tight here until we do."
"Sure thing ma'am, it's not like I have anywhere to be." Booze replied as the two detectives exited the room.
Still without any heavy leads Moore and Jackson stepped fast through the bustling crowd of nurses.
"That man—he looks familiar doesn't he?" Moore thoughtfully said. "I'll be sure to look over the criminal database when we go back to the station."
"Do you really think he did it?"
"Innocent until proven guilty; so we need to find the proof to keep that drunkard off the street. For now I'm going to call it quits and head home."
"Ha, I don't blame you. Say hello to Janice and Terrance for me."