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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1712501
Rated: 13+ · Short Story · Medical · #1712501
L i f e is never what you think.
Mid November and it was snowing. The highway was lined with banks no less than a meter high, and it was snowing. For the last couple of years past, winter had come late. Now, this. The residents of the large city were in shock. Snow in November.

Eli Thatcher couldn't resist the impulse to steal a quick glance at his wife sitting in the passenger seat as they drove. The trip had been spontaneous and there were no plans. That really didn't matter - both he and Jaimee needed a break from their hectic lives. Although being late for the Thatcher Family Reunion wasn't the ideal holiday, they would make things work. They always did, always had, and always would. Even in the worst of circumstances, he and Jaimee created an upside to everything.

The night had grown heavy and the roads were covered in an icy layer of thin black  crystal. Eli touched the pedal to the left at his feet, pulling up at the red sign not ten feet ahead that reflected his headlights.

Wait - Eli realized that his brakes weren't working just as his small car slid past the octagonal sign. But his brakes were working. He could hear them. He could hear the distinct screech that he'd grown accustomed to every time those brakes were touched. The car was spinning. Eli caught from the corner of his eye Jaimee's horrified expression. There wasn't time for him to react, only to process the situation.

Headlights.

A transport.

A transport was heading toward Eli's car from one way or another. It was going to hit them. The transport wasn't giong to stop. The transport was going to hit them.

Lights. Brightness. Squealing brakes. Instant headache. Spinning. Dizziness. Jaimee. Transport. Confusion. Impact.

Shock.

Eli was still conscious, upside-down and light headed. There was no pain, though. There was, however, something red near his head. What was red? His hair. Yes, Eli's hair was red. This red colour wasn't the colour of Eli's hair. It was more of a blood red. Blood. Eli's hair was blood? No, that didn't make sense. Confusion. He could feel himself drifting out of consciousness. Not good. Eli knew this - he was a doctor. As a surgeon he understood that staying conscious was the best thing he could do. "Stay," he managed to whisper, but just couldn't.

---

Rolling over to stop the annoying beep of his hospital pager, Eli found himself in the navy blue scrubs that he knew, in the bottom bunk of an on-call room bed. The pager read, in blinking red letters, "Pit, ASAP!" Had Eli been dreaming? No. The hammering headache and deep laceration on his arm gave this situation a too-real effect. So how had he ended up...? And where was Jaimee?

As Eli stood, a man hopped down from the top bunk. He wasn't in scrubs, signifying that he shouldn't have been where he was. Eli hesitated, "You shouldn't be here... What are you doing-?"

The man cut him off with a Scottish accented voice, "The same thing you are, Dr. Thatcher."

"But you're not a doctor."

The man opened the door to leave, "No, but you killed me," and he stepped out.

What? Now Eli was confused... and he knew that voice from somewhere.

Making the decision not to dwell on the unusual meeting, Eli made his way down to the pit, where Chief of Surgery, Claire Jaxon, was helping to wheel in two patients. She took no notice of Eli's presence.

He couldn't see the face of the second human, but whoever it was had taken a slice to the arm. The first patient was... Eli took a step closer. No, he thought. The first bed held... Jaimee Thatcher.

The paramedic was talking, though it seemed like his mouth should have been shut, "He's DOA. Just call it, Doc."

Dead on arrival.

"No!" Dr. Jaxon said sternly. "I know this man. He isn't dead! He's a fighter. Someone get her what she needs. He isn't dead."

The paramedic broke in again, "He's already gone."

Without another word, Claire Jaxon pulled the white sheet from the second patient. With Claire, it was either she became infuriated or she cried, and Claire Jaxon never cried at work. The face of the man was covered in deep lacerations, and blood, so that the only recognizable feature was his reddish-orange hair. His abdominal area was a hole that displayed his insides. Dr. Jaxon saw him and looked down at her watch, "Time of death, 5:08AM."

Eli turned to where Jaimee's bed had been wheeled over to. His wife was dying, he was a trauma surgeon, and he couldn't force himself to move in order to help. Nobody was yelling at him to do something, either. Maybe they all realized who she was. Of course they did; Jaimee was Eli's wife.

Confusion.

The walls around him were spinning.

Dizziness.

---


Rolling over to stop the annoying beep of his hospital pager, Eli found himself in the navy blue scrubs that he knew, in the bottom bunk of an on-call room bed. The pager read, in blinking red letters, "Pit, ASAP!" Had Eli been dreaming? No. The hammering headache and deep laceration on his arm gave this situation a too-real effect. So how had he ended up...? And where was Jaimee?

As Eli stood, a man hopped down from the top bunk. He wasn't in scrubs, signifying that he shouldn't have been where he was. Eli hesitated, "You shouldn't be here... What are you doing-?"

The man cut him off with a Scottish accented voice, "The same thing you are, Dr. Thatcher."

"But you're not a doctor." The man said nothing in reply, but stood in silence. Eli continued, "My wife is dying, I think." He said shakily.

"I know you didn't mean to kill me," the man said, and stepped out of the on-call room.

Eli tossed his pager back onto the bed and rushed out of the room. He entered the adjacent patient room and moved immediately to the sink and mirror mounted above it. The man looking back at him had reddish-orange hair and his face was covered in large scars.

It couldn't be... But it was. The second patient was the man in the mirror.

The second patient was Eli Thatcher.

Eli was dead.

The man in the on-call room was Harper. Harper Chance. He was the first patient that Eli had ever lost due to the slip of his own hand. Harper Chance was dead.

Eli Thatcher was dead.

A distinct beeping came from behind him. Eli turned to see that the patient was flatlining. Though he couldn't see her face, he could read the green lettered name above the flickering line...

Thatcher, Jaimee.


Word Count: 1098
© Copyright 2010 Kashtien James (weepingdusk at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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