|Posted on April 27, 2021 at 2:20 AM|
Taking off his wedding ring Hook squirts oily substance onto his hands and rubs it in. According to an article he’s just written (based on hearsay, anecdote and prejudice) alkies steal these bottles from hospitals because they contain pure-ish alcohol. He’s tempted to have a swig but instead looks at Ulrike. She has genuine pain in her eyes and he’s glad now that he turned her down: she’d never have forgiven him.
She leans up and whispers in his ear, her breath hot and smoky. “He’s had a heart attack.” Her voice is frail, fracturing. “The doctors say it was probably a defect no-one knew about brought on by the assault.”
As he draws closer Hook shivers. Sid lies motionless at the centre of a terrifying network of machines, monitors and gas tanks, caught in a web of technology. Standing by the bed Hook leans forward. Beneath the mask the old man’s face is a windswept cliff crumbling into the ocean. Hook swallows, remembering the agonies he saw etched into his own father’s face.
“Sid,” Hook whispers, “can you hear me?”