View Full Version : The High Place
Dec 26th, 2011, 12:46 PM
Dedicated to my friends on 2 North: “As per your group request none of you were left behind in the med room. I made the float nurse do it.”
Prologue part one: “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” Friedrich Nictzshe
I felt nervous turning the dials and flipping switches. The ham radio had taken a month to build and longer to figure out a way to power it. I’d read and re-read the manual.” How hard could this be? I cut open people and rearranged their spinal columns for a living.” I thought
“Fuck it” my voice cut the silence in the room as I flipped the on switch and the radio came to life. The buzz of electricity coursed through the small box and green lights appeared on the front of it. I breathed a sigh of relief. I had only one shot to get this right. A second attempt to get parts from the Radio Shack at the mall was most likely going to be fatal. Most trips out of the high place had the potential to be fatal anymore.
“Ok, green lights are good right?” I asked turning to look at my only companion. My companion lay across the table where I was working. I sunk my hand into the thick grey fur on his belly. The geriatric hugely obese feline didn’t even twitch as I petted him. I lifted a paw and dropped it. He was limp asleep.
“Lazy bastard, I can’t even get an eye open for my success?” The old cat had saved my sanity in the beginning but now I’d been alone without seeing another normal human for the better part of a year and not even the cat’s companionship was enough. I wanted, no needed to see another person, another human face to hear another human voice.
“At least now maybe I’ll find someone to talk to who might do more than purr.” I rubbed the blunt chin of the cat and felt his broad chest begin to rumble.
The patter of rain sounded on the windows of what had once been one of the most celebrated restaurants in Seattle. Sky City with its 360 degree view of the skyline of Seattle and the bay was now my home. I walked to the window and looked out at the city. A feeling of overwhelming grief threatened to smother me. The bay was beautiful, the water ruffled by a fall wind. The city was dark, dead and silent. I could remember the lights, the sounds, and the people. Nothing was left but garbage, broken down cars and telltale red, black, smears of dry blood on the pavement. Seattle was a corpse.
The sky was turning dark. Fog was rolling in from the Cascades. “Hey Cat, it looks like it might snow.” Looking back I saw the cat had found a new spot to sleep, my precious and irreplaceable portable generator. Winter was coming, summer was gone everything had changed since the monsters your parents told you weren’t real became real.
I was alone.
Dec 27th, 2011, 01:44 AM
Prologue part two: “The radio makes hideous sounds.” Bob Dylan
The hand mike of the radio was heavy in my hand. I thumbed the talk button on. “My name is Doctor Achilles Jameson. Is anyone out there?
Static, I clicked the talk button on and off, more static. The cat opened his eyes staring at me, judging me. He opened up his long tooth mouth and meowed at me.
“Don’t look at me like that. I put it together right.”
The cat yawned rolling over stretching. I repressed the urge to toss him off my generator. I repressed the urge to argue with him like he was human. I was hungry for something, someone to talk too. It was cold in the room the cat was old. He wasn’t really hurting the generator. I left him on it and thumbed the switch on the hand set again.
“I don’t know who will hear this, it doesn’t matter. I’m alone in the high place in the city of Seattle. I think I might be the last normal human left in the city since it happened. It happened. The word “It” to define an event of such magnitude that mankind’s very survival was placed in question. The word seems ill-fitting in retrospect.” The rain on the windows turned to sleet while my voice carried over the radio. I doubted anyone was out there listening but it didn’t lessen my need to talk.
I continued onward the words flowing out of me like a dam over flowing in a spring melt. “People always say when a tragic thing happens. Where were you when…? Me? I was in the heart of Seattle. It was the 4th of July and I was going to ask the woman I loved to marry me. Everything was planned out: the wine, a blanket, a firework filled night sky, and the ring.” I stopped for a moment pausing taking my thumb off the on switch of the hand set. I touched the Polaroid taped to the wall next to me. Bekka’s face smiled at me from it. I felt my chest tighten and my resolve strengthen. I had to continue telling what happened. My thumb pressed the talk switch.
Jan 2nd, 2012, 01:33 PM
Chapter One Part 1 : “Love is just a word until someone comes along and gives it meaning.” Anonymous
The woman I loved was back from a tour of duty in the Middle East and stationed at NAS Whidbey Island. It had been eleven months since I’d seen Bekka. Eleven shitty months of me wondering whether I would get the call every loved one of a service member dreads. Eleven months of my phone bill being higher than my rent. Eleven months without Bekka. When I saw her again, I felt like a whole person for the first time in a long time. She was my world. I rubbed my eyes, biting back the ever present grief. Fuck I hated past tense.
We were staying in the Moore hotel near the Pikes place market. The day started like any other day Bekka and I’d been together, me up at dawn pounding pavement. I ran every day, no matter what I’d done the night before no matter if I’d slept or not. Twelve hour surgery, up all night on call, it didn’t matter I still ran. Bekka called it my OCD. Maybe she was right but for me it was my Zen. The one moment in time when no matter what had happened the night before I was at peace with the world and myself.
Seattle was just waking up when I crossed 1st Street and ended up dodging cars when I headed into the Pikes place market to get Bekka coffee and donuts for breakfast. Before I returned to the room everything had started.
Bekka was awake when I entered the room, which alone should have been a clue something wasn’t right. See my Bekka wasn’t a morning person I’d learned over the years to greet her with silence and a cup of coffee. I should have known I really should have known that everything was wrong. Her back was to me her face hidden in her hands as she watched the am news. She was shaking like a leaf. I closed the door quietly but still loud enough to startle her she turned and saw me visibly tensing Bekka was on edge, her face white, she was cold sweating a look of raw fear in her face. Bekka was never afraid.
“Achilles?” her voice was filled with terror.
Bekka never used my full name no one other than my mother did. Bekka reached for me I didn’t think I just went to her setting the cups down. She needed me, Bekka never needed me. She pointed at the TV showing me what she didn’t have words to tell me.
The newscast was not the local news but a feed from Los Angeles. The reporter at the scene was young not someone I was familiar with. He looked nervous
“This is Daniel Schroeder for FOX 11 reporting from the site of what appears to be a large chemical spill.”
The camera man pans out with a wide angle shot there were several over turned government tankers, green fluid was spilling out onto the ground. Fire trucks, ambulances and military personal were everywhere everyone was in hazmat suits. The reporter’s voice was unsteady as he continued.
“You can see behind me, military personal are assisting local fire and EMS personal with the evacuation of the injured and the removal of the dead."
The camera slowing moved taking in a panoramic view of the wreckage with the occasional wave of black smoke from the burning hulk of one of the tankers that was over turned. The fluid spilling out of the shattered side was viscous in nature and forming large pools on the cement, bodies were sprawled everywhere. The voice of the reporter was drowned out by sudden rapid weapons fire and the sounds of screaming.
“Tony, what was that? Focus in on it.” The reporter directed but the cameraman was already on it the eye of the camera narrowed in on the bodies lying on the ground. The newsmen’s voice grew shrill
“Tony, what the fuck is that?!” The camera picked up the sight of the dead rising.
Bekka and I watched in horror as burned bloody forms battered by the accident that had turned over the tankers stand and leapt upon retreating survivors, EMS personal and the military. The dead were eating the living, ripping flesh away from the bone of living beings with their teeth.
Bekka began to shake her voice a hoarse whisper “Oh God, Hill, they’re eating people!” she gagged clapping a hand over her mouth and ran to the bathroom. I couldn’t move I couldn’t turn away. It was like watching a car wreck in motion. Somewhere in the back of my mind I registered Bekka vomiting. The cameraman’s nerve shattered at this point and he ran dropping the camera. Running had been a mistake. They, the pack… I called them that because that’s what they were, or how they acted. They were drawn to the noise and movement like a pack of wolves. The pack converged on him taking him down along with the reporter. The camera kept running and recorded the sounds of their agonized final minutes as the pack ripped them apart. I couldn’t stop watching the screen even as it cut away to the frightened horrified face of a female news anchor. Her eyes were huge her pupils pinpoint her skin pale and sweaty, She kept mumbling, her lower lip quivering.
“Um, umm, umm.” The woman behind the desk kept rocking back and forth her fingers found her hair and began to pull it her voice rising to a high pitch saying a name over and over. “Danny.”
A voice called out near her. “Cathy snap out of it! We’re live! God damn it Cathy get it together!” a figure of a tired looking man in his forties, a head set and microphone could be seen gripping his balding head.
He pulled the woman to her feet restraining her as she went wild swinging at him half knocking his head set off. “Sam, Donna, get Cathy back to her dressing room.” He said as he restrained her. The woman went limp when the two stagehands grabbed her taking her off stage whimpering. The man turned to face the camera taking out a handkerchief wiping the sweat off his forehead and face.
“Folks, this is Jim Grady stage manager for FOX 11 in Los Angeles. We have had multiple reports of occurrences like this all over the city. State and local law enforcement are asking that everyone remain indoors until this is over. The National Guard has been called into contain the situation. It’s not safe on the streets right now folks. Lock your doors and stay inside. We’ll keep you updated as the new information becomes available. It’s a dark time. God bless us all.”
Jan 16th, 2012, 12:59 PM
Chapter One Part 2: "Doubt fucks everything" CM Punk
The station cut away to the local affiliate KCPQ channel 13. I paid no attention to whatever they were saying. The visual and auditory memory of what had happened to the people at the crash site had awakened me from my frozen state shaking me to the core. Bekka was my focus as the sound of her retching and dry heaving in the bathroom got my attention. I found her laying on the floor of the bathroom she was curled up shaking. Bekka’s face was pale her skin cool and moist. She looked like she was in shock. I sat on the cool tile pulling her into my arms using my body to try and warm hers. My hands rubbed her back soothingly. I whispered words meant to comfort. I’d never seen Bekka like this. I held her to my chest stroking her hair rocking her as though she were a child. She broke down into sobs, her tears soaking my shirt. Bekka clung to me like I was a life boat in a shit storm. To see her reduced like this was hard. Bekka was an M.P. A military policeman that had done two tours in the Middle East. I knew she’d seen action she had a few service medals most women didn’t get. She never talked about it. I didn’t ask. Bekka was a bad ass, smart, tough, fearless. I’d seen her stand down guys twice her size. She never seemed to need anyone but right now she needed me. I pushed aside everything I’d seen on the T.V. I buried it all. I’d deal with it later when it was safe when Bekka was herself again.
Bekka’s voice was hoarse. “Hill, we need to get out of the city, we need to get back to the base. The news said that it wasn’t happening in just L.A. There were reports of this happening in Hawaii and across the world. It’s not a random accident. Hill, this is an attack. The shit from the trucks in Hawaii is vaporizing into a fucking cloud and the West Wind Drift is bringing it this way on the back of a storm. We have maybe 18 hours tops before it hits the bay. “
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. “Bekka this is nothing it’s just an accident…” I tried to deny her damning words when an explosion shook the city. Bekka and I moved to the windows looking out trying to see where the explosion came from. I found myself lost in the vision of the black smoke in the distance.
Jan 23rd, 2012, 08:35 AM
Chapter Two Part one “It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.”
~ Pierre Elliott Trudeau
“It’s from the waterfront. Hill, we don’t have a lot of time. We aren’t going to make it out of the city. I need the bug out bag from the jeep.”
My brain couldn’t fathom what the fuck she was talking about. “What do you mean, Bekka? Bug out bag? Why can’t we leave?”
She ignored me sitting on the bed pulling on her clothes and tying back her hair. She was all business. I grabbed for her arm and found my hand grasping at air. Bekka was on her feet, her hands clenched into fists her body in a defensive posture. I felt an impending sense of doom threaten to over whelm me. The last time I’d felt it I’d been on call facing down a berserk patient that had just stabbed a floor nurse with her own bandage scissors.
Then I got stupid and pissed. “Bekka, what the hell?” I asked her then, looking at her expression I had the urge save my own life and took a step back and to the side out of her direct line of attack. She was tense for combat. Even as big as I am at six foot four and two hundred pounds I knew Bekka could wipe the floor with me and she knew this as well.
I opened my hands and forced the trace of panic that threaded my voice out and tried to sound like I was calm and friendly. “Bekka, what’s going on? I don’t understand. Please help me understand.”
I watched the center of her chest not making eye contact I waited for her to make her move. I was horrified at how close she looked to striking me. Lesson one in the art of de-escalating a crazy person was apologize even if you know you didn’t do it or even knew what it was you might have done to offend said crazy persons. “Whatever I did I’m sorry Honey.” I’d never seen her like this before. She was so tense she looked close to snapping then it ended as suddenly as it began. Bekka lowered her hands.
“Are you going to listen to me now?” Her voice was flat, serious and cold. I kept my response short “Yes”
She stepped closer to me within arms or fists reach. I resisted the urge to flinch I’d seen her in sparing practice lay waste to guys my size. She was so close she was almost up my nose.
“I don’t tell you how to perform surgery do I? “ Wisely, I shook my head no and she crossed her arms and continued “Then don’t tell me how to assess and deal with a situation like this.”
I nodded yes and she hugged me. I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding and hugged her back. She looked up at me “I’m going for the bag in the jeep. I need you to go up to 3rd and Pine and find a place called One Stop Shop. It’s a small convenience store almost hidden next to the Chase Bank. I want you to buy as much portable food as you can carry back here, nothing that needs a refrigerator, stuff like jerky, power bars, granola ok?”
Bekka pulled away and reached for her green duffle bag and handed it to me. This was like something out of a horror movie or a surrealistic nightmare. I turned to follow her directions when I stopped my hand on the door knob. “Bekka?” my tone a question I was unable to form into any words other than her name. She understood though, she always did and gave me the reassurance that if I stepped out that door into the unknown without her she’s be ok, that we both would be ok.
“Don’t think about it Hill, just do what I said as quickly as you can.” She was serious I didn’t hesitate and I headed out the door. Her next words were more normal her tone worried “Hill if you run into those things we saw on TV. Hide until they’ve gone. I paused in the hall “What if we get separated?” Bekka followed me into the hall closing the door behind us. “Then we meet at the High Place.”
Mar 12th, 2012, 11:16 AM
Chapter 2 Part 2
“If you don’t hunt it down and kill it, it will hunt you down and kill you.” Flannery O’connor
We parted ways at the lobby, Bekka heading toward the parking garage and her jeep. Me, three blocks up and over one to a convenience store I’d never been to. The streets were congested with EMS and local law enforcement all racing back and forth from the pier. People lined the sidewalks rubber necking to try and see what was happening. It has slow going to get through them I had to shoulder my way through at one point. Bekka wasn’t kidding we were running out of time and if what happened in California happened here the streets would run red with blood. A speeding ambulance missed me by inches as I was hit from behind by the crowd and shoved into the street, scrambling to my feet I opted to run with the traffic trusting my speed and agility to avoid being hit by EMS and other cars. The sidewalks were too crowded.
It took me longer than I’d anticipated too locate the store Bekka had described to me. I must have walked past it three times before I saw the half lit neon open sign and the high placed gated window and gated door. Entering I saw the girl behind the counter was barely twenty and half asleep with a small portable black and white TV blaring at her the day’s events going on outside of her window. I didn’t waste time and started pulling what Bekka had told me to get off the shelves the pile woke her up. She looked at me almost fearful. The gated window and door told me this little shop was subject to repeated hold ups.
“Do you take credit cards?” I asked going for my wallet extracting a card watching the girl’s face go from terrified to relaxed as she took my MasterCard to pay for it.
I was in and out of the shop in less than fifteen minutes but it had taken me thirty minutes to reach it. Bekka was going to be worried I thought as I stepped outside slinging the duffle bag to my back. A scream caught my attention a woman was down on the ground fighting with some man I moved to help her when the spray of dark arterial blood from her torn out throat hit me in the chest. The man looked up at me but he wasn’t a man any longer. I couldn’t see anything but her blood dripping for his mouth and his wild yellow eyes. I turned and everything was a blur from that moment till Bekka found me.
I still don’t have much memory of that run until the report of Bekka’s 9mm firing at the creature that was on my ass as I made it to the Moore Hotel brought me back. Bekka had called my reaction high alert. I still don’t know what that means but whatever it was it got me back to the Moore and her.
Mar 26th, 2012, 08:59 AM
Chapter Three Part one
“No matter how long the night may be, the day is sure to come” Nigerian Proverb
Bekka kept me on my feet as we made our way up and into the hotel. She forced me away from the main stairs and the elevators and into the fire escape. “It’s clear we can make the run to the top and our room is on this end” I concentrated on putting my feet one after the other on the cement steps as floor after floor passed me. Bekka was behind me I could hear her breathing fast as we chewed up the distance from the lobby to the 5th floor. I hit the door hard it opened with a jolt and slammed into the wall leaving a dent. Bekka closed the door behind us making sure it was locked. Then she let us into our room. Before I put the duffle down I could see what she’s been doing. The bathtub was full of water.
“Dump the duffle and help me block the door.”
We moved every bit of furniture In front of the door wedging it closed.
“What happens if they get in?” I asked with sincerity. “
“You’ve got two choices, a bullet or the window.” She was to the point. I fell silent and continued to follow her directions. Bekka kept talking her voice barely a whisper
“I don’t know when those things will hit the building but they will find this place and they will hit us hard. My hope is to remain hidden and quiet allowing them to take the other hotel guests” I started to protest and she slapped a hand over my mouth her eyes blazing with intensity her whisper became a hiss. “I have one box of rounds for the .38 and five clips of rounds for the .9mm and that’s not counting what’s in the .9 now and that’s half gone already. That’s seventy eight shots, Hill. Not enough to protect us and the people in this building. If I have to choose what to protect I’m choosing us.”
She was right. God damn her and for a brief second I hated her for it. I stopped talking as did she and we waited in that silent room.
The door handled rattled startling me and Bekka. She took up a defensive position next to the wall pointing the 9mm at the door and waited. I could hear whatever was outside breathing hard its voice a rasping growl. Bekka motioned me to hold my position. It continued to sniffed and scratch at the door like a dog. In the next few seconds the worst sound imaginable happened. The door across the hall opened and the creature’s roar reverberated off the walls as it attacked the people who came out. Something large hit our door and the stench of ammonia, and pine oil filled our room as the hotel was overrun.
Feb 21st, 2013, 09:04 PM
Chapter Three part two
I don't have no fear of death. My only fear is coming back reincarnated.
“I’m not a coward nor is Bekka, but we both… I don’t know how to describe the sounds we heard. They were not of this world.” The outbreak swept the city in hours and the screams of terror and unholy roars made by the creatures were unending. I thought as the day progressed into evening I was going mad. As a doctor the worst sounds are those of pain and fear. My instincts are to try and stop the suffering. Yet I could do nothing but hear each shriek causing me to feel like the skin on my body was being flayed off. Bekka pulled my head into her lap and she covered my ears with her hands trying to help me drown out the noise. Towards dawn I must have fallen asleep as the cries of mortal combat had fallen into the agonal respirations of a dying city. I woke to the satisfied calls of the seagulls that were picking the flesh from the dead. and the sun was bright and high in the sky. Bekka was sitting near the window watching outside. She motioned me to silence and slid a tablet of paper across the floor to me.
Don’t look outside. It’s really bad. Those things aren’t done yet. Today will be hard for you but you need to do exactly what I say. I’m exhausted, I need for sleep awhile.
Rules: Stay low/don’t look outside/eat/drink/most importantly be silent. Noise is one of the things that draws them. I love you...
When I raised my head she’d fallen asleep sitting up next to the window her 9mm in her hand.
Feb 21st, 2013, 09:05 PM
Chapter Four part one
“The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness.” -Honore de Balzac
I watched Bekka sleep, staying close to her. She slept neatly without extra movement self-contained like she wasn’t really asleep…only waiting. A howl reverberated off the buildings which startled me. Bekka came up the gun pointed at the door. I moved to where she could see me and motioned that it was outside. She crouched peering out staying hidden in the shadows. This was the first time I have seen her in solder mode. I was in awe yet afraid of her skills. Bekka was protecting me. I felt at once very humble.
She pulled back looking at me making writing motions with her hand. I slid the tablet over to her. “How long have I been asleep?” I read her note and held up two fingers then tapped on my watch to indicate hours. Bekka nodded in understanding motioning me to stay put. She crawled over and sat close to me for comfort. I suspected mine. She continued to write.
“It’s still not safe. I can see a few of those things milling around down in the street. We have food and water for a while. Let them finish and then we can bugout.”
We slept in turns throughout the day and when we couldn’t sleep we talked with the tablet of paper. Bekka woke me before dawn the next morning. She handed me a folded piece of paper. I struggled to
read it in the dim light. She made herself busy packing what things she judged worth taking with us. We were not coming back here. I understood her reason. We needed safety, food and the ability to escape. Bekka thought all of this could be found in the Seattle civic center and the high place.
“Today is going to be dangerous, Hill. I don’t know what we will find outside of that door. I need you to understand that your safety and mine depends on you following my orders and not hesitating.”
Bekka knelt down next to me whispering “Do you trust me?” her eyes pleaded with me to understand to cooperate. I nodded, my voice nearly soundless “Yes. “She stood helping me to my feet handing me her green duffle bag and the shower curtain rod compressed into a four foot long steel pole. I pulled the duffle bag over my shoulders and took the makeshift bat. “Batter up” I mouthed and helped her move enough of the furniture blocking the door. Bekka took point the .9m at the ready and entered the hall way clearing the left then going to the right. She mouthed at me in the dim light “watch my six.” We moved out of our safe heaven and down the hall. There was still power, the red antique glass shades on the wall sconces flickered with faux candle. It gave the hallway a dim glow which made it almost impossible to see. For a few seconds, I wished strongly for better light, so we could spot what might be heading towards us. Then I felt the carpet under foot squish, turning boggy, soaked with God only knew what and from the blood/shit smell in the air. I knew it was something biological and I was very glad it was dark.
Feb 21st, 2013, 09:06 PM
Chapter Four Part two
“A mother’s love is patient and forgiving when all others are forgiving, its never fails or falters, even though the heart is breaking.”-Helen Rile
We moved from room to room. Bekka trusted me to watch her back as she cleared each room alone. She was efficient and fast. The rooms were all the same, empty with the doors left open and the walls and carpets splattered with blood. Bits and flesh no longer recognizable as human beings littered the rooms like discarded clothes tossed aside in the heat of passion.
At the end of the hell one room had a closed door. Bekka paused by the door listening, her hand on the door knob trying it. I hadn’t realized how completely quiet the hallway was until the sound of the lock opening was like nails on a chalk board. Bekka with her weapon out entered the room I followed her, staying behind her and out of her line of fire. I heard them before I saw them. The sucking and chewing sound was distinctive. Bekka moved and I saw a glimpse of a small body with bloody hands and a bloody mouth. Bekka delivered a powerful kick to the face of the little monster sending her backwards away from the body on the floor. I realized the creature was a five year old girl. She looked so innocent, her hair was still in pigtails and the dress she wore was pink with yellow polka dots. Bekka ended her life with a single shot to the head. She’d been eating from the body of her mother. The world and time stood still for me while I watched the chest of the woman who lay blood on the floor rise and fall and realized she was still alive. Then in a rush that left me dizzy time restarted. “Fuck! Bekka, she’s breathing.” I had a purpose, she was breathing and I was a doctor.
My hands glided over the battered body seeking knowledge of her injuries. My eyes followed suit in a minute I knew her legs were broken. She was in shock, her skin wet with sweat and cool. Her pulse was irregular and weak. To my horror I watched this unfortunate woman take one very deep breath her eyes open and bubbles of blood foam up between her lips. Then it hit me, the pungent feculent stench of torn intestines. I realized I could do nothing for her so I held her hand. “Patch her up we need to get moving.” Bekka was watching the door. The woman whose hand I held forced air through damaged lungs. Her voice sounded liquid and was hard to hear. Her effort was tremendous “She didn’t know what she was doing...”
Bekka called again “Hill, come on!” My heart threatened to beat out of my chest. “I…can’t help her.” I felt Bekka move up next to me. She crouched down. “Nothing?” Bekka’s voice had a tease tone I had never heard before.” Maybe with a full surgical theater, a trained team and heavy antibiotics but not now not like it is now!” I felt frustrated and completely helpless. She was suffering and I didn’t know her name to comfort her as I held her hand. Bekka’s voice changed to sadness and resolve “Then we give her mercy.” I’d never taken a life before. I stared at her in shock “She’s suffering Hill. Its ok, I understand. I’ll do it.” I watched as the love of my life slip a k-bar between the vertebra of the dying woman’s neck severing her spine mercifully ending her life. I’d been talking for hours my voice was horse and I coughed clicking off the handset for a moment. The coughing had become frequent ad I could no longer ignore the fact that I was ill. Taking a sip of water I turned the radio’s handset back on. “ To anyone listening to this broadcast. They say a doctor should never diagnose himself but as I am the only doctor around to consult, my assessment and diagnosis are that I have pneumonia. I’m heading to the university hospital. I hope to get into one of the lower level med rooms, and open a medication pyxis. This is Doctor Achilles Jameson signing off. I hope not forever.”
Feb 21st, 2013, 09:08 PM
“…With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician in his work…”-Excerpt from the Florence Nightingale Pledge.
The University of Washington medical center looked like an abandoned building after a bomb blast. Multiple windows were gone. The glass shards on the sidewalk indicated some of them had been broken out from the inside, the faded rust red smears on the cement told Hill that the occupants of the hospital all hadn’t escaped. He pushed the motorcycle up the side walking hiding it behind some overgrown bushes next to the windows he had scouted out earlier. Out of the saddled bag, Hill pulled several bottles of very good Pinot Noir. The labels were in French and without pausing he smashed the heads off against the wall and proceeded to pour out the wine in a wide circle around the bike. The acidic smell of red grapes and summertime wafted up and around Hill as he watched the wine spill out and soak into the winter dry ground. The scent would shield him from the biters and give him time to work uninterrupted on the med room window. Hill began to tape the thick glass with lines of strapping tape, three inches wide until the window was covered. Taking out a hammer and screwdriver he topped the glass out of the frame. When the top half folded over the rest of the glass was easy to pull out. Leaving it on the ground Hill climbed into the med room.
The stench of rotten flesh overwhelmed Hill and he gagged, vomited, wiping his mouth on his sleeve and took out a pen light and looked around. The light found a partially skeletonized rotting body of a biter wedged in the narrow shattered window of the med room door. Moving as close as the impromptu barricade of work table and refrigerator would allow him. He could see the back and shoulders of the biter were dotted like a pin cushion with insulin and heparin syringes. Underfoot were dozens of empty insulin bottles rolling around on the floor. Hill’s attention was caught by the cork board. It was covered with dozen of pictures, mostly women. “The nurses… these are the unit’s nurses” He said softly. A picture in the corner caught his eye. There were six of them, there scrubs were tropic bright and they were clowning for the camera making faces, their arms were around each other’s shoulders. He took the picture not knowing why in turning he began to search the room when the pin light found the bathroom door closed, black marks line the white paint of the door. Moving closer he could make out words and a layer of plastic bulged out from underneath the door. Squatting Hill could make out the serosanguinous and the bile green fluid of decomposing bodies behind the plastic containment. Two ID badges on lanyards hung on the doorknob. Written on the door in black felt tip marker: “Behind this door are the remains of Roberta Hayes RN and Eliza Clarke pharmacy tech. We died together on the sixth of July. Two days past the end of the world. We were abandoned by the bitches. I could see them from the window scampering from the windows and out. Every one of them gone, I didn’t know fat girls could run so fast. I hope they die screaming with a plague on their crotches. But if I had been them I’d have left my bitchie ass here too. I really can’t blame them. I was never really nice to them to start with. I saw them running toward the parking garage. They had kids with them from the PEDS unit upstairs. I think Sasha’s daughter Happy was with them. At least I hope the nurse in pink was Happy. She’s a good kid and a good nurse. She always understood me. I sincerely hope on my chance at heaven that the girls made it out ok. Enough of the pity party, to whoever finds this… These things bleed, breathe and are warm there for they can be killed by things other than bullets. I’m not sure of the amount of insulin and heparin needed or which one of them worked but we dropped the sucker. We tried several times to get out but the things… the monsters were always waiting so we decided to escape a different way. Before we leave, Eliza and I wish to give you a gift. We packed up everything we thought would be useful to someone in a situation like this. The duffle bag on the PIXIS behind you is what you want. We packed narcs, antibiotics and all of the pills as well as a few IVF bags with the tubing and IV start kits as well as syringes and needles. We kept one PCA CADD of dilaudid and some IV potassium to aid in our escape. We didn't think you would mind. Death by high sounds better then death by starving or being turned into one of those things, Eliza’s scared so am I but I promised her it wouldn't hurt. I’ll end this now by saying God speed, God bless and good luck. Love to all Bobby.”
Hill took the badges off the door knob pocketing them with the picture. “Good work, Ladies. Thank you.” He touched the door where the two brave women lay at rest in farewell turned and taking the duffle bag climbed out the window and was gone.
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