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Chapter 4 - Shout of Justice

Edwin pulled out one passenger after another. The once crowded market corner had devolved into bedlam. During the crash, the bus hit a truck carrying volatile, flammable materials. Bystanders fled the scene. The air was heavy with with a hot, thick smoke. Edwin coughed violently as his body was assaulted by the hostile atmosphere.

'I can't give up,' Edwin thought. 'There are still people left inside that need me!'

'Help me...'

'Grab my hand! It's narrow, but I can get you out! Everything is going to be all right!'

'I can't... I'm pregnant...'

'Wh-What?!' Edwin had shouted without thinking. He tried to get a hold of himself, but his thoughts were in shambles, 'I'm only 19. This is way out of my depth!'

While his mind raced, he frantically tried to calm the woman and told her to wait there. He stood and surveyed the area.

Several cars were caught up in the crash and now laid motionless in the street. Brandon and the news staff had come outside after Edwin to help the rescued passengers. Sirens faintly wailed in the distance. Help was finally on its way.

'Ed! You gotta get down from there!' yelled Brandon. 'That truck over there is loaded with gunpowder! It could blow at any second!'

'Like hell I will!'

Edwin had suddenly become enraged. 'Why did this accident happen? Why are there so few people helping?!' he yelled to himself. 'And Agnes, why did she run from me...?' He was almost sure she had seen him. Edwin knew he shouldn't be upset. It's only natural that someone would run away if a huge orbal bus came hurtling through the air at them, but that truth did little to assuage his rage. 'Agnes, why did you run away?!'

'You idiot. Who said anything about running?'

Cold water suddenly engulfed Edwin's body. Bewildered, he turned around, only to then meet Agnes' beautiful blue eyes. She stood there, panting, bucket in hand. Edwin was pretty sure the bucket must've belonged to a fishmonger, as he now reeked of fish.

'Nice work, kid! Leave the rest to us!'

'Everyone, this way. Hurry!'

A brigade of bucket-armed fishermen and fishmongers appeared from behind Agnes. Together they doused one fire after another.

'Oh, of course. We're next to the harbor,' thought Edwin.

Agnes' hair swayed to-and-fro before Edwin.

'You! Get over there! You! Go fetch a hatchet!' barked Agnes.

'This girl is something else,' mused Edwin.

'Ed! Get out of my way. That woman is pregnant, isn't she?'

The girl grasped the bus's frame and took hold of the woman's hand. Agnes then gently coaxed her out of the bus.

She faced Edwin. '...You know this would have been way easier if you hadn't come, right?'

'Huh?! What was that for?!' Edwin shouted.

The girl with the cream-blonde hair cracked a relieved smile. 'Don't worry about it. You really are dense, you know that, Ed?'

After sunset, the clattering of a cocktail shaker was the only thing disturbing the cafe's silence. Agnes' uncle liked to serve drinks in the cafe at night. The repetitive sound of the shaker was disrupted as the door flew open. Agnes didn't bother to look. She knew it must be Ed.

'So, how did it go...?' she asked, still facing away from him.

'Everyone is in stable condition!' Edwin recited the facts he learned from the police and hospital's reports. There were only minor burns and injuries. Excluding the bus driver, who had already died before impact. Considering the circumstances, people were saying that it was a miracle. One aided by a speedy rescue, of course.

Edwin continued, 'And the cause of the accident was--'

'The driver died at the wheel, and the bus went out of control. Right?' interrupted Agnes.

'H-How could you possibly know that?!'

She shrugged as she turned up the orbal radio. 'Say Ed, maybe you really aren't cut out to be a reporter. Personally, I think you'd be better suited to being an emergency rescuer.'

'Hmph.' Edwin rubbed his hands together and glared at her.

'Hey toots, get me a bourbon!'

'Quit trying to act tough, Ed. I know you don't drink. Here, let me get you an iced tea.'

As she prepared the drink, she wondered what the bus driver's cause of death may have been. The host on the orbal radio was now covering a different traffic accident. 'Haven't there been way more accidents than usual lately?' she wondered to herself.

第4回 正義の叫び




「だめ……私赤ちゃんがいるの……」な、なんですとっ!? エドウィンは思わず素っ頓狂な声を上げた。専門外だろそんなの! 19の俺にどうしろって言うんだ!!











「エド……! そこをどいて!」その人妊婦さんでしょ? 車体の上によじ登ってきて、アニエスは女性の手を握って勇気付けた。「……エドが来なかったらもっと簡単だったかもしれないのに」「なんだよそれ!?」エドウィンがそう叫ぶと、そのクリーム色の髪の娘はようやく何だか安堵したように微笑んだ。なんでもないわ。……エドって、ほんと鈍いわね。