Authors: Vivi Anna
An Urban Fantasy
By Vivi Anna
Copyright 2011 Vivi Anna This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portion thereof, is any form. This ebook may not be resold or uploaded for distribution to others.
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The doors from the ambulance bay burst open and two EMTs rolled in a stretcher, a woman badly bleeding lay strapped to the gurney.
I was there waiting for them, immediately checking vitals. “What have we got?”
“Werewolf attack,” one of the EMTs announced, “She was found near the water wall in Stanley Park.”
I gaped at him. “Are you sure it was a werewolf attack”
We rolled the patient down the corridor toward the trauma rooms. Only one was available as we’d just received two criticals from a motor vehicle accident.
Other nurses and doctors brushed past us, shouting out orders to each other. Patients in wheelchairs and gurneys lined the walls waiting for their turn at treatment. The night was a busy one. Must’ve been a full moon or something.
“Gut ripped open. Claw marks on both arms and legs. Don’t know of anything else that could do that.”
I didn’t either, at least not in the city. But I hated that since the werewolves came out of the closet, so to speak, a couple of years ago, there had been a tendency to point a finger any time someone was apparently attacked by an animal. Working as a RN for the past six years in the downtown Vancouver hospital emergency, I’d seen a lot of awful and strange stuff. This was the first werewolf attack I’d encountered. If it truly was one.
We wheeled her into the only empty trauma room.
“On three,” I said, as we rolled her up to the bed to transfer her over from their gurney. “One, two, three.” The team picked her up and set her onto the table.
Once I had control, the two EMTs left, taking their stretcher probably to head off to another call.
They had already inserted an IV in her arm so I changed the fluid bag and hooked her up to the monitors. Her blood pressure was low, and her heart rate erratic. By the looks of her wounds, and the blood soaking through the gauze holding her stomach together, she was in really bad shape.
I checked her arms and saw long jagged rivets in her flesh. The marks did indeed look like claw marks. Her legs looked the same. I peeled back the blood-soaked gauze a bit to see how bad the primary wound was. I saw a mass of red and purple and smelled the putrid stench of open bowels, her intestines had been shredded. Oh damn. My gut churned over in response. I slapped two more abdominal gauze pads on her belly, adding more pressure.
“Hey, can I get a hand in here?” I yelled. The doc was on her way, but she needed to hurry her ass up.
Another nurse, Heather, burst through the door, rushing to help. She came up to the side of the bed and helped me press on the bleeding wound.
The doctor rolled in, her face stoic, her manner all business. She snapped on some latex gloves and approached the gurney. The patient was lucky tonight was Dr. Diana Cole’s night on rotation. She was the best trauma specialist on staff.
“Nina, tell me something,” she said as she prepared to peek under the bloody dressing.
“BP is dropping. Eighty over fifty. Heart rate is erratic. Blood ox level is ninety and on its way down.”
Diana peeled back the bandages.
For the first time in six years of working emergency, I wanted to puke. The woman’s gut had been torn open, not cut like with a knife; I’d seen that plenty, but ripped and torn every which way with something jagged. Looking at the extent of the injury, I knew she didn’t have a chance.
I looked up into Diana’s face and saw the same grim look in her eyes.
“We need bags of O neg, stat. Let’s get some blood back into her.”
Heather and I stuck IVs in her other hand and in her feet to get in the blood, but it was too late. Diana attempted to stitch up her insides, but her blood pressure dropped hard. We were losing her. The machines beeped like crazy, Diana worked on the woman’s heart but her efforts weren’t enough. The woman flatlined with a long drawn out beep which never failed to make my throat tighten with emotion. We got out the paddles and zapped her several times, but she never even regained consciousness, thank goodness.
Diana looked at her watch. “I’m calling it at eleven twenty p.m.”
Heather wrote it down on the patient’s chart.
I turned and pressed the off button on the machine, then looked back to Diana.
She nodded to me, then peeling off her gloves, she left the trauma room.
I nodded to the other nurses. “Clean her up.” Then stripping off my own gloves, I followed the doctor.
I wanted to catch up with her and get her take on the wounds, but before I could, I was ambushed by two police officers. Unfortunately, I knew them both. Officers Coates and Stettler of the Supernatural Event Monitoring Agency—SEMA. Or as I liked to call them Tweedle Dum and Tweedle if-you-grab-my-ass-one-more-time-I’m-going-to-snap-your-wrist.
The agency had been formed by the Canadian government in response to the werewolves declaring themselves and coming out into the open. But from what I’d seen of them, they were all just a bunch of prejudiced bastards, just waiting to shoot a silver bullet into someone thick and hairy.
“We heard there’s a werewolf attack vic in there,” Officer Coates said.
“Can we talk to her?” Stettler asked.
“She’s dead so, no, I don’t think so.”
Stettler cursed. “We were hoping for an eye witness. Catch one of these bastards red handed or red clawed.” He made a claw shape with his fingers and swiped them at me.
If he had come any closer to my face, I would’ve grabbed his hand and twisted it off.
“What about all those coyote attacks I’ve been hearing about? Maybe it was a coyote.”
“I knew it was just a matter of time before one of them did something like this. They should all be locked up in a zoo if you ask me,” Coates said.
He conveniently ignored my comment. “Well, thank the Lord, no one is asking you, asshole.” I brushed past him.
“What’s up your ass, Decker?” Stettler smirked.
I didn’t dignify that with an answer and continued to make my way down the corridor away from the trauma room and from ignorant jerks. But I didn’t get far before I heard Coates remark.
“Maybe she’s got the hots for that head wolf guy, Saint Morgan. Even my sister thinks he’s good looking.”
“That’s just sick. Like bestiality.”
I pushed through the door to the nurse’s staff room and blocked out the rest of their conversation. I found my locker and leaned my forehead against the cool metal breathing deep
I didn’t normally let these things get to me, but I’d been feeling on edge for a while. Ever since werewolves came out, stood up and declared themselves real and here to stay, to be exact. I knew it was just the beginning.
Most people had no real clue what was out there lurking in the shadows. Lurking inside people. If any of them truly knew what lay in wait inside of me, they’d run the other way. Or turn around and shoot me between the eyes. Except I didn’t think silver would work on me.
I had a secret. The kind of secret that ruined lives. I would never reveal it because I’d seen how prejudiced people were. How ignorant and cruel they could be. And I valued my job. I liked helping people, and I knew I could lose it all.
I was, shall we say, a reluctant member of the supernatural community. Half human and half fae, I was just the type of creature that people like Officer Coates and Officer Stettler, and thousands of others in this city, loved to hate, and I wasn’t about to come out of the closet any time soon. I liked my job and my life too much to destroy them with an act of conscience.
The door to the room opened and I straightened as Diana came in. The heels of her rubber-soled shoes squeaked on the linoleum floor as she approached me.
“Something you want to talk about?”
We weren’t friends exactly but we had a sort of symbiotic sympathetic relationship. We were there to lean on, if needed.
I shook my head and opened my locker, to grab a bottle of Advil as if that had been the reason I came in here in the first place. I opened the top, shook out three and popped them into my mouth dry swallowing them down. The pills weren’t actually Advil but herbs. I didn’t use normal medicines. My metabolism was different and I reacted strangely to human-made medications.
“You looked like you were about to puke back there. You haven’t been a rookie for years.
“Caught me by surprise, that’s all.”
“And the fact that those two imbeciles are imbeciles caught you off guard too?” She lifted one dark bushy eyebrow.
“No. I just hate hearing all that crap.”
“We both know if it’s not werewolves they’re hating, it would be Sikhs, or Chinese or whatever race was currently in the news. They are both ignorant rednecks.”
“I know. I’m just tired and cranky. It’s been a long shift.”
She glanced at her watch. “Almost over, isn’t it?”
“Then go home. You’ve been looking really pale lately.”
I was surprised she hadn’t realized by now that my skin
always this pale.
She eyed me carefully. “Are you getting enough iron?”
I couldn’t tell her that I was allergic to iron in a way, so I just nodded complacently.
“All right. Good night, then.” She turned to go.
She paused with her hand on the door. “Hey, do you know if we have to watch this woman that died?”
“Watch her for what?”
“I don’t know, to see if she turns all hairy.”
I shook my head. Ignorance abounded. “I don’t think that’s how it works. As far as I’ve heard, werewolves are born not made.”
“Right.” She nodded then pushed through the door and left me blissfully alone.
I took off my stethoscope, hung it up in my locker then grabbed my jacket, my bag and my bike helmet. Time to go home. I needed the rest.
After nodding my goodbyes to some of the staff, I went out the front doors, made my way across the small parking lot to the street where I parked my motorcycle. Fall was fast approaching, making it almost too cool to ride my bike, especially at midnight. The thought of being inside two tons of metal for hours at a time nearly brought tears to my eyes. I hated driving in vehicles and had the worst case of car sickness. Same thing with airplanes. Hated them. Couldn’t go in one.
Iron had a sickening effect on the fae. Although I wasn’t full blooded, I still felt the ions of the metal seeping into my skin through my pores and destabilizing my immune system. I wasn’t absolutely positive why this happened. Something to do with the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. During the Bronze Age, the fae lived out in the open, free to live their lives as they’d been doing for centuries. But when the Iron Age came, so did prejudice and persecution. Many fae died by tortuous hands. Since then iron had become like a disease and the once mental aversion became a physical one hereditarily passed down through the generations.