|The Story||The Authors|
Jeremy turned back to the overturned ambulance and grabbed his walkie-talkie
from his jacket. "This is JC to Compound, JC to Compound. BigPig One is
almost on the spit. Get ready with the Welcome Wagon"
"Roger that, JC" came the crackling reply as Hickey's pursuing siren wailed closer to the curve. With giggle and click of his heels Jeremy Crink splayed himself in the overturned cab. A quick slice of a stolen plasma pouch and he was in business.
Officer Matthew J. Hickey speeding as fast he dared made a wide lane crossing swath around the curve silently praying that the siren would warn somebody coming the other way. He should've known Crink would take him this way. He should've just known it. The veins in the side of Hickey's neck bulged and pulsed. His knuckles numb and bloodless on the wheel. Bring him up here and lets his own shitty driving and reflexes finish him off. So that was his plan, eh? Let Hickey wreck himself and dance around his corpse. He'd show that fuckin' Crink a thing. He'd take his scrawny pill popping neck and.....
Matthew's thoughts trailed into nothingness. There was the ambulance. He didn't so much stop the cruiser, as it just seemed to peter out of steam on its own. He sat looking out the grime-covered window at his own worst nightmare. The ambulance was upside down. Spilled oil and water leaking out like bodily fluids from its crumpled front end and there in a spreading pool of his own blood lay Jeremy Crink. Hickey was stunned. He felt weak. Waves of fear and nausea churned his stomach into boil. This was how it ended. He would rather have been slowly flayed alive with a rusty knife than have to see this. It was everything he'd ever feared most in one bloody heap. But duty and nature called. He got out of his cruiser.
His feet seemed distant miles from the rest of his body as he began to shamble over to the wreck. He couldn't do it. Black spots began to waver in front of his eyes. He hurriedly groped his way back behind the squad car to collect himself. "Breathe deep, breathe deep" he told himself until he saw clearly again. Then almost without warning two of Luby's hamburgers and a slice of cherry pie reappeared from deep within his innards and splashed their masticated remains onto the dusty road's shoulder. Hickey wiped his mouth off with a dirty sleeve. He felt oddly better. And steeling himself turned once more to the wrecked ambulance. He took two steps. He thought better of it and paused to add a few cups of Luby's coffee to the mess he'd already made. With a grim resolve he zipped his fly and turned before he could chicken out. Staring straight ahead and with jelly like determination he strode purposefully to where Jeremy Crink's body lay. He was still a policeman after all. He reassured himself. Trained in these things. There were procedures. Procedures. He had to make sure if Crink was dead or not.
Hickey took a gulp of air, and with ashen face he stood at the outer most edge of the thick pool of blood that oozed out from under Jeremy's skull. He looked for a sign of life. All was still. Behind him a bird trilled almost mournfully.
Then suddenly Crink tore a ragged breath. Matthew leapt back as if a snake had bitten him. "Oh shit, HE'S STILL ALIVE" Hickey panicked. "Gotta do something. Gotta Do something" Years of EMT training flew from his brain like the last wisps of a dandelion. He whimpered piteously. Another agonized breath rippled through Crink with a wet gurgle. "He's choking! He's choking now! Mouth to Mouth. Mouth to mouth. Gotta give him mouth to mouth....." Hickey's mind reeled in five separate directions trying to remember the proper steps. "Clear airway. Pinch nose. count one two three one two three.." Cautiously he crept forward to Crink. He touched his face. Matthew gingerly grasped Crink's nose...
And like some maniacal Jack-in-the-box Jeremy Crink burst into life and planted a big wet one on stunned Officer Hickey's lips before leaping to his feet and into the underbrush with a whoop.