Authors: Kathy Dinisi
(A Vacation from Hell)
By Kathy Dinisi
By Kathy Dinisi
Cover design by Kathy Dinisi
Text copyright 2015 Kathy Dinisi
All Rights Reserved
Cover image Kathy Dinisi
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the author, except as used in book review.
This is a work of fiction. Characters, names, places, events or incidents are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to places or incidents is purely coincidental.
To my wonderful husband and boys for inspiring me.
The world began without man, and it will end without him
Thank God only one more day until vacation. I’m so tired of seeing sick people for twelve hours a day. It would be nice to have a change of scenery, something other than these plain white walls with depressing pictures of happy people.
I can use some fun and alone time with Mathew. It was so sweet of him to get us a three day vacation to the Grand Canyon, and what is even better, no kids! BEEP! BEEP! That very annoying sound that I dread comes from my phone, breaking my train of thought.
It’s my alarm telling me my break is over…..already! I slide my finger slowly along the screen of my phone, turning the alarm off. Gradually getting up and chugging the last bit of my coffee before throwing it away. John, another nurse walks into the cafeteria; I wave as I walk by him, not wanting to make small talk. I’m not in the mood and John is such a chatter box, I’ll never get back to work.
Slowly dragging my feet as I enter the elevator I push the little round button for the first floor. I could just take the stairs, the hospital is only two stories, but I’m just way too lazy for that.
Waiting patiently for the elevator doors to open, I pin my waist length hair up in a bun. I exit the elevator and proceed down a long hallway towards the E.R. I glance down at my watch, its six o’clock.
Only three more hours until I’m off work! Then I can go home where I can finally relax and get some much needed rest before our vacation.
“Samantha!” I look up to see Jennifer, another nurse at the hospital, calling my name in a panic. Her eyes are wide with fear.
As she runs up to me I notice her blonde hair is in a French braid. She has the prettiest sky blue eyes that I have ever seen. She has a natural beauty about her, that anything she does, she looks perfect. Unlike me, I have to wear makeup and style my hair.
“Hurry we need your help. Just got an emergency call, an Ambulance is on its way with a man who was shot twice.”
My heart suddenly jumps into overdrive and I put my game face on, it’s time to get to work. Unfortunately, we are so understaffed tonight that my twelve hour shift might turn into a fourteen hour shift, or longer.
As we rush to the emergency room we patiently wait for the Ambulance to arrive.
“They said they are about fifteen minutes out, down Highway twelve,” Jennifer mentions.
“Oh ok, not too far then,” I reply.
“So are you excited about your vacation? The grand canyon is so beautiful.” Jennifer said to me, but before I can answer her a loud BOOM echoes through the hall.
We turn as the Paramedics burst through the double doors and they have the shooting victim strapped to a stretcher. As we take him to a room, I notice something not normal about this patient.
Before I really have a chance to think about it, the man starts to scream. It’s not just a scream though, it’s the loudest, blood- curdling and horrific sound I think I’ve ever heard. I’d rather hear nails against a chalkboard than to hear his screams.
The man flails about trying to escape the restraints of the stretcher. Jennifer and I grab his arms as two other nurses come running into the room to grab his legs. The man is still screaming while a doctor tries to put him under with a shot of Propofol.
He’s so strong he manages to break the restraints, throwing Jennifer and I off of him. I slam against the floor and bounce back up as quickly as I can, grabbing his left arm again before he’s able to take a swing at the doctor. Finally, with the help of the paramedics that brought him in, the six of us are able to hold him down long enough to put him under.
“Thank God!! He’s finally under and that freaking screaming is over.” I say as I lean in closer to the patient. Besides the fact that he has been shot twice, once in his left shoulder blade and again in his right leg, the corners of his eyes have puss and blood oozing from them.
But that’s not the only weird thing about this patient, he also has a unique odor and not unique in a pleasant way either.
Nope, we’re not that lucky. He smells like rotting flesh as if his body was decaying like three day old road kill along a highway.
It’s weird that I didn’t notice the stench before; I have a very sensitive nose. I guess it must have been the adrenaline rush. But my rush faded quickly once he was subdued.
My stomach lurches, twists, jump, and turns inside out. I can’t stand the smell! Oh God! I turn to rush out of the room for some fresh air before I vomit all over the poor guy. I think he has suffered enough I don’t want to add that to his grief. I have been a nurse for three years and I have seen some very disgusting stuff, but I have never seen, or smelt anything like this before.
I turn to see the other nurses taking care of him. Swallowing back the need to vomit, I Grab some medical instruments from the medical table and hand it to the doctor. Standing off to the side of the room, I get a better look at the patient.
His skin looks really saggy and pale as if death is already at his doorstep. He’s also foaming at the mouth. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone like him before. And he was freakishly strong; he threw Jennifer and me around like ragdolls. He doesn’t look like he works out. That’s so weird. He’s probably on drugs, PCP maybe.
Once we have the patient stable, I leave the other nurses to get him patched up. I walk back down the hall to do my rounds until my shift is over.
Yawning, I look down at my watch, nine o’clock, my shift is over. Wow 3 hours went by faster than I expected, time fly’s when you’re busy.
I cannot wait to leave this place, and go home to a nice warm bed with Mathew and fall into a deep slumber.
Dragging my tired feet to my locker, Jennifer walks up to me, “Man that guy is in bad condition, doctors say it’s not just the two gunshot wounds, but he might have Rabies.”
I snap my head up in surprise. “What!!? Rabies!? You’ve got to be joking……..right? We haven’t had any cases in the U.S. in years. How did he get it?”
“I wish I was joking. As of now they’re not sure how he contracted it. He got out of surgery about an hour and a half ago and he’s still knocked out. They want to try and ask him what happened once he regains consciousness. They aren’t even sure if its rabies, but he is showing all signs of it. Foaming out of the mouth, aggressiveness, along with bloodshot and puss filled eyes. The doctors have sent a couple different tests to the lab they should know what it is within a few days.” Jennifer adds.
“Wow, crazy. Well do me a favor and let me know what he has once you find out. Okay?”
“No problem, Sam. But you’re going on vacation, are you sure you want me to bother you with work stuff?”
“Yea, it’s fine. One little text isn’t going to ruin our vacation. Please, I really want to know,” I beg.
“Ok, chicka will do. Have fun on your vacation and tell Mathew I said hello and to treat my girl right,” she says as she pulls me in for a big hug and squeezes me until I have to push her away.
I love this girl; she is so fun and easy going. She’s been a nurse a lot longer than I have, but she was beyond sweet when I first came to this hospital three years ago. She taught me so much and helped me learn the ropes. I am blessed to have her as a friend.
“When there is no more room in Hell the Dead shall walk the earth.”
“Hurry up Samantha the kids and I are ready to go!” Mathew yells impatiently down the hall.
“I’m coming!” I scream as I study myself in the mirror one last time before we leave.
Dressed in a pair of my favorite blue jean shorts and a black tank top, nice and comfortable, just the way I like it. My mid length brown hair is put in a neat braid that lays smoothly on my right shoulder.
I’m ready to go, and after my busy work week I’m in need of this vacation. I slip on my favorite pair of flip flops as I walk out of our bedroom.
I have been looking forward to this vacation for three whole months. Thinking back to when Mathew surprised me with this three day trip to the Grand Canyon. Even though, it’s only three days it still seems like heaven. It will be so much fun just me and him.
I try to think of the last time Mathew and I went out by ourselves anywhere. The sad thing is it has been so long since that I can’t even remember the last time we went anywhere alone.
The only alone time Mathew and I ever get are the couple hours when our kids are at school. And usually this time alone is spent doing chores around the house. No wonder why I get so irritated so easily.
This mini vacation was definitely needed, by all of us, as I’m sure the kids will love the time away from their moody parents and enjoy their time with Grandma and Grandpa.
Thirty five minutes later we are pulling into my parent’s very long, boring, and rocky dirt driveway to my childhood home. My parents have lived in this house for thirty five years. My father built this house from the ground up and I still remember all of us helping in any way we could. I look at the bedroom window that I once called mine; the windows used to be covered with pink curtains, but now they are bare.
I had a cute twin bed with pink flowers all over it. I remember my father had to make me a bookshelf because I had so many books, but not enough room for them in my closet. My mother use to get so mad at me because I would try to throw the books that didn’t fit under my bed. I laugh as I reminisce.
Our kids jump out of the car before we have a chance to remind them about grandma and grandpa’s house rules.
“Grandma! Grandpa! We’re here!” They yell as they run up to the front door and start banging on it. I can swear they are just as excited to leave us as we are to leave them.
Mathew and I open the trunk and take the boys backpacks in the spare bedroom. Mathew walks out of the spare bedroom when he hears my father call him into the living room. I start to unpack their backpacks so my parents don’t have to deal with it later.
Mathew is talking to my dad about what route we will take to get to the train station and some other stuff I don’t catch.
While I’m walking out of the room I Overhear our eight-year-old Alexander and our six-year-old James mention to grandma how hungry they are, even though they just finished breakfast an hour ago.
“Hi sweetheart.” my mom says to me as I walk into the kitchen.
“Hi mom, are the boys begging for food again?”
“Of course, they love grandma’s food.” She says while smothering the kids with affection. James pushes away from Grandma, sneak’s off, tip toeing towards Mathew and try’s to tackle him from behind.
I start giggling as I watch my husband grab him and tickle him until James cries for him to stop. Mathew and my father sit down at the kitchen table to talk about cars. I sit at the bar in the kitchen, watching my mother bake homemade chocolate chip cookies for the boys. I look down at my watch and notice it’s time to go.
“Well momma, we have to get going,” I say as I give my mother a hug and kiss on her cheek. Mathew stands up and shakes my father’s hand goodbye and opens the front door for me.
We both excitedly jog to the car and jump into Mathew’s new Rally Blue colored Lancer. He just loves this darn car; he has only had it for a couple months now. What I just don’t understand, what is it with men and their cars?
“Babe?” Mathew calls from the drivers set, breaking my train of thought
“Let’s make a bet to see how fast I can get us to Arizona.”
“Ummm how about no, I don’t want another speeding ticket. Besides we are still paying for the last ticket you got and an extra seventy bucks a month on our car insurance because of it.” I say while rolling my eyes at him.
Ever since we got this car he tries to race it. It makes me so mad! But for as long as I’ve known him he has had a lead foot and is always up for a race. Whether it’s against another driver or against time, it doesn’t matter to him.
Turning around to wave out the car window to my boys and my parents I say to Mathew “Let’s get this show on the road.” Plugging in our very expensive blue IPod and blast some Jason Aldean!
We are on Highway fifty eight heading east and my bladder is begging me to use the restroom.
“Babe I need to pee, can we please stop at that gas station coming up? All that coffee this morning got to me I guess.” I say doing the potty dance in my seat.
“Sure babe, I was thinking about getting some snacks anyways. We still have quite a drive ahead and I have the munchies.”
“Yum, could you get me a Slim Jim and a Coke, please?”
“Sure baby anything you want.” He says lovingly.
Pulling into the gas station parking lot, I patiently sit and wait for Mathew to come around to my side of the car to open my door. I know how mad it makes him if I don’t let him get the door for me.
He’s such a gentleman. Nine years of marriage and he’s still so sweet. He opens my door, I jump out of the car and give him a big fat kiss on his lips and squeal in delight as he slaps my butt.
Once inside, the gas station Mathew and I go our separate ways. Mathew goes to the snack isle and I go to the bathroom. A young man around twenty years old, dressed in a pair of green scrubs, impatiently bangs on the men’s bathroom door.
This poor guy, he looks and sounds so sick. He’s coughing and sweating profusely, and his eyes have puss coming out of the corners of them. His eyes are also bloodshot and he has a little bit of white crusty stuff on the sides of his mouth, it kind of looks like dried up toothpaste. Poor guy also smells like he hasn’t bathed in weeks.
I try to breathe through my mouth instead of my nose, to help with the smell. Then I have a case of déjà vu, the gunshot patient at the hospital!
Can this be the same sickness?
What did Jennifer say it could be before I went home?
Man, I cannot remember what it was for the life of me!!! I will text her once I get back to the car.
Ewww….. Please don’t cough near me.
Thankfully there are two separate bathrooms, one for the women, and one for the men. I’m thanking my lucky stars because I don’t want to use the same bathroom as this guy. It’s bad enough he’s even in the same building as us.
I stand back some ways to make sure he walks into the men’s room first so I don’t have to go anywhere near him. As he shuts the men’s room door I rush inside of the women’s bathroom and quickly shut the door behind me.
Ten minutes later I’m coming out of the bathroom and see Mathew’s sexy butt patiently waiting for me by the exit. Walking past the men’s room I can hear the sick guy coughing. It sounds worse than it did just minutes ago, kind of sounds like he is coughing up a big chunky hairball.I decide to walk faster just in case he comes out of the bathroom at the same time.
My stomach starts to flip flop a little just thinking about how dreadful he looked.
I grab Mathew’s hand and rush him out of the gas station.
“Why are you in such a hurry? Check in time at the hotel isn’t until 1 P.M.?”
“I noticed there was a kid who was on his way to the men’s bathroom, he looked so sick, he had what looked like bloody puss coming out of his eyes and he was coughing and sweating really bad. He looked horrible. I really didn’t want him coughing near me. Trust me it was nasty! It reminds me of something out of the Walking Dead show.”
“That does sound nasty. I’m glad I didn’t see it.” Mathew says agreeing with me.
“Babe the odd thing is I saw the same thing at the hospital last night. The lab was running test on the patient to see if it was Rabies.”
“Well, I’m sure it wasn’t Rabies. I wouldn’t worry about it sweetheart.” Mathew says as he sweetly gives me a kiss on my lips. I completely forget why I was worried as I get lost in his warm embrace. I love this sexy, handsome, sweet man.
I start to feel the rumble of the car as Mathew starts it. Turning on our trusty I-pod and pushing shuffle, Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven blares through the speakers and we start to sing along.
I sit back and just relax listening to Robert Plant’s voice play through the speakers. Ripping open our Slim Jims that Mathew bought at the gas station, I hand over his and slowly take a bite of mine, cherishing the chewy, greasy flavor of my Slim Jim.
“Man, I’m excited for this vacation! 3 whole days without any kids! It seems like heaven.”
“Yeah, me too! The military sure knows how to work my ass off.”
“I haven’t had a day off from work in about a month. I’m more than pleased to leave the hospital for a few days and not have to worry about getting called in.” I say as I put Mathews hand into mine.
We are finally on I-40 East going towards Arizona when we noticed on the freeway going the opposite direction half a dozen police cars and 6 military HUMVEEs.
Hmm, that’s weird; I wonder what they are doing
“Where do you think they are going and why would there be HUMVEEs traveling with the police?”
“Who cares, maybe a bomb threat on the base or military training. You never know with the military. They can do whatever they feel like doing, whenever they feel like it,” Mathew says, sarcastically dismissing the vehicles.
Yeah, he’s right, who cares, and if it was something important then he would know, after all he has been in the Army for ten years.
Leaning over my seat and grabbing my purse on the floor, I start digging through the mess inside trying to find my phone. Ah huh found it, texting my mother first,
Hey momma, how are my brats doing
Then I remember I wanted to text Jennifer too.
Hey, chicka, what did the patient with the gunshot wounds have? Was it rabies? I think I just saw a young man with the same symptoms, can you please let me know…
As I put my phone back down inside the middle counsel I un-screw our Coca Cola bottle and take a swig. There’s nothing like a cold soda on a hot summer day, it always hits the spot. “Hun, do you want some?” I ask while holding the Coke bottle out in front of Mathew.
“Sure. How hot is it supposed to get tomorrow at the Grand Canyon?” Mathew asks while grabbing the bottle from my hand.
“The weather app on my phone showed it will get up to ninety eight degrees, pretty hot but better than their normal weather of one hundred and ten degrees, I guess,” I say shrugging my shoulders.
We choose to take our vacation during April because the internet said it’s the best time of the year. Mainly because the heat wouldn’t be as bad as it is during the summer months.
They run this train all year around and the winter months are supposed to be the busiest because the weather is cooler and they decorate the train to look like the Polar Express. It would be so fun to take the boys there one day. That happens to be there favorite movie.
Five hours of driving listening to our I-Pod and enjoying the beginning of our vacation. We exit onto Route 66. A sign
Old Station Hotel, turn left on Train Street for customer parking.
The sign directs us to our hotel.
“Heck, yea!” I scream, bouncing in my seat from excitement.
“My ass hurts!!! I’m so glad we are here.” Mathew says while rubbing his butt. We drive around the parking lot, finally finding an open parking space near the hotel office.
As we are walking in the hotel office, I decide to check my phone for any missed messages; my phone reads no new messages. Oh well, mom has her hands full with our boys.
Knowing mom she probably left her phone on vibrate again, she always does. And maybe Jennifer got called in for another shift or something. I throw my cell phone back into my brown leather purse.