What Did I Say!?


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Scene Title What Did I Say!?
Synopsis Cooper finally wakes from a strange dream and promptly puts his foot in his mouth.
Date November 20, 2020

The steady beat of her father’s heart was quickly lulling Ellen to sleep, like it did many nights. It had been a rough month since her father had been admitted. There had been a moment of elation when they took him off the ventilators and started to pull back on the medication that kept her father sedated. It meant he was out of the woods, even if there was a long road ahead.

Since then, there had been some movement, fluttering of eyelids and a squeeze of his fingers, but he hadn’t fully woken up. The nurse told her it would take some time, since even with the medication there was plenty of pain left to feel.

At least until tonight, when pale green eyes blink open and his brows furrow at seeing the sterile white ceiling tiles above him. What? Cooper tries to move but finds everything sluggish to respond. Fingers flex and tighten around cooler delicate digits, which pulls his attention to the young girl next to him. Ellen. His other arm is slow to respond to what his brain is telling, but finally he manages to reach across… but is unable to reach her face. Owie. Twisting hurts too much.

Ellen had been dozing off when she heard the rustle and felt his fingers tighten. It’s enough to have her bolting upright in her chair? “Dad?” she gasps out when she finds him looking at her with eyes wide and very alert, but confused.

“El…” Her father looks around himself with a furrowed brow trying to make sense of everything, as his foggy brain slowly clears. “I….” Whatever might have said is replaced by a sudden driving force. The girl in his dream. Cooper tries to sit up but it quickly stopped by Ellen’s hand is firmly planted on the center of his chest and a deep ache in his hips. Before he can protest, she quickly pushes the button to raise his head.

Though still groggy, he looks up at her with a bit of a squint. “Thank you, sweetie. You don’t happen to have paper and a… pen?” His voice sounds gruff to him and his throat feels rough.

“Yeah, but Dad, You’ve…” Ellen is at a loss of words. What a thinking to ask for after you’d finally woken up from a medically induced coma.

Hurry…” he says insistently, waves her towards the book bag he sees. “I can’t forget this.. I need to write it down some case details,” Cooper says urgently, making writing motions, only to see the tubes coming from his hand. He stops. A breath leaves him, but a moment after he swallows. Oh yeah… He couldn’t lose focus, though, the dream was already fading at the edges.

Luckily, his daughter, while uncertain, pulls paper and a pen from her bag. Pulling over the table, she sets the paper down for him and offers him the pen. “You should rest more. Your bosses would insist. Work will wait.” Should she call in the nurse? She wasn’t sure.

It takes some tries to get his brain and hand to work together, but he manages to take the ball point pen from his daughter with a shaky hand. “A fat lot of good resting has been so far. Pretty sure I was visited by a dreamwalker,” Cooper explains to Ellen, before his thoughts turn more inward. “I… I think she needs help. I think something was stalking her? Or maybe keeping her captive… maybe.” He stops scribbling notes and narrowing his eyes, “A stalker… a jealous overprotective lover…? Hngh… not totally convinced of that… definitely young. Abusive parent, maybe? She reacted like something might come bursting through the door when I touched her hand. But that doesn’t explain the water,” he murmurs softly under his breath as he goes over the words on the paper, flipping it over when it’s full and continuing.

“Sometimes good people are snakes. Words are snakes. She wasn’t hiding… snakes hide.” The pen taps on the paper as Cooper tries to dig up the memory of the dream.

What?” Ellen can only sit there and stare at her father as he continues to write, the pen strokes getting stronger and more sure with each letter.

“Just something she said,” Cooper says with a shake of his head, adding the word underwater to the paper and underlines it. “Is she dead? Drowned, but her mind is free? Angel statues are often used on graves, especially of children… She didn’t know if she was dead. Note to self look up missing children and lake drownings.”

“Dad…” Ellen says as anxiety starts to twist at her stomach, back straightening in her seat as a chill runs up her spine at the subject shift to dead children and graves. She can see him writing out the description of a blonde haired girl.

“But she might have been wearing the stone like armor. It’s hard to break stone.”


It’s like Cooper can’t hear her lost in obsessive thought. “And she talked like she’d been in there while. Maybe, she’s being held somewhere where she can’t tell time, may-”

“Dad! Stop.

That shout finally gets Cooper to stop writing and give his full attention over to his daughter. “Hmmm?”

On the edge of frustrated tears, Ellen surges to her feet and yanks the table out of his reach. Cooper tries to stop her, but he’s still too weak to move quickly enough and can only make a sound of protest.

“Do you even remember why you are in a hospital?” she asks between clenched teeth.

There is a blink from the agent, like he couldn’t understand why she was asking him that. “Of course, Eve’s event became a Michael Bay movie and I got hurt.”

“Gaw!” Ellen shouts at her father’s lack of understanding. Unable to articulate words, she reaches down and flips the blanket up from the bottom of the bed. The move exposes a bandaged leg with everything missing below the knee, while the other is pinned up to holy hell. “You’ve been in a medically induced coma for a month, dad, after having your leg blown off and almost dying!

Cooper can only stare at the injured legs, completely dumbfounded… his brain wasn’t quiet registering what he was seeing. So, all he can say for now is…


Oh?! That’s all you can say?!” Ellen huffs out, arms going out and dropping again just as quickly.

“A month?” her father asks, looking to see her nod an affirmative. “Huh…” He runs the tip of his tongue over his teeth. “That explains the intense cotton mouth I have right now… pretty sure I’m smelling my own breath and it’s pretty rank… like a dead animal died in there.” His nose scrunches and wiggles, as he offers this wonderful bit of information to his daughter, like he’s smelling something awful.

Ellen’s only response is to cover her face with a sigh.

“It’s kinda weird…” Cooper continues looks from his missing limb to his daughter, with a blank expression. “I can still feel my toes wiggle. I mean… people always mention it…” He shifts his attention back at the blunted leg and stares at it for a few more long… if rather drawn out… moments. “Hey sweetie? Could you… could you do me a favor?”

Thinking her father is going to ask her to get him a donut or say something profound, Ellen sits and takes his hand in both of hers. “Anything, daddy, I’m here to help. Whatever you need.” Smiling as his fingers tighten around hers and he looks at her with that loving look father have for their offspring.

Returning the smile, Cooper points to the table sitting just out of his reach. He sounds almost apologetic as he asks, “Could you push that table back over,please?”

Ellen feels slapped in the face at her father’s request. “I-”

Reaching out with his other hand, resting it gently against her hair, Cooper explains quietly, “There is a girl out there that needs help… I’m pretty sure.” He looks at the leg and offers her that goofy lop-sided smile of his when he looks back, though it’s not as bright. “This? ‘Tis but a scratch.”

Did he just…??

That was it!

Ellen gives a frustrated growl and slaps the hand away. Angrily, she hops to her feet, hands curled into fists at her side. “Get someone else to get it,” she hisses at him and leaves.

No goodbye, just leaving.

Clueless to what he just did to upset her, Cooper can only watch helplessly as his daughter storms away - with a quick return for her book bag and a follow up glare, of course - with her father calling her name and asking her to stay. If only he knew the hours she sat there worrying he’d never wake up and what it was like to see him that way. Maybe then he’d have a clue as to why Ellen was so angry at him. For now…

“What… What did I say?”

He’ll have to get someone else to give him back the desk.


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