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Elmsfield 911, Part One: Shrapnel



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Jimmy ‘Ouchie’ Hertz parked the car under the lit, bullet-holed sign that said “HOSPITAL ADMITTANCE:  NO FIREARMS ALLOWED.” 

Nothing happened.

With a sigh, he waved a fold of bills.  An attendant ran out, accepted the bills and added them to the stack of papers on his clipboard.  “What do we got?” he asked.

“She’s got a torn thigh muscle with a nick to her femoral artery.  Left torso, two broken ribs and deep puncture wounds.  Shrapnel is still in.  Perineum has been punctured.  She’s been in and out of consciousness on the ride from Somerset.  Pulse is thready.  We gave her a unit of blood and a sedative.”  Jimmy had done this before.

“Nothing for the pain?” asked the attendant.

“Just whiskey.”

“Oral or topical?”


The man made a note.  “Circumstances?”

“She fell asleep at the wheel during the Sapphire Ball Daddy-Daughter Dance and Deathrace.  Took an antitank round to the passenger’s side.”

“I see.  Name?”

Jimmy reached in his pocket for another wad of bills.

“Veronica Ki--”

“Oh, no.  No!  No way.”

“--mball.  Come on, you gotta.  It’s in the hippocratic oath.”

“No!  No, no, no, no, no, no, no!”

Jimmy handed over the second wad of bills.  He added a third, and the remains of the whiskey.  The guy finally waved a gurney team over.

They carefully extracted a small form from the car, swathed in yellowing bandages spotted all over with blood.  Gently, they lowered her to the gurney.

The attendant said, “We’ll prep a surgical team.  That shrapnel has got to come out.”

The patient groaned.  Her lips moved, like she was trying to form words.  Before Jimmy could speak a warning, an orderly bent to listen.

He yelled, straightening, a jagged piece of bloody metal protruding from his face.  Veronica ‘Gunny’ Kimball spun off the gurney, the ball of her foot connecting with the other orderly’s cheekbone with a snap

As he staggered back, she grabbed a fistful of the attendant’s hair and pulled herself up to wrap her good leg around his chest, her free hand pressed against his throat.  There was something in that hand, and if he knew the patient, it was sharp.

Wide-eyed, the attendant froze, trembling with the effort of holding her up.  In the sudden silence, Jimmy could hear the guy's hairs coming out by the root, a few at a time.

“Who the knrf are you?” she snarled at the attendant.

“Veronica,” Jimmy said carefully.  “This is a nice man from the hospital.  He wants to help you.”  He waved away the circling orderlies, with their truncheons and nets.

“I ain’t sick,” she said.  “And nobody lays hands on me.”

“Honey, you’ve got shrapnel in your chest.  They’ve got to get it out.”

Veronica looked back at him and broke into a wry, gap-toothed smile.  “Right.”  She unwrapped her leg from the guy and lowered herself to her feet.  She was shorter than he, so he was bent over with her fist in her hair and a bloody whatever-it-was pressed to his neck.

“Is this Elmsfield?” she asked Jimmy.

“It is.”

“Why Elmsfield?”

“The hospital, Gunny.”

She cut eyes at him, contemptuous.  “I’m fine.”

“Shrapnel,” said Jimmy.  “In your torso.”

She shoved the attendant roughly away from her and opened her bloody right hand for Jim to inspect.  There on her palm was a twisted shard of metal, sticky with her blood. 

The shrapnel.

“Take me home, dumbaff.”

He placed another fold of bills on the ground, because none of the hospital staff would come within arm’s reach.  He apologized, ineffectually, and they got back in the car.
She said, “I can’t believe you drove me all the way to Elmsfield.”

“You had internal bleeding, Gunny.  You were dying.”

“‘You were dying!’” she mocked, in a singsong falsetto.

“I take my responsibility as a medical speci--”

“Shut up and drive, you big girl!”

He put the car in gear.  “I hate you.”

[OOC: She was at 30% when we put her in the car, 90% when it arrived at Elms.  Low-cappers are made of sterner stuff than us mere mortals!]
vet wv

Posted Feb 26, 2013, 4:11 pm
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