Intentions and Sensations
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It was supposed to just be a quick trip down to the basement to find the book that he had mentioned to Professor Kapland and then run back to the university.
This were the intentions of Blair about 2, no nearly 3 hours ago now.
In fact it was already 3 hours now that he was stuck in that cellar thanks to usual luck.
Blair couldnt really recall for certain what had happened. It had been only a matter of seconds, perhaps. One moment, he was climbing precariously to reach the book that he needed, the next thing he knew, was waking up on the floor, half-buried in rubbish, his treasured, and heavy book lying on top of him. Feeling very confused, he tried to reconstruct what had happened.
after giving much thought to the possible whereabouts of his book and coming up empty, Blair put himself in the shoes of his best friend (and neat freak) Jim Ellison
At this point it had not been difficult to locate the object of his research in one of the shelves delete in high on the right wall.
Why, Jim, do you have this irritating habit of putting things up so high? Or at least out of my reach. Blair muttered to himself in frustration He regretted his complaint instantly when he remembered that he and Jim had tidied the basement together, both deciding that the stuff not often used would be stored on the higher shelves, with the lower shelving saved for more frequently required items.
After all, it was logical! Jim was taller than he and he had less difficulty reaching a certain height, contrary to Blair. The anthropologist had always gotten around the inconvenience by using the small stepladder that was always within easy reach Only this time, the stepladder had been left on the balcony of the loft where Jim had used it to make some repairs. Blair had been about to make is way upstairs again to get the ladder when he spied the robust chest sitting in the corner of the basement., the young man has judged it fit to delete the gap that parted him from his objective.
The heavy trunk had been placed directly under the shelves and Blair clambered straight on top. In spite of the chests reasonable height, the book still remained a few inches shy of Blairs fingers and he decided the only option was to cling to the shelf and grab the book.
It had seemed an easy enough thing to do, but clearly it was not, he thought, finding himself on the ground with a piercing headache and numerous aches and pains.
He was lucky he hadnt broken his neck. He didnt have a mirror handy, but he knew that he had a sizeable cut on his head, judging by the blood on the floor and on his fingers, but in spite of everything he doesnt think that it was nothing of too seriousness. His left shoulder hurt a lot, as did his knees, but all up he thought himself lucky to get away with relatively minor injuries.
No, it wasnt the consequence of the fall that worried Blair, not principally at least. What unnerved Blair more was that he was also locked in.
The basement door was now shut tight, due most probably to a gust of wind and the force of the door slamming appeared to have damaged the lock mechanism, and no amount of force or threat would get it to open.
He tried for a time to dismantle the lock and force open the hinges, to no avail, eventually deciding that his only hope lay in another tenant coming down to the basement.
Surely someone would come down soon. Blair kept repeating the thought to himself, trying to convince himself. He knew that otherwise, he would be stuck here until Jim returned home and discovered that his wandering guide had once more disappeared.
At worst, he would remain trapped here until nightfall. Considering that hed come down to get the book at 11am, that would mean an entire day.
Blair could only hope that Jim would perhaps come home early, or perhaps go looking for him at the university because he needed his help. In that case, the detective would discover his absence and
Blair sighed again.Not wanting to continue on that mode of thought, Blair tried to think of something to pass the time.
Drinnnnn, Driiiinnnnnnnnnnn .
Jim Ellison hung up the telephone with a little too much vehemence, but the constantly ringing tone had already frazzled his worn-out nerves.
"Where hell you are, Sandburg?" the detective hissed frustratedly. Hed been trying to trace his partner for a half-hour now. He had called the university, the loft and Blairs cell phone. He had even phone a couple of bookshops that he knew Blair loved to visit, roaming between the bookcases in search of some rare volume, perhaps relating to his study of sentinels. Sandburg lost track of time easily when he was caught up in his books and study.
Sometimes, Jim was compelled to drag Blair away physically if he wanted any hope of going home
Since calling the bookshops had not found Sandburg, Jim found himself at a dead-end, but the more time passed, the more he became aware of a strange sensation. It was an annoying sensation, nearly a sixth senses, or perhaps better still, a manifestation of the mysterious link that appeared to bind sentinel and guide. Blair was in trouble.
Determined not to ignore his instincts, the detective left a short note in Simons office, informing him of his whereabouts and then hurriedly left the precinct.
The logical place to begin was the university, but here again Jim followed his instincts and headed toward the loft
Arriving at the front door of his apartment, Jim knew that Blair wasnt inside, though his Volvo was parked in its usual spot out front
Once inside, Jim was able to confirm that Blair had come home. The keys lying on the small coffee table, the backpack by the door and Blairs jacket on the arm of the couch all pointed to the fact that Blair had come home, if only for a short time. No doubt Sandburg had forgotten something and had dropped by quickly to pick it up. It was a reasonable thought, but where was Blair? There was no residual heat on the keys, indicating that they had been laying on the coffee table for some time. Perhaps Blair had been called away for some reason. But where?
to Jim doesnt remain that a thing to do.
Closing his eyes and taking a deep breath, Jim tried to extend his hearing outside the apartment..
He began to filter out all the extraneous noise; the radio, the traffic, the voices in a desperate search for the sound that had become so vital to him; the heartbeat of his guide.
At first, he could hear nothing, leading him to believe that Blair was not in the building. Jim felt a shiver of apprehension. Perhaps Blair had been kidnapped
Before resigning himself to the worst, Jim decided to take a walk around the block. Perhaps Blair had decided to go to the market and the end of the road
Locking the door behind him, Jim decided to take the stairs in the hope of relieving some of his tension and as he arrived on the first floor his senses unconsciously picked up something
Jim extended his hearing once more and after some time he succeeded in isolating the sound that he had been searching for
It was Blair! Without a shadow of a doubt!
The heartbeat seemed sufficiently strong and regular, if a little slow and Jim concentrated then on the breathing of his guide.
Also this seemed regular though a little shallow.
Perhaps Blair was asleep or perhaps he was unconscious. Now all that remained to Jim was to locate the young man The detective quickly discovered that Blair was in the basement, not only that he appeared to be trapped. Jim hammered on the door, calling his friend.
"Blair? Answer me. Are you all right? Ill have you out of there in just a minute"
Worried by the lack of response from his partner, Jim had the door broken in quickly with a couple of well-aimed kicks. He hurried in and knelt at the side of the anthropologist who was curled up on the floor, a blanket covering him and a book in his hands.
Jim reached out a hand and shook Blairs shoulder gently
"Blair. Wake up, buddy. Come on. Im worried about you, Chief."
It were necessary a pair of minutes, before that Sandburg realize that someone was calling his name and to record that he was cold and he hurts everywhere.
Well, that was a beginning.
"Sandburg, I know that youre awake, so why dont you open your eyes and tell me where you hurt."
It was Jims voice that was speaking to him, Jim hand holding his hand Perhaps I need to do what Jim asked me to, Blair thought
With a bit of effort, Blair managed to convince his eyelids to open and the first thing he saw was the worried face of his sentinel.
"Jim! You came."
"Hi Chief! Of course I came. Did you think I wouldnt? Can you tell me what happened? Where do you hurt?"
Jim had already noted the bruise over Blairs left eye and he suspected also that he was suffering from a concussion, given the time he took to wake. His pupils looked even and undilated though
"I have a headache "
"I bet! You have a pretty good bump on your forehead. Anything else?"
"I dont know ..the shoulder perhaps, and the knees "
"All right Blair, keep calm! Its probably nothing but its best if you dont move for the time being. Ill call an ambulance and in the meantime you think that you could tell me what the hell happened to you, today?"
"I think I fell. I came home to get a book for a teacher, but it was up too high, so I had to climb up to get it. I must have lost my balance, then I realized the door was jammed and I was stuck in here. I was hoping someone from upstairs might have come down here, so I could call for help, but noone came ... I didnt know what else to do so I got out one of the blankets that we put away before and made myself comfortable I knew that you wouldnt be home before evening and that then youd try to find me and I feel cold. I was hungry."
"Chief, breath, easy, even breaths. Everything is allright. Its over. Im here with you, now. The EMT will be here shortly and you will be well soon. Relax, Sandburg. Soon youll be warm in your own bed."
" I know that I shouldnt have gone to sleep, but I was so tired. The headache was unbearable."
"Chief, exactly how long have you been stuck down here?" "Well, I arrived back at the loft at around 11am, so I guess ""Damn!"
"Jim, what time is it, now? Blair asked with a little frightened tone.
"Its nearly 7 pm!"
Jim could hear the ambulance sirens coming closer and closer. He knew theyd be arriving in a few minutes, so he tried to keep Blair quiet and calm.
"Dont you worry Chief! Soon youll feel better "
"Tell me Chief.."
Blair whispered the simple word while Jim caressed his temples with a gentle stroke in the hope of relieving his guides pain
"What for, Chief?"
Blair began to relax under the gentle ministrations of his friend.
"For finding me."
Jim couldnt help smiling " Anytime, Chief! Anytime!"
The Sentinel would always find his Guide, always!
August 3, 2002