Nurse Stephanie sat with the mysterious John Doe that wound up in the hospital. There was something vaguely familiar about the man in the coma. Something odd that drew her to him.

She thought back to the day he arrived at the hospital. They found him near the epicenter of the blast. The one that blew up that company, AET. The blast that caused the power outage that stretched across most of the continent.

Nobody knew how he was still alive. Somehow, he had been impaled on chunks of concrete, but they were somehow inside of him, somehow part of him. For the first few weeks, she couldn’t get the pictures out of her head. Every time she would close her eyes, she could see the the ultrasounds and the x-rays. They gave her nightmares. Heart tissue, lung tissue, internal organs, all somehow fused with concrete.

Once the images faded from her mind and those nightmares subsided, new nightmares crept into their place, namely the mystery behind the how and why.

“Sure,” she thought to herself, “The other doctors and nurses dismissed it as errors with the equipment or chalked it up to never having scanned a man impaled on that much concrete, but the man seemed fused. There was no blood. This wasn’t normal.”

Every day she came here and parsed the facts. Although everyone else had found and concocted the explanations they needed to write him off and get a good night’s sleep, she was sleepless and fixated on finding out what they did to this man.

“What kind of stuff was AET doing? What kind of weapons were they manufacturing?” Stephanie asked herself. She had been asking herself these questions on a constant basis.

Stephanie’s quest to understand and solve this had become an unhealthy obsession. She practically spent every spare second with John Doe. Every day, every night, she sat there hoping that he would come out of the coma and explain everything. She felt like her sanity depended on it.

Suddenly the heart monitor started to flatline and beep a steady tone.

“Goddamn it, John Doe,” she shouted, “I NEED ANSWERS”

Stephanie looked up and saw the DNR on John Doe’s chart, hanging above the heart monitor. Every part of her knew how vital and sacred it was to obey a patient’s care plan. Her stomach tied into knots as she considered whether she would let him slip away. She had so many things to ask, so many things to know, but under it all, she ought to let this man’s suffering end. But what about her suffering? She wondered if she’d ever get her answers. Knowing this would be the end of her career, she gave in to her obsession. Running to the hall, she snagged the nearest crash cart. With a feeling of resolve, she administered epinephrine into some bare skin she could find near what she hoped was where a heart should be. To her dismay, it did nothing.

“Don’t die on me, John!”

Stephanie prepped the paddles and was about to press them to his chest as a doctor walked in.

“Stephanie, don’t!” shouted the doctor. He pulled on Stephanie’s waist “There might be metal rebar in that concrete!”

Stephanie lunged forward and pushed the paddles onto John Doe’s chest. She could not pull them off. The doctor fell backwards, pulling them both to the floor. The paddles clung to the man and started to spark and smoke. The defibrillator started to squeal. A ‘LOW BATTERY’ indicator blinked frantically. Smoke detectors went off and the entire hospital went into high alert. Just then, the hospital lights flickered briefly and the paddles fell to the floor.

The John Doe gasped and opened his eyes.

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1 comment:

Richard Belzile said...

Well, that's the end of the book. Any comments or criticisms, you know where to find me...

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I am Sinewave: Spark

Written by Richard Belzile

Updated semi-infrequently

I am not a professional author, this is my novice attempt at creating a novel in an episodic fashion. Comments, critiques and compliments accepted.

Richard Belzile and iamsinewave.ca, 2015-2018.

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