What have we got?.. White male, unknown species, struck by a car..... What about her?... dono.. Get that stretcher... Immobilize his neck... Good breath sounds... Miss?... BP 140 over 85... Rescue 51 to County General... Miss?.... EKG looks good.... Got a line started... Pupils equal....
Although she could hear the voices, they didn't quite register on Sheila's consciousness. Still warm in her hand, the amulet held her attention completely. A light touch broke the spell.
"Miss? Are you ok"? A voice asked.
"Ummm... what?" Sheila said, looking up she saw a young ferret lightly touching her left shoulder.
"I said are you ok Miss? Do you need medical attention?" The concerned look in his eyes were highlighted by the numerous flashing blue and red lights. They illuminated the entire area with their rhythmic flashing, beating to a pulse that was regular and irregular at the same time.
The rain had stopped.
"Ummm... I think I've cracked some ribs, and I may have hit my head," she replied slowly, the surreal events around her bathed in a fog of adrenalin and endorphins.
"Stay right here, Miss. Don't move any more than you must. I'll go get the other Ambulance crew." Making sure that she wasn't going to move, the young ferret quickly moved away to get help.
Looking once again at the form laying on the ground, she saw that half a dozen rescue personnel who were preparing the bear for transport, now surrounded him. Equipment was beeping and chirping, marking the passage of his life. "He's still alive," she thought to herself. "God please let him make it," she said in a silent prayer.
Two more of the rescue team came over to Sheila. In a waking dream she answered their questions as they checked her over. Eventually satisfied that she was in no immediate danger, they put a cervical collar on her, laid her down on a backboard and secured her to prevent any more possible harm then gently lifted her onto a stretcher. As she was being rolled towards the ambulance, Zig Zag came over.
Handing her a purse, Zig Zag said, "Here kiddo. I know you don't like to go anywhere without your things. Are you going to be OK?"
"Sure boss. You know nothing can keep me from work in the morning," replied Sheila.
Smiling bravely, Zig Zag put a hand on hers and said, "Don't worry about it Kiddo. You got the rest of the week off. And don't feel bad, I think I'm going to do the same thing myself."
Chuckling at her boss, "I'll bet $10 you're at work tomorrow," said Sheila.
"You know me too well. Now go with these good looking medics and don't cause too much trouble. I'll be along at the hospital in a little bit. Everything's going to be OK you hear me?" Zig Zag reassured.
"Sure boss." Sheila gave Zig Zag a weak thumbs up, "Everything's 100%".
Bending over to give her a quick peck on the cheek, Zig Zag then backed off so the medics could load her into the ambulance. A tear slowly trickled down her eye as she watched it pull away.
As I slowly became aware of my surroundings, I discovered that I was in a hospital room. Looking to either side I could see monitoring equipment registering my pulse, blood pressure and oxygen level. There were IV's in my left arm, and my right arm was immobilized on my chest. My right leg was suspended from a traction pulley and in a cast almost up to my hip. I could also see out of both eyes, though everything was fuzzy.
"Damn... no glasses. I'll have to ask if someone knows where they are." I muttered.
Lying there for a while, I took inventory of what I remembered.
I had been sitting at my computer looking at the amulet and had said something to the picture of Sheila Vixen on my screen. Next think I know I'm on fire, Ever cell in my body is screaming bloody murder, then a loud flash, a bang, and I'm suddenly on my left knee in the rain. Gasping for breath, I saw a flash of light to my right.
Looking I saw headlights coming at me.
No, they were turning.
No, they were spinning.
At that point I heard the door open to the room. Turning my head (and regretting it immediately) I saw a large dog walk in. At least I think it was a dog. Biggest damned Schnauzer I ever saw, wearing hospital blues and a stethoscope. He walked over towards my bed carrying a clipboard.
"Hmmm. Ya. Interesting. Ahhh... Good." Looking up at me, I could see his large round eyes. Smiling he finished approaching me and ask "Vell mine young friend. How are ve feelink today?"
This is perfect. A walking, talking Schnauzer with a German accent, this can only get better.
"I'm alive. At least I think I'm alive. That or this is one seriously bad nightmare." I answered.
"Vell mine heir, I'm afraid zat it ist not a neightmare. You vere ztrukh by unt automobile on ze highway. Fortunately for you, ze car vaz not build kvite as vell as you vere. Ven ve first zaw you, I vaz zertain zat you ver goink to have zome zeriouz brain trauma, but it zeems zat you have quite ze zick schkull."
(Typing this in the way I remember this guy saying it is a pain. Let's just remember he has a REAL heavy accent and leave it like that eh? )
"Was anyone else hurt?" I asked.
"There was a young lady, who was injured. We're keeping her under observation for a few days. She should be ok. How do you feel, my boy?" The Dr. asked.
"I feel like I've been hit by a car. But I suppose you know that. Did anyone bring in a pair of glasses with them?" I asked. Hope springs eternal.
"I'm afraid not. Do you remember what happened?" He asked.
At this point it suddenly occurred to me that if I told this guy what REALLY happened, I'd wind up in a padded room up in the psycho ward.
"No... It's all a blur. I remember the ambulance a little. Some of the time in the ER, but nothing before that." I answered.
"Ach... That's likely an effect of the head trauma. You've had a minor concussion. Don't worry abut it though. Temporary memory loss is to be expected with this kind of injury. In time, it will come back to you. Just relax and don't push yourself." He told me.
At this point the doctor looked nervous, "I need to ask you a few questions that aren't directly related to your injuries." He said.
"Sure doc. Fire away." I replied.
"When you were found, you were naked. Do you remember why?" He asked.
Whoah doggie... I've dreamed about getting stuck out in the middle of nowhere naked, but this is too much.
"Umm... Sorry. Like I said, I don't remember anything at all." I told him.
Disappointed he asked, "Do you walk much? Or do you lead a very sedentary life?"
HUH? What's this one about. "I'm not sure what you're asking. Why do you ask?" I asked.
Definitely nervous he pulled up a chair, "To be honest, my boy, you're an anachronism. You have no calluses on your front or rear paws. Your left fore-paw has a strange mark, almost like a brand. The skin around it appears to be pink, as if freshly healed. And your fur, it has NEVER been cut. The follicles are naturally terminated. There's no way you could exist in society without having gotten a trim unless you were a throwback in the wilds. There's no place for one of your specific genus anywhere within a thousand miles from here. Even then, you should have calluses on your feet. So the burning question is: How did you get to be where you were, without ever showing any signs of having existed before you were hit?"
Fur? Looking down at myself it finally dawned on me that I wasn't just seeing gauze everywhere, but fur. Looking at my hand, I could see that along with fingers, I also had sharp, black claws. Focusing closer to my face I could see a snout rather than my nose. "Oh boy." I said to myself.
My mind was racing a thousand miles a second trying to find a way out of it. Lifting up my left had to rub my eyes I spied the mark he spoke of. It was an impression of the amulet, the Demon's laughing face burned into my skin in full detail. Even the intricate text on the outer edge was rendered.
Holding my hand up to the doctor I took the plunge, "See this emblem doc? It's the key to it all. I can't say why, or how, but all I know is that whatever did THIS to me is responsible for me being on the road."
Ok... So it wasn't entirely the truth, but it wasn't quite a lie either.
Nodding he bent closer, "You watch the history show? You know that Der Furer was studying the occult before the war. He was interested in every form of black magic. I once saw that symbol. It was at the university where I was studying medicine. We were required to take a science class that was not related to medicine. It was supposed to broaden our horizon. I took archaeology. One day a Gestapo man came to see my professor. He showed him that emblem and asked him to do research on its background. We never found out much about the object. Three days later, the professor disappeared without a trace. The Gestapo was furious, but they never found him."
Straightening in his chair he continued, "I will keep your secret for now, my boy, to prove that you can trust me. But some day, you must promise to tell me what you know. I must know, what happened to the professor!" The look in his eyes at this point was disturbing. It was almost fanaticism.
"What was so important about this professor?" I asked. What was this guy looking for.
Standing he straightened his scrubs and picked up the chart. "He was my father." And with that he turned and left the room.
After he left, I held my hand up again, looking at that grinning face. I could still hear the bastard laughing at me in the back of my mind.