The following is an addition to the conclusion of prompt Day #125 Titled Surgery about a killer who came into a hospital to exact misplaced revenge on the doctors who were unable to save his wife and son after they were injured in a DUI accident caused by the killer himself.
As I have said many times, I do cherish and appreciate feedback and my friend Kari is a constant source of great feedback. I must say, she was adamant that my ending was unsatisfactory and she needed to know what happened once the killer arrived in the ER.
Kari Young: This one is for you. I hope you find it acceptable.
I should also add, that as my husband (who heroically runs codes in real life and saves lives on a regular basis) pointed out my description of the code in the ER is archaic and “No body uses paddle defibrillators anymore. Now they are much safer and dummy proof” Yeah well, this is a work of fiction, so it all still exists in this story.
Surgery Part II
The emergency department was the antonym of the operating suites he’d just left. The quiet, calm sterility had in the span of a single hallway, given way to a loud, chaotic frenzy of blood and vomit. The killer’s bloody clothes did not garner even a second glance from the nurses who flitted about trying to address the needs of doctors and patients alike. A red light flashed above room 10 and he could see the large number of feet beneath the curtain. That was likely the room where he would find the doctor. The one who brought him back from the brink of death, just to start dying a more excruciating drawn out death without his wife and son, locked away like an animal. The man who was now responsible for the bloody massacre back in the OR.
“Clear!” He heard a man’s voice shout and then a loud buzz followed by a thump.
He knew that voice. He heard it shouting those same words in his dreams. He knew the buzz was the sound of electricity being delivered to a dying man’s heart, desperately trying to jump start it back to life. He knew what that felt like; it had felt like mighty Zeus himself had hurled a lightning bolt down your throat and then wedged it beneath your sternum. The killer knew what the thumb sound was too. That was the sound of your body falling back to earth after Zeus had his way with you. Yes, he remembered it. The doctors insisted he could not have felt it, that he was dead at the time. They told him what he was remembering may have been the heart stopping (heart attack pain is often substernal they had told him in their ‘I know more than you ever will’ tone of voice). But they were wrong. He remembered coming around shortly after that terrible shock. And he remembered Dr. Phillips’ face better than he could remember his own son’s.
He walked into room 10. There he stood, at the head of another dying man’s bed, still playing God sixteen years later.
“Sir” a nurse came at him with her hands up as if to push him out of the way “You can’t come in here, you’ll have to go back to the waiting room with the rest of the family” The killer raised his gun and shot her. Everyone else in the room dropped to the floor, covering their heads except for Dr. Phillips who stood there with those damn paddles in his hands. The killer let his eyes drift down to the body on the gurney. It was a young boy, his hair matted with blood and glass, a piece of his face hung like a banana peel from his jaw.
“Hey, Hey” Phillips said holding the paddles up with his thumbs so he could spread the rest of his hands out in the classic ‘I surrender’ pose “Listen, I don’t know who you are or what you want but”
“You don’t know me?” The killer interrupted. He saw movement out of the corner of his eye, a male nurse trying to belly crawl under the curtain and out of the room. The killer shot him in the back of the head. “I was laying here under those fucking paddles sixteen years ago and you brought me back to life. Back so I could suffer the deaths of me wife and son. Back so I could be locked away for fifteen years for their deaths. Back so I couldn’t be with them for eternity.” He was gritting his teeth as he spoke, trying to maintain his composure long enough to finish what he’d come here to do.
“Oh shit. I do know you.” Phillips said. “Listen man, I get it, you’re pissed at me and I’d be happy to talk this all over with you because you’re right, I was the doctor who brought you back sixteen years ago.” He was talking so fast, it was hard to focus. The killer needed to stay alert to sudden movements, he squinted at the doctor as the man continued spitting out what he was trying to say.
“But this boy here, he wasn’t even alive back then, and he can still be saved. He has his whole life ahead of him. He didn’t do anything to deserve this. He was walking his little sister home from school when he was hit by a drunk driver. Let me do what I need to do for him” Phillips lowered the paddles until they hovered above the boy’s chest. “If this were your boy, you’d want me to do the same, wouldn’t you?” The killer nodded. He had an idea anyways. Let the doctor turn on the shocking machine and bring the kid back. As soon as he heard the beeping again on the monitor, he’d grab the paddles and give Phillips a taste of Zeus’s lightning.
“I need these people.” The doctor gestured to the staff still lying on the floor.
“One.” The killer answered with a tone that made it clear they were not negotiating
“Tony, man, I need ya.” Dr. Phillips said. Another male nurse stood up by the machine. Dr. Phillips looked up at the monitor then back at Tony. “Set it to 360, Tone” Phillips instructed Tony and then looked back up at the killer. “Now, when I say ‘clear’ that means you have to step back. You can’t be touching this bed or else you’ll get a big jolt too. Ok?” Phillips said nodding as if answering himself. The killer nodded and took a step back. Tony turned the dial on the machine and an electrical whine spilled out like a police dog just begging to be let loose to do its thing.
Phillips shouted “Clear!” The killer watched intently as the doctor applied the paddles to the boy’s chest and pressed the button. “Now, Tone!” He yelled. The killer turned but too late to stop the young male nurse who shoved into him shoulder first. He was completely caught off guard. He’d been so intent on making sure Phillips kept those paddles where they belonged, he hadn’t considered anyone else. Off balance, he fell into the bed with the momentum of the shove. Instinctively grabbing the metal safety rail, he felt the jolt of electricity surging up both arms, the familiar crushing pain in his chest and then there was nothingness.
The killer found himself standing in a lightless space which seemed confining and infinite at the same time. There was a warm glow directly in front of him and he felt himself drawn to it. His steps echoed in the blackness as the welcoming glimmer intensified. He could make out vague shadows standing in the center of the radiance. As he approached the shadows became more focused. A woman and a small boy.
“Daddy!” the small shadow called. He quickened his pace. It was Jeremy, his son which meant the woman was Brenda, his wife. She held her arms up to him. This was heaven then. He was dead and now, finally, he would be with them forever. It was all he had ever wanted. His intense love for both of them that got them into this mess. Obviously God understood him, had judged him fairly—unlike the asshole judge and jury. God understood his need for revenge on all the men who had worked to tear his family apart.
He was running now. They had seemed so close but he could not seem to reach them. Sprinting, calling out to them, he held his own arms out in anticipation. His fingers stretched out as Brenda and Jeremy’s did, they were only inches apart when someone stepped out of the darkness and hit him like a sledgehammer in the chest. It knocked the wind out of him, he felt himself fall backwards. Flinching in anticipation of the pain when he hit the floor, he fell and kept falling.
“We have a pulse!” Phillips shouted
“Derek! What the fuck man? He killed Nate, He killed Val. He was about to kill you and probably everyone else in the place. Let the fucker die.” Tony stood baffled as Derek Phillips worked frantically to save the same man he’d saved in the same way sixteen years before.
“I know that Tone, Jesus Christ, Nate’s brains are still dripping off the curtain. But if you or anyone else think I am gonna let this asshole out the easy way, you’re dead wrong. No, you heard him, he did this because he wants to die. He thinks he’ll be with his wife and kid in heaven or something. No. for him, those years in prison were his own private and hell and hell is where I’m sending him. The cops are coming, and I’m gonna make damn sure he is alive and well with plenty of good years ahead of him to spend locked up in the hole.” Dr. Phillips said inserting lines, injecting meds, and taping the man’s hands and feet to the gurney. The dead boy—the one who’d been DOA, lay on his own gurney pushed to the side, waiting patiently for someone to wash and clean his wounds so his family could say goodbye.
The senselessness of the kid’s death at the hands of a drunk driver had Phillip’s anger raging at the time the killer showed up. Everyone in the room had been trying to stop him from shocking the obviously dead boy but Phillips’ adrenaline wouldn’t allow him to quit. His mind was on fire. The killer could not have chosen a more dangerous time to go head to head with a man who had seen one too many lives cut short because of fucking useless wastes of air like the man who years before had caused the death of his young wife and beautiful son.
The killer watched helplessly as the distance grew between him and his family. The light was now a pinpoint star far above and darkness enveloped him. He felt his eyes flutter open. Bright fluorescent lights assaulted his eyes and the smell of rubbing alcohol burnt his nose. He tried to sit up but his hands and feet were cuffed to the bed. Dr. Phillips stood over him.
“Welcome back, I thought we’d lost you there, Buddy.” Phillips smiled sarcastically “Wouldn’t want that. You have so much life to live yet. Life you robbed your wife and son of but I’m sure they’d want you to live on for them.” He put a syringe into the IV line and pushed some clear fluid into the tubing. “Oh, don’t worry about this. It’s just to help keep you calm. Don’t want to stress your heart too much. You’ll need to be healthy for your trial. You’ll be up for life without parole this time, I’m sure.” Phillips walked out of the room.
“Nooooooo!” The killer cried out, but there was no one left to listen.