My skull cracked on the floor, stars exploded behind my eyeballs, and a wicked, resonant clanging hollowed my head and loosened my fillings. In that split second, right before the world ended, I figured either the light flashing before me was a massive overhead fixture coming to life, flooding the building, and falling smack on my head, or the welcoming glow of the afterlife greeting me. Or both.
Either way, I was fucked.
I woke up, cold, blinking as the night sky twinkled through a broken skylight, and struggling to remember what the hell. Mall. Parkway. Game. Jonah.
One second I’d crouched confidently like a dope-ass, Parkour ninja ready to hoist myself catlike to the balcony and impress the fuck out of Jonah, and the next? I’d been knocked stupid, that spectacular starburst inside my head actually a billion brain cells incinerating.
Things appeared more threatening and less of a good time from my new position, particularly in that section of broken balcony where shadows prickled with movement.
Assessment. Pressure on my chest and a probable, mild concussion.
Maybe. I didn’t know. Hard to evaluate oneself after being knocked stupid and having virtually no medical training. I mean, yes, I could get by in a pinch, but I wasn’t the EMT. That shit fell under Vinnie and Jonah’s jurisdiction. I could treat shin splits, sprained ankles, and save someone from choking on a hotdog, or overdosing on narcotics, or staunch the bleeding in the case of gunshot. That was about all the first-aid training our school system could afford.
But something heavy definitely pinned me like a bug to the ground. Draped over my upper chest and shoulders like a—
Like a body.
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