Frank moved in on her before she could roll over the grab her weapon. The end of the board cracked her hand. Screaming, she kicked at him, connecting painfully with his thigh. Gritting his teeth against the pain, Frank swung the board, hitting her in the head, knocking her unconscious. Dragging the board, he stumbled toward the door. Flinging it open, he was greeted by a sea of weapons aimed at him. Red dots danced on his head, chest and legs.
“Hold!” A familiar voice bellowed. “Hold your fire. That’s Frank!”
With a resounding click, the weapons went down. People surrounded Frank. Strong hands helped steady him. An ambulance awaited him and he fell onto the gurney, his body finally giving out. An oxygen mask went over his head, covering his nose. A paramedic spoke to him, but he couldn’t figure out what the woman was saying. Everything grew hazy and dark as his eyes drifted shut.
Swarms of people moved into the house, Shay and Clark led the assault. They found Liz in an untidy heap on the living room floor, her head bleeding freely from a blunt wound. Her gun lay across the room, a syringe in the far corner. Clark collected the evidence as the second medical team strapped Liz to a backboard with a neck brace.
“You keep her drugged,” Shay ordered. “I don’t care what you have to give her. I want that bitch unconscious until we get her to a prison.”
“She needs a hospital,” the paramedic said, taking her pulse.
“She needs to be shot as a traitor,” Shay growled. “She’s going to federal lock up immediately. I want her buried so deep, the worms can’t find her. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir!” Clark said, saluting. “Don’t worry, Arnold. I’ll take care of her. She’s not only a traitor, she damn near killed some people I car about. You heard the Colonel,” he barked at the paramedics. “Drug her up and get her out of here.”
“Yes, sir,” they replied in unison.
Frank lay so still, Marka wasn’t sure he was breathing. His face was pale, the circles around his eyes darker and more pronounced. His pulse was thready, but she could feel it beneath her cold fingers.
“Vitals?” She asked the EMT.
“Pulse is forty-five and steady. BP sixty over forty. Pupils slightly sluggish. Gonna move him quick. He’s gonna dip any second. You his doctor?”
“I’m his fiancée who’s also a doctor. I’m coming with you.”
“No argument from me, lady. Hop in.”
The paramedic and EMT loaded Frank into the ambulance and took off. When they reached the emergency room, his pulse had dropped to forty and he was clammy. The paramedic was right to move him so quickly. Marka called Rochelle and told her where she was.
“I’m on my way,” she said. “You don’t need to sit up there all alone.”
Rochelle arrived at the emergency room about ten minutes later. It was at least a fifteen minute drive.
“What good is a siren if I can’t use it?” She replied when Marka asked her about it.
Rochelle was wonderful about keeping Marka’s mind off her worries. They talked about her relationship with Frank.
“Is he really that good? All that stuff he did with Miss Thang.”
Marka smiled, nodding. “Oh, he’s that good and more. Like a feast after a lifelong famine. I didn’t think I’d ever have it this good.” She paused, gulping. “He has to be all right, Rochelle.”
“He will be, honey. He’s gonna be just fine. Don’t you worry.”
James drove up a few minutes after Rochelle arrived, bringing Frank’s parents. Marka greeted them and introduced Rochelle.
“I’m so sorry I didn’t call you,” she apologized, driving back the tears. “I didn’t think.”
“Neither would I, darling,” Paula replied, pulling her into a hug. “But that’s why we have Jimmy.”
Tom hugged Marka so hard, she almost cried out. The three of them sat in the waiting room, a trio of misery. Rochelle took James aside.
“We got to lighten these folks up. You with me?”
“I’ll follow your lead.” He smiled at her.
“Why should I feel discouraged? Why should the shadows come?” she sang in a clear, strong voice.
Marka and the Atherton’s looked up at her. All the others in the emergency room turned to her. Rochelle continued to sing His Eye is on the Sparrow, with James backing her up on harmony. Before she had finished, everyone in the room was singing. Doctors and nurses from the back came out front to see what was going on.
When the song was over, the only sound was a collective sniffle. Men and women alike dabbed at their eyes.
“I love that song,” Marka said with a happy sigh. “How did you know?”
“Because I do too,” Rochelle said. “Now, you put that worry aside. You put that energy into prayer for your man, sugar. He’s gonna be fine.”
A doctor came into the emergency waiting area. She looked rather young and flustered, but she was smiling.
“Family for Frank Atherton?”
Marka and his parents rose. The doctor walked over. Her light brown hair was pulled back in an untidy bun. Her blue eyes sparkled as she smiled. Shorter than Marka, she was slender but shapely.
© Dellani Oakes