Oh dear god the blood. Most gunshots produce and incredible amount of blood, especially if they go through and through. The wounds to the chest, due to their proximity to the heart have a tendency to bleed a lot. I don't mind blood, I'm even fascinated by it sometimes. A penchant for the macabre, and an interest in early cultures pretty much desensitizes you to blood and it's way of chosen arrival from time to time. Thus, my becoming a paramedic seemed a natural fit. For the moment as the cookie crumbles. It's exciting, it's fast paced, and no two days are exactly alike. Except of course for the dinosaur days. Those days are never fast paced, or exciting, and are exactly alike. The redundancy in those last two sentences more or less encompass the idea of those days as a whole. Dinosaur days, the eternally lasting 24 hour calls to the nursing homes because someone has broken their hip and you are then forced to accompany them from hospital to hospital, wherever their insurance will indeed cover their care and the nursing home whom never keep tabs on where to send these folks, finally gets the call right. Oh and then you get to bring them back to the nursing home. Then help them back to their "suite." Look, it's not that I'm insensitive to their plight, it's just boring, and damn it I get bored very easily. I don't have a disorder or anything, I'm just a person who generally enjoys excitement. So then, carting the "elderly" around all day equals Dino-day.
Today, today was no Dino-day. G.S.W. is how we would report it when we are en-route to the folks that will patch this unlucky gentleman up. In this case however, they may not be able to do much for him. It's not that I'm pessimistic, it's just that the gaping hole in his chest betrays the hope of him surviving. Also, did I mention the copious amounts of blood? This much blood makes the air heavy, and damp. It would be so even if there weren't the hint of a storm on the horizon, just waiting to come in and wash away all evidence of what crime there obviously was here. At first glance, the victim looked to be a tall 5 foot number, semi-athletic build, though he was letting it slip a bit. In this instance I would say that heart disease is the least of his worries anymore. His pale skin was ashen, a dull gray-blue color from blood loss. I could see this before wading into lake Dead Guy, but getting closer to check his pulse was a necessary evil. Being close up gave me the chance to see through his chest, through it. I looked him from head to toe, and a strange realization came to me. Call it the overcast sunlight, or my general enjoyment for the macabre, but despite his color and, well, the gaping hole in his chest, he looked relatively unharmed. Just another Joe ready to go to work and do his time from 9-5, then go home to the wife and kids and have a brew before hitting the sack and doing it all again.
I checked his neck for a pulse, as per the ungodly silly (at least in this case) procedure. Looking at my partner, I shook my head to indicate that he was gone. It was only after looking to him for the report that I noticed all of the bystanders. People who were also just milling about their days, before coming across this gruesome reminder of their own mortality. And I figure, let them watch. I'm not a cop and by that virtue it is not my job to call the "nothing to see here folks." I could be a cop, it's all that paper work that turns me off. There is enough for us to do, and enough paper cuts to last me quite a few life times in my current work field.
I gazed down on our new traveling companion, as we will be bagging him up and taking him to the city morgue.
"Sorry friend." I was just about to stand when something caught my eye. I froze in mid crouch/ standing posture.
"Drea?" my partner called out to me, quickly and astutely as an hunting owl noticing my freeze in motion. All I could do was stare. He called my name twice more before I responded.
"Mike...Mike look at his chest." I imagine he had an interesting and confused look on his face. Of course, there were more than a few things going through my mind in that moment, not the least of which being whether or not I had finally fallen right off of my rocker. I heard him make a strange strangled gasping noise, and nearby a woman screamed. I simply crouched back down to get a closer look. Normally there would be an overpowering metallic smell due to the blood, but I didn't notice. My mouth went dry at the same exact time that my palms started to sweat. As I leaned in closer a curl of my blond hair went rogue from the haphazard pony tail that was meant to keep it imprisoned and away from my line of sight. The world went silent.
"Mike.." I stammered, " His...his chest...the wound..." Mike could say nothing. I couldn't look away. Color was coming back to our victims face. A moment ago I saw through his skin, bone, lung, meat, and more skin. Only a heartbeat after the wound closed up completely, on its own, he took in a sudden and ragged breath. To this day I swear I heard someone yell "Zombie!" Imbecile. The victim opened his eyes and looked around like a scared animal. After stupidly staring at him, I wondered how scared I would be if I saw a paramedic standing over me just staring at me like I'm a monkey with a diaper on its head.
"Sir?" I finally managed to choke out. He quickly focused on me, and looked as confused as we did. It felt like an eternity before he spoke.
"No...no this isn't right!"
"Sir, what's your name?" He seemed quite angry when I asked him his identity, which at the moment I found that a queer thing to get mad about. He propped himself up on his elbows.
"I don't know."