A man loses his fingers, but more importantly, a man's life is inconvenienced.
Brendan M. Speers
February 18th 2007
The gurney burst through the doors like a badly formed simile from a writers fingers. The wheels clanged as Durgin Smith lay screaming, his one hand clutching a blood stained towel to the other. Three attendants ran along, two pushing, one holding an ice pack, in which were packed the four missing fingers. One of the pushers ran ahead, and stood, knuckles perched on the desk, in front of the receptionist.
“Phyllis! I have a DEU XT-OT Hydrochloric Persephinol Bixpate! I need an operating room, stat!” he barked at the woman. She turned absently to look at the young man in the face.
“What do any of those words mean, Michael?”
Michael sagged. “Uh. A guy cut his fingers off. With a power saw. They need to be, uh. Re-attached. We have the fingers. On ice. So you know, they can be re-attached. Possibly by a surgeon. Or, you know. A doctor. Of some sort.”
“Mmhmm. Well, he’ll have to wait. All our beds are taken.” Phyllis said, removing the wad of gum from her mouth to flick it into the garbage can. Michael sagged further.
“Aww, FUCK!” screamed Durgin, arching his back in agony. Michael turned to the patient and waved a hand.
“Hey, shut it up. I have to think here! You’re not the only one with problems here you know.” He turned back to Phyllis. “Hey, come on. I can’t have another accident on my resume. You know what the stakes are here.”
“The stakes are that I may lose my FUCKING HAND!”
Michael stepped up to Durgin and grabbed him by the lapels. “Listen bud. My job is on the line here. My fucking job, you understand? I could lose my job over this. Who would feed my kids, if I had any? Huh? Think about that, you dickhead.”
“We might have a room ready in a little bit. Room… uh, 516.” Phyllis piped up, picking another stick of gum from her pack and shifting it from finger to tongue. Michael ran up to her and placed a kiss on her cheek.
“You’re a darling, you know that Phyllis? A real darling.” He marched back to the gurney and started walking it down to the elevator. “Okay guys, lets get this operation going!”
* * *
“Don’t worry dude, I’m sure the room will open any minute now.”
Durgin sobbed, clutching the towel to the hand. It was his third one, the other two being filled hours ago. Michael swiveled on the bench and put his arm around the patient, patting his back reassuringly.
“Don’t worry man. We’ll get that hand back together. That’s a promise.”
“It’s been two hours.” Durgin murmerred.
“That’s right! Two hours! That means we should get in any minute now!” Michael sped up his patting a bit.
The two sat in the hallway, Michael tapping his foot impatiently. Time passed. A fourth towel was added, and the third discarded. Finally a tall woman in a lab coat and scrubs walked up to the pair.
“Durgin Smith?” she asked.
“We have a room for you.” Durgin raised his head, his eyes shining for the first time since the grisly accident. “At the other hospital.” His face fell. “Unfortunately, we don’t have any ambulances free, so you’ll have to get a ride with someone.”
Michael raised his hand. “I’ll drive him. I’m off duty, anyway.”
“Good. Now if you two will excuse me…” The doctor walked down the hall into one of the operating rooms. Durgin glared at her resentfully.
“Hey man, lighten up. We’ll get that hand pieced together in no time.”
* * *
Another hallway, another hospital.
“So.” Michael said, crossing his legs somewhat. “How long hasiIt been since you lost righty there?”
Durgin looked up at him, tears flowing down his face like an acid smear.
“Don’t look at me like that, Durge. I think we’ve really bonded tonight. Unlike those fingers of yours!” Michael let off a roar of laughter. Durgin collapsed further into his whimpering pile.
“Durgin Smith?” a Nurse asked, walking up to the pair of them.
“Yes?” Durgin raised his head.
* * *
“Don’t be like that Durgin. That hospital probably sucked anyway.”
Michael’s car now smelt almost entirely of blood, or at least the smell of blood had almost broke through the constant stench of stale donuts and BO. Durgin stared listfully out the window as traffic stalled again. He looked at his watch. It was almost midnight. It had been over Ten hours since he lost his fingers. He sobbed slightly.
“So, what do you do?” Michael asked.
“You know, lik a profession or whatever.”
“Oh. I’m a mechanic. I fix power tools and whatnot.” Durgin patted the frozen lump that used to be a favorite part of his anatomy.
“Ah, so that’s what happened, eh?”
“Yeah. I was blowing out some dust out of a power saw and I guess I hit the on button or something.”
“Ouch! Well at least you won’t have to worry about that happening again!”
Durgin glared at Michael, who continued to stare into space, whistling off key.
* * *
“What time is it Michael?”
Michael looked at his watch. “About eleven AM. Why?”
“Didn’t the doctor say I would get in by five in the morning at latest?”
Michael scoffed. “Doctors lie. I wouldn’t be surprised if you never saw help.” He looked over at the now-familiar expression of dismay and offence on Durgin’s face. “Don’t look like that man. Worse comes to worse you lose some dexterity in your right hand. They said you’d get those fingers on, and I’m gonna hold them to their word. Sucker up, big guy.” Michael patted the patient on the back.
“Thank you Michael. I mean, you haven’t been all that much help, but I do appreciate-“
The PA squeaked on. “Durgin Smith? We’re ready for you in the OR.” Durgin collapsed onto the floor crying with relief. Michael spoke some more, but he didn’t hear him. A wheelchair was trundled up to him, and he plopped down. He was wheeled into the OR, and into the safe hands of the trained professionals.
* * *
“Mr. Smith? You can wake up now.”
Durgin raised his head, feeling the anesthetic pour out of his skull. The cotton coated world started to pour together into a somewhat cohesive whole. His eyes focused, and saw a young, fairly attractive nurse with a clipboard staring down at him. He was in the recover bay, he gathered by the curtains and the other four people convalescing on beds nearby.
“Good afternoon Mr. Smith.”
“Please call me Durgin.” He mumbled absently. She smiled back at him.
“Okay Durgin. How are you feeling?”
“Not bad, I guess. Considering…” She laughed. She had a very pleasant voice.
“Yeah, after what you went through pretty much anything would be good, huh.” She beamed down at him. He tried to beam back, but only half of his afce was working right now.
“So, they managed to get my fingers back on?” She laughed again.
“Of course not. They had to amputate your hand.” She walked off to the next bed. He looked down at the stump at the end of his arm, and started to cry.