Continuation of last week’s story
“Ambulance two minutes out,” a nurse stopped by the desk where Tom sat writing up his notes on his last patient. It was two weeks since the death of the comatose patient. He had all but convinced himself that he’d been hallucinating from lack of sleep. He still avoided going off alone to take a nap. He rubbed the back of his neck. Thank god, the ER had been quiet for most of the night.
“What do we have coming in?” He asked. Well, the calm couldn’t possibly have lasted any longer than it had.
“Shooting victim.” The doors burst open and the paramedics brought in their victim. Tom almost gasped as the woman calling herself Death paced alongside the gurney. He quickly got himself under control and moved to examine the patient.
“Who did it?” His question was for Death, but the paramedic answered. He wasn’t sure why he’d asked Death, except that he’d thought she would know.
“Don’t know,” she said. “It was a drive by. The cops are investigating.” That meant the police would be by later. They would have questions. He didn’t have time for questions. He looked at Death, who shrugged.
“Not my problem,” Death answered. How was it not her problem? Didn’t she work for God?
An hour later, Tom entered the room with the shooting victim. Death sat beside the bed. He glanced around. They were alone. Everyone else was busy with other patients and tasks. He should be working on a patient, himself. He sighed.
“Quiet night until now,” he said. Death’s lips turned wryly.
“For you,” she commented. “We have a lot to collect tonight.”
“We?” Her words puzzled him. There was more than one angel of death?
She smiled. She had a nice smile. A man could lose himself in that smile. He forced himself back to his question.
“You didn’t think I was the only one, did you?” She checked her timepiece. “Not much longer.”
“Never thought about it,” Tom was surprised to realize he was telling the truth. “Why isn’t his killer your problem? Don’t you work for God?”
“I do.” Death never took her eyes from the shooting victim. “I take the departed to their final place. I’m not concerned with the manner of death, only the moment of death.” He blinked at the concept. Then another question occurred to him.
“Why can I see you?” He really wanted to know. The idea both excited and scared him.
“You chose emergency surgery,” she answered. “You’ll be seeing a lot of me.” Did that mean the other emergency doctors could see her as well? He hoped so. He didn’t want to be the only one.
“So I’m not the only one who can see you?” He didn’t know if that made him feel better or worse. She laughed. He liked her laugh.
“Hardly.” She leaned forward to tough the patient’s head. He promptly flat-lined and she vanished. Too bad she wasn’t inclined to offer more information. He wished she was.
To be continued…