Story Market Day

ComCamGuy

Senior Member
Heidi spent far too much time in her opinion rummaging around looking for medical references. All the medics she knew had a stack of those books somewhere, sh just had to find Doug’s. Once she found them, she would have to find the one with the right stuff in it. The next step would be worse. She would have to understand what it said. In the process of looking, she found the wall locker filled with Doug’s medical supplies. At least this was a positive.

Heidi ran back out to the kitchen and returned to the cabinet with a large pot in her hands. This she started filling up with bags of Lactated Ringers. She was in luck. On the shelf were prepackaged IV Start kits complete with tubing. Three or four went into the pot. The bottom shelf had a Pelican case marked ‘Med Box” on a peel and stick label gun label.

All through this Dr Kildare scavenger hunt, Heidi was yelling at Emilia, checking to see how Doug was. She did this about every five minutes. Heidi pulled out the case. She could see books behind it. As she reached to pull out the books, Emilia’s voice screamed at her from the bedroom.

“MOM! I can’t feel a PULSE!” There was worry and panic thick in her voice. Heidi straightened upright, the case in one hand, the pot filled with supplies in the other. She raced down to the bedroom.

As she reached the doorway, a trembling Emilia was feeling Doug’s chest and neck back and forth, trying to sense a pulse or a breath. She yelled again.

“MOM!”

Heidi rushed up to the bed. She set the stuff down halfway across the floor in her haste. Emilia saw her arrive and seemed to relax a tiny amount.

“Mom, he was breathing shallow and then I didn’t see him take another breath. I felt the neck. I couldn’t find a pulse. Tell me I’m wrong! He’s got a pulse , right?”

Heidi felt Doug’s wrist and neck at the same time she lay her head on his chest. None of these yielded any results. Heidi’s brain spent a moment or two examining her options. In the end there was only one she could make sense out of.

“Emilia, you are going to have to do CPR.”

“Wait, What! I’ve never done CPR before. Why don’t you do the CPR?”

“Because it’s easier to do CPR for the first time than it is starting an IV without training. Lets get him on the floor. You get his feet. Hurry.” Heidi grabbed Doug under his arms and slid him to the floor as Emilia guided his legs and feet to the ground.

“OK, Emma, tip his head back, two breaths, just like I did by the creek. Then thirty compressions, straight down, both hands together on the center of his chest between his nipples. Push it down half way.” Emilia moved into position tentatively.

“Go! Get started!”

“I don’t know how to do this, mom!”

“You have the rest of Doug’s life to learn. I got to get the IV, find the right drugs in the book, and get the drugs into him.”

Emilia started compressions. Heidi was watching.

“Emma, push hard! You are trying to push him in half to compress the heart!”

Emilia gave a big push. A big cracking and popping sound came from Doug’s chest. Emilia jumped back and threw up.

“I can’t do this! I just broke all his ribs!”

“You didn’t break them. It’s like cracking your knuckles. You just popped the knuckles in his sternum. Get back down there and push.”

Emilia got back into position. Two breaths, thirty compressions. It was hard pushing Doug’s chest like this. Emilia looked over at her mom. She was watching her, a strange look in her eyes.

“You got this, kid! I have to go to the other room for the books, I’ll be right back!”

“Wait! Mom! Don’t leave me! How long do I have to do this for?” Emilia pleaded with her mom.

Heidi’s eyes were strange and her tone was sad in her reply.

“As long as it takes. If you stop, Doug is dead.” Heidi turned and left the room.
 

Texican

Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
“Wait! Mom! Don’t leave me! How long do I have to do this for?” Emilia pleaded with her mom.

Heidi’s eyes were strange and her tone was sad in her reply.

“As long as it takes. If you stop, Doug is dead.” Heidi turned and left the room.


Well that will make a teenager grow up very quickly.

Emilia and Heidi will succeed.

Thanks CCG for all of the twists and turns that you throw out to the moar hounds.

Texican....
 

ComCamGuy

Senior Member
Heidi kept pulling books out of the cabinet and discarding them on the floor. Pediatrics? No. Geriatrics? No. Advanced Cardiac Life Support? Maybe. That went to a different stack. Rescue Rigging? No. Advanced Medical Life Support? Maybe. That went into the other stack. Basic Disaster Life Support? No. Essentials of Pre-Hospital Maternity Care? Definitely not. As the books kept coming, in the back of her head she was realizing the totality of what Doug was wanting her to learn to be a Paramedic. Shit! This was a lot of stuff!. The last one she pulled from the shelf was a big three ring binder labeled Remote Paramedic Refresher. She took the binder and the few most promising books and went back to the bedroom.

The scene Heidi saw as she looked into the room struck her. It was the same as the image she saw when she left the room, but different. Some time had elapsed so there were differences which brought it even more in line with her earlier vision. The dark bedroom was now the dark HMMWV, and she was once again seeing herself from someone else’s point of view doing CPR on the blood covered girl. She knew where the image in her mind came from. A year after the incident, there was an article about it following her medal presentation. It had the write up, the story from the medic in the back, the head and shoulder shots of Heidi and the deceased, the famous picture of the driver carrying Heidi’s blood covered unconscious body, the whole shebang. Two weeks after the story came out, she received a package in the mail from someone she didn’t know. Opening it, she found a very beautifully-matted and framed photograph. The picture wasn’t pretty though. It was a very high resolution color picture through the HMMWV door of Heidi raising up from giving a breath to the girl. Both of them were covered in blood, sweat and dirt. Some of her hair had escaped from its moorings and floated in wisps around her, glinting in all its blond glory. There were tear tracks visible on her cheeks and a haunted look in her oh so distinctive eyes. When she saw the picture she almost threw up right then and there. She could smell the blood and the bubblegum lip gloss all over again. She almost dropped the picture. A piece of paper dropped from the back of the frame. She picked it up and read it. It was from the photographer.



When I saw the story the other day, I felt I had to send you this. At the time I shot it, I had it listed as classified due to the radios in the background. They weren’t but you were too vulnerable in this. I knew it would be everywhere and I didn’t want you to live with what it would bring you. The shot of them carrying you in was bad enough. For a photographer, this would have been the military photograph of the year, maybe even a Pulitzer. You and I have the only copies. You have the only print. My gift to you.



The picture was still in the frame, still in the box, tucked in the bottom of a trunk in the apartment.

Heidi saw those same parallels in the way Emilia was crouched over Doug, tears streaming down her face, worn out and exhausted. She knew Emilia had changed right before her eyes, in just these few moments. All of this happened years ago and minutes ago. She had to save Doug so Emilia wouldn’t carry some of the same burdens she did.
 
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Griz3752

Retired, practising Curmudgeon
Oh yeah; when you publish this I think we're all going to need to buy a hard copy. You'll note, there's no 'if' in that last sentence.
 

ComCamGuy

Senior Member
The IV was tough to get. Doing IVs was a skill from a class over a decade ago, and she wasn’t very good at it then. Time and desperation did not improve her skills. After two or three (ok, really five) attempts, she successfully got the vein. Heidi hooked up the bag of Ringers Lactate to the IV and started it flowing. She figured this could start working while she found out the other drugs she needed.

The books were scattered and confusing. It was very tough to find a straight answer. Finally, in the three ring binder, she found something that seemed to address the issue she was fighting. She flipped open the drug box and began rooting around looking for the drugs they were talking about; Magnesium, potassium, Calcium chloride, bicarbonate, Ringers, all these were important in certain stages. She was trying to match up timelines and symptoms. This led to which drug and how much. Great! Now it was time for higher math.

Heidi looked over at Emilia. She wasn’t even acknowledging Heidi was in the room. She was staring down at Doug’s chest as she pushed on his chest. Heidi went back to drawing up the drugs. She was using a sharpie on her own bare leg to do the fractional math and drip rate calculations. Finally she got the numbers she needed and pushed the meds. This she followed by a second bag of IV fluid. The first one had run dry. As the second one began to drip, Heidi looked at Emilia, then leaned in to check Doug’s pulse while Emilia was doing compressions. Emilia was pushing the blood around strong and fast.

“Emma, stop a moment and let me check him.” Emilia stopped compressions. Heidi wasn’t sure, but she thought she might feel a weak pulse. “Emma, keep pushing. We have to circulate the drugs. I think its working. You’re doing great!” Heidi moved around to Doug’s other side. When Emilia went to give the breaths, Heidi moved in to do compressions. “You keep doing the breaths, I’ll take over compressions for a while. I know how much it wears you out.” A slight smile crossed Emilia’s lips for a brief moment, then her focus returned.

They kept this up for another ten minutes. At that point, Heidi had Emilia take back over so she could hang another bag of fluid and check their results. She found a definite pulse and it seemed to be getting stronger. He also took a breath on his own. Heidi put her hand out to stop Emilia from her next cycle.

“He’s breathing, he has a pulse. Now we just watch him and make sure he improves. You did it.” Emilia collapsed into her mother’s embrace, too worn out to cry, scream and shout or anything. They sat there like that, for how long they didn’t know. Heidi holding Emilia and watching Doug breathe. When they could tell his condition was truly improving and not a trick, they got up and moved to the other room for some food, coffee and get more fluids for Doug.
 

ComCamGuy

Senior Member
Heidi and Emilia were sitting at the table drinking coffee and eating their macaroni and cheese while discussing the fate of Emilia’s boyfriend, the bad kisser. When that played out, the room was silent for a few moments. Heidi got up to check on Doug. He was improving. They were continuing the IV fluids and drugs. He was getting stronger and more lucid .

When Heidi returned to the table, Emilia had a strange serious look on her face.

“Mom, how long was I doing CPR?”

“About twenty or twenty-five minutes. Why?” Heidi answered tentatively. She wasn’t sure where this was going.

“I’m worn out.” A pause, staring at her coffee for a few moments before she continued. “How did you do it for three hours and forty-six minutes?”

Heidi was rocked back by the question. She knew exactly where that number came from. It was listed in her medal citation. Emilia had never let on she had read it, Heidi sure as hell knew she never told her. The other problem was, she didn’t know how she did it. Once she started, she didn’t know how long it had been. The last part she remembered as seeing the girl’s body seem to fall away from her. In reality that was when the driver picked her up physically from over her, still trying to do compressions. She had passed out in his arms. How do you explain what you don’t understand?

“After I left the room to get the stuff, do you remember how long I was gone and when I came back?” Heidi countered with a question of her own to gain time and understanding. Emilia got a quizzical look before she replied.

“It seemed like forever but the next thing I knew, you were telling me to pause while you checked a pulse.”

“Right. I didn’t look at my watch when I started CPR on her, and I didn’t check it as we went. I just knew I couldn’t stop. It was all up to me to keep her going. Where did you get my medal write-up anyway?”

“It’s a thing called the internet. It’s good for more than cat videos and shopping, you know.”

“I don’t remember a lot of that day.” The lie rolled off her lips before she could stop it. “Or at least not much that would make sense, I think. A lot of people used to talk about it and ask me about being a hero. I didn’t understand it then, and I still don’t. How am I a hero? Over two hours of the CPR I did was on a dead girl.” Some tears were starting to form in Heidi’s eyes. To try and break the mood, Heidi reached for some of the licorice on the table. She popped a piece in her mouth and offered a piece to Emilia. The reaction wasn’t what she was expecting.

Emilia grabbed her mouth and headed towards the sink. She felt like she was going to hurl!

“What’s up, Emma? You normally like licorice?”

Emilia was rinsing out her mouth with water and spitting repeatedly. When she gained a bit of control she returned to the table.

“Doug must have eaten some when we got here. I couldn’t place it until you picked it up. I don’t think I can ever eat licorice again.” Emilia shook her head violently.

Heidi got a sad look in her eyes again.

“The girl was wearing bubble gum flavored lip gloss.”

They sat some more, had more coffee and just sat. Finally, Heidi seemed to come to a decision.

She slowly reached up to her neck where two necklaces lay. She released the clasp on a small one around her neck and brought it forward in the palm of her hand.

“Emilia, My father, your Grandfather gave me this when I was born.” She held it out for Emilia to see. It was a small stylized cross with angel wings for the cross piece. She turned it over. On the back, in tiny script were the words ‘Guardian Angel’. She looked back up at her mother.

“I am passing it on to you. Us Guardian Angels have to stick together.” She leaned forward and connected the clasp around Emilia’s neck. “I didn’t want you to have to come here, but welcome to my world, Raphaela.”
 
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Texican

Live Free & Die Free.... God Freedom Country....
“Emilia, My father, your Grandfather gave me this when I was born.” She held it out for Emilia to see. It was a small stylized cross with angel wings for the cross piece. She turned it over. On the back, in tiny script were the words ‘Guardian Angel’. She looked back up at her mother.

“I am passing it on to you. Us Guardian Angels have to stick together.” She leaned forward and connected the clasp around Emilia’s neck. “I didn’t want you to have to come here, but welcome to my world.”


Why angle means so much to Heifi.

Thanks CCG.

Texican....
 

ComCamGuy

Senior Member
Heidi tucked Emilia into bed. She sat on the edge of the bed for a while. Emilia went to sleep, one of her hands clutching the pendant around her neck as she slept. Heidi bent over and kissed her on her forehead and whispered.

“Please try to be fourteen as much as you still can. The world will force you to grow up much to fast as it its.”

Heidi needed her to rest so Emilia could take over checking on Doug when Heidi rested. She went into Doug’s room. He was asleep. The IV fluids were still hooked up, but the flow rate was turned down to give his body more time to absorb it usefully. The little pulse oximeter on his finger showed his pulse rate and how well he was breathing. She adjusted the covers and checked the flow rate of the IV. She figured she had another hour before it needed changed and maybe another dose of meds. She would have to check the book and chart to remember which one. As she was walking out of the room, she thought she heard something behind her. She paused, cocking her head to the side to hear better. It was Doug. He was talking. She went back to his bedside.

“Shhh, you rest now Doug. We can talk in the morning. You need to sleep.”

“I’ve slept too long. What did I miss?”

“I don’t want to go into it right now, but suffice to say, I want a raise.” She shot back. Doug smiled weakly.

“There are things you need to know in case I pass out again. Jesse was here while I was gone. There are more hunters in the park. They evidently are up at the eastern station as well as the main station. They have killed everyone they have found. He left the notes on the table.” Doug seemed to weaken some in his burst of talking.

“I know, I found the notes. I guess we need to get with Jesse, but you need to build your strength enough to figure out what else we can do to keep you upright. It was too close yesterday.” Heidi instantly regretted saying it.

“What was too close?” Doug was worried now.

“Your chest probably hurts like hell. Evidently, all the fluid going out of your body screwed up the electrolytes if I read it correctly. That’s why you passed out. Your heart was acting funky.” She paused. “We had to do compressions until we could stabilize you.” She raised a knife hand, pointing at him. “I say again, I want a raise. You get some rest. I will be back in to check up on you later.” Heidi turned to leave.

“My parents are working overtime. I’m up to four angels now.”

Heidi froze. Without turning she spoke softly.

“You wouldn’t want be to be your angel. I seem to be more an angel of death, a Valkyrie.” She stood and fingered the medallion around her neck. “I show up only when people are dying.”

“I’m not worried. You saved me at least twice.”

“It’s complicated.”

“I guess angels would be. At least you look more comfortable. Running shorts and a tank top suit you. I don’t know why you bundle up so much.” At this Heidi stiffened up.

“Because most people only pay attention to what I look like rather than what I think or feel. It’s been that way all my life. It’s easier if I remove the distraction.” She stood there cursing herself. She should have known better than to wander around like this. She had figured he would still be unconscious. At least he hadn’t noticed the….

“Kinda makes sense, you are stunning. My advantage is, I already know you are brilliant. I know to pay attention to your mind. So, what’s the tattoo on your shoulder?”

Heidi’s shoulders slumped.

“It’s the product of a youthful folly. I went a bit wild and got mixed up with a phenomenal tattoo artist who was also a bit of a perv. He called me his muse. He did nothing really out of line other than the level of tattoo he gave me had no place on a seventeen-year-old. It’s not something I show off that much.” She hoped he might let it go at that.

“Now you have me intrigued. May I see it? I mean, if you are willing?”

Heidi thought about it. This would be the first time in many years someone other than Emilia had seen the tattoo. The last time was when she was swinging from a pole that one weekend. That was only to save the house from foreclosure. She hated herself for doing it then and ever since when she thought about that weekend. It was the only time she used her looks for something deliberately. She had stayed partially drunk that whole weekend.

Doug spoke again.

“If you don’t want to, I understand, but I was just curious.” Doug’s voice was kind, and not pushy. Heidi made a decision.

“I have to tell you something first. Actually, I’ll start with a question. Do you know what a seraphim is?” Doug wasn’t expecting a quiz. His brain wasn’t able to pull it to the forefront of his memory for a few moments, then it hit him.

“Isn’t it another name for archangels?” was Doug’s tentative reply.

“Kind of, or at least close enough.” Heidi still hadn’t turned around. Doug was a little concerned he was still talking to her back. Heidi continued.

“Growing up, my father kept calling me his angel, my classmates called me an angel, my military team mates called me an angel, both positively and negatively. I didn’t go by Heidi until I joined the military. Growing up, my father and everyone from kindergarten through high school called me ‘Sera’. My middle name is ‘Seraphim’.” Heidi reached over head and grabbed the middle of the back of her tank top and pulled.

Doug gasped. The sight was breathtaking.

Heidi’s back was one large tattoo. The detail and workmanship did not look like a tattoo however. White and grey and black combined in such a way to make him feel like he could run his fingers through the individual feathers. From the base of her neck and disappearing into the back waistband of the running shorts were perched a full-size pair of Angel wings completely covering her entire back.

Doug wouldn’t have been surprised if they unfolded and Heidi were to fly from the room. His voice was barely above a whisper.

“They are beautiful. Thank you for sharing them with me. I can now see the inspiration for Emilia’s drawings.”

“Go to sleep Doug. I will check on you later.” Heidi pulled her shirt back on and walked out of the room.
 

Griz3752

Retired, practising Curmudgeon
Tats aren't my thing but art is art. I've seen a lot of ink but can only remember 2, maybe 3 with that level of work.

More of the Heidi persona unfolds, along w/ a bit more Doug history. Russians are so moody & convoluted.....
 

Sportsman

Veteran Member
Thank you. I've never been into tats, mostly because I was taught as a kid that "they are forever, you sure you want to live with that the rest of your life?" Now MY kids, on the other hand...
 

ComCamGuy

Senior Member
Zed and Jesse were sitting around the table late in the night. Both were trying to figure out something to do or to prepare as a way of staving off worry they were all alone in the park. Well except for the bad guys.

“Jesse, it’s time we found out more. If they are all shacked up down at the main park, and choppered in a team to the high cabin, would they be moving between the two? Why would they want two stations? It seems like extra work after making sure there were no Rangers sequestered up there.”

“How should I know? But I do agree with you. It makes very little since unless they like the spot for a helo-borne response team. They may have pulled them back after checking it, or they may have reinforced it. We DO need more info. What do you have in mind?”

“Here’s what I got figured. You go over and do a last check at Doug’s If he isn’t there, maybe start thinking where he may be holed up and hiding away from these ****s. Then scoot over towards wherever you think he might be. Maybe one of the old mine sites? While you do that, I can sneak up to the upper cabin and see if they are still there. Maybe get a head count and see what the turnover rate is.”

“You feel up for all of that Zed?”

“This isn’t war yet. This is sneaking up on dangerous big game and watching them. I used to pay good money to do that in Africa. I’ll take my rifle, a couple days of food and my mini-bike to get close. I can check the road from main camp to the high cabin for traffic, look into the clearing for the helicopter, and check the cabin for people. Then we meet back here in tree or so days. By then we should have a better picture on what we are facing and if it’s just you and me Butch or if its us helping Doug.”

“Sounds like you have it figured out. When do you expect to head out?”

“Just before dawn. That way by the time anyone is up to hear anything, we are far from the house. What do you think?”

“Sounds good. Don’t forget though, this won’t be a missed trophy opportunity if they catch you in a stalk. They will be the ones hanging a hide on the lodge post.”

“Jesse, I ever tell you the story of when I stopped a charging Cape Buffalo at all of ten feet when he stopped sliding?”

“Only about a hundred times, Zed. Just remember, these buffalo travel in groups and shoot back. That’s all I’m trying to say.”

“I appreciate your concern. You just go find Doug.”
 
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