He waited, but his father just nodded and then looked away. Get some rest, he said. Well take you home tomorrow.
Jack tried to stay awake in case his father wanted to talk more, but his silencepunctuated by the beeps and pages of the hospitalseemed only to grow louder and more resolute. Finally, Jack gave up, and closed his eyes. At first, when he woke up, he didnt know if it was day or night. The fluorescent light of the hospital hallway was inconclusive. His father was lolled in a chair by his bed, snoring. The white face of the clock in his room read four a.m. A nurse in a white uniform stopped in front of the door to his room to greet an emaciated old man in a hospital gown. Jack closed his eyes and tried to fall back asleep, but he couldnt help following their conversation. My brother died in New York, said the old man.
Jack thought he heard the nurse say,We should all be so lucky. But that seemed like an odd thing to say. Oh, things arent perfect there, either, said the man. The fountains were down the other week. And theres concern that someone whothe man whispered something Jack couldnt hearcould find a way
Down to the ninth floor? interrupted the nurse. You know that cant happen.
But some people say . . .
Thats just an urban myth. Are you getting out tonight?
You bet! said the patient. I was thinking of flying around the city.
Maybe Ill join you. Nobodys dying here, said the nurse with a laugh.
Jack smiled with relief as he realized that the conversation didnt make any sense because he was dreaming.
Copyright © 2007 by Katherine Marsh. All rights reserved. Published by Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney Book Group. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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