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Short story: <i>Emergency</i>



The doors thudded open again, and some new bloodsoaked and deflated excuse for a human being shot screaming on a stretcher into the hall, surrounded by what looked like overgrown kids in jumpsuits playing doctor.

Maurice was sure that they were doctors; they all sounded like doctors, yelling weird terms and acronyms that he didn't understand, but they were also pretty relaxed looking when they weren't actually running with stretchers. Cracking jokes with the nurses, gossiping, talking about football, that kind of thing. It wasn't all let's-freak-out-about-the-patient or anything.

Maurice sat in the plastic chair in the emergency waiting room that he had chosen for its vantage point through the grey swing-doors into the actual emergency room each time they opened. Also, if he stood up to stretch his legs, he could see through the round glass windows in each door; see the doctors hurrying from bed to bed, no gossip and jokes in there. It was all quiet, tense, and deadly serious. Maurice stood up, glanced at the windows - more reflex than anything else, it's not like you could see Angie from there - and slunk over to the machine to get a Coke, his skinny hips not quite holding up his jeans and his eyes never quite leaving the grey doors. He headed back to his plastic chair with his Coke, sat down, and started ripping one of the receipts he'd found in his back pocket. The Coke slowly flattened, undrunk. He didn't even like Coke.

Angie. God, he hoped she was okay. Sure, they'd only met each other a couple of weeks ago, but she was something else. Wild. Fabulous. His friends were stupefied as to how he'd managed to score someone like her. He wasn't; he'd always managed to get great girls. But he definitely wanted to make sure this one was okay. She was just so... hot.

Maurice checked out the guy sitting next to him. He had a black eye, a bloody lip, and what looked like three broken fingers. He also reeked like a brewery. Just beyond him was a girl with dark purple rings under her eyes and flyaway hair, wearing trackies and a blanket and trembling like a leaf. And just beyond her, there was yet another Thursday night sad case. More dregs of humanity.

Maurice sighed and slumped down in his chair. He was hating the emergency room. Really hating it. If Angie hadn't been SO worth it, he would have high-tailed it out of there an hour ago. His pocket vibrated and he pulled out his phone. At the same time, the grey swing-doors opened.

"Maurice?" Said a worried looking doctor in a white coat. Very professional. Very reassuring.

"Yep." Maurice swung up off his plastic chair. He ran a hand through his hair. The doctor beckoned him through the grey doors, and they walked together, the doctor soothing Maurice with his professional voice the whole time.

"You can come in and see Angela now. I must warn you, her condition is a little... distressing. Frankly, I've never seen an allergic reaction like this, and while we're trying our best, we're not sure if the swelling will go down for... some time. It could be up to... a week. Maybe more. Now I'm not sure of your relationship with Angela or how well you know her..."

They had reached Angie's bedside, if in fact that WAS Angie. Jesus Christ, she looked like the Michellin Man. Her face was like a beachball, obscuring her cascading black curls. Her eyes were hidden by stretched, blotchy pink flesh. Her fingers looked like fat sausages, bloated and blue veined. Her hands looked like hams, and as for her body, that insanely hot, loss-of-control-inducing body...

Maurice flashed his eyes down at her, and then looked back at the doctor. "Nah mate, don't know her that well at all. I was just eating at the same restaurant, you know? Saw her start to swell up and got her down here quick smart. Did some med at Uni, I knew how dangerous it could be."

The doctor looked impressed. "Wow. That was really good of you. You're right, the reaction could well have been fatal if we hadn't caught it when we did. Well, I can take your contact details if you like and pass them on to Angela. She'll probably want to know the name of her rescuer."

"Nah." Maurice responded. "Just call it my good deed for the day, hey?" He looked down at Angie again before turning and sloping back out of the emergency room, past the human sadcases in the waiting room, and out into the night. He had a little twinge of regret about Angie. Poor girl. What an amazing time they'd had! But he wasn't interested in hanging around for all that. He walked down the quiet street next to the hospital. And remembered the unread text message in his pocket. He pulled the phone out and flipped it open.

Violet. Now there was one hot little piece of action. Sure, he'd passed her over last week in favour of Angie, but that wasn't a problem anymore. Oh, yes. He broke into a run to get to his car.

This is the result of a thirty minute writing exercise. This week I have been given the seven deadly sins as themes and a corresponding set of locations for each one. Today's sin and setting were: lust and an emergency room.

Image courtesy of cobalt123.

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