I’ve been wanting to try flash fiction. Here’s part 1 of 2:
Excited, Julie looked around her. She still couldn’t believe that she was running the blood lab at St. Simeon’s, the largest hospital in the city. Thinking back, it all seemed like a dream.
She had been working as an assistant director at the county hospital when she got a call from an old boyfriend who was a staff physician at St. Simeon’s. He asked Julie if she’d be interested in a position that was open. He pulled some strings and here she was. She really didn’t understand why he was being so helpful; Steve had been an insensitive jerk while they were dating. All he would say was that she would be perfect for the position.
Julie introduced herself to the staff and got to work learning the procedures. Steve stopped by to see how she was doing. He wanted to make sure that she was comfortable with the position. On his way out, he mentioned that he had told her director that she would be working the night shift for the first few weeks so she could ease into the position. She would be due back at the hospital at 11:00 pm.
That answered one question. He was still the thoughtless jerk he had always been. Why hadn’t he checked with her about the hours she would be working? And why was her director listening to him anyway?
At 11:00 pm, Julie returned to the lab. It was located in the basement of the hospital with all the other diagnostic departments. And the morgue. She felt uncomfortable down there by herself and hurried to the lab. There were several techs and phlebotomists on staff overnight, and she soon relaxed.
Julie was going over reports and budgets when Steve appeared at her door. The uneasy feeling returned. He looked terrible, pale with blood on his lab coat. He said, “Come with me,” and turned away. Julie got up, “What are you doing here…,” when he interrupted. “I said, Come with me.”
She followed him into the hallway. Looking down the hall, Steve half-whispered, “We were trying a new procedure and something went wrong. We need blood.” He was looking around while he was talking, but they were alone. Julie told him that she would put the request into the system, and he would have it in 15 minutes. Steve grabbed her arm, “We need it NOW.”
Julie thought quickly. “Steve, I’m sorry, but I can’t just take blood without telling anyone where it went. Can we do the paperwork after?” He relaxed his grip, “Fine. Whatever. Just get the blood.”
“What type do you need?” “What type what?” Julie looked at Steve, “What is wrong with you? What type blood?” Steve looked confused, “I don’t …I mean O negative.”
He followed her into the storage cooler, “We need at least two pints.” Julie decided to quit asking questions and grabbed the blood. “So which operating room are you using?” Steve looked confused again. He mumbled, “We’re not in OR; we’re in the morgue.”
It was Julie’s turn to be confused. “You want blood for someone who’s dead?” Steve finally came back to his senses. He barked, “Just grab the damned blood and come with me.” He practically pulled her behind him to the morgue.
Normally, the morgue would have at least one doctor and one assistant on duty. For some reason, it was dark. Steve called out, “Jeff, you back here?” A voice came back, “Second door.” Julie was pulled into the room. There was a small light, but the patient was barely visible. It was a man with a terrible gash in his chest. He didn’t look like he was breathing.
Brusquely Steve told her to give the blood to the patient. “I’m an administrator. I don’t actually work with patients.” Steve looked as if she had lost her mind. “Give him the blood now. I told you there was a reason I got you hired. You’re going to help me when I have this type of situation. You know what I’m capable of when I’m not happy.”
Julie shivered and hooked up the needle. As soon as the blood started going into the man’s veins, he started to look better. About halfway through the second bag, the man suddenly sat up and smiled.