The State – 3

Posted: April 1, 2013 in The State

10.

Edward met the EMT at the curb as red and blue lights strafed palely across the afternoon. “Please, hurry,” he said. “I don’t think she’s breathing.”

As Edward ran up the stairs, following the medic, he struggled to keep from breaking down into tears. Sam had died over two years ago. That was a fluke, the doctors had said, somehow they had missed the epilepsy and it wasn’t Edward’s fault. No, he hadn’t caused it, it really had nothing at all to do with him. At least, that was what they had told him.

The EMT bent over the woman’s squat bulk and paused, listening closely with his stethoscope for any signs of life. He turned to Edward with a grim look on his face that Edward could only take one way.

What happened!!??” Edward shrieked at the man now standing before him.

Woh buddy, I’m gonna need you to calm down there.”

What happened!?” Edward yelled again, less hysterically.

Son, I’m going to need you to take a step back and stop yelling at me. I’ve got to radio this in, okay? She was old. These things happen. It’s a fact of life, kid. Please.”

The EMT turned to face the window, pulling his radio from where it was attached at his shoulder to call in the tragedy at his feet.

Edward stepped forward, his hands balled into fists and hanging by his side.

WHAT.”

HAPPENED.”

Yeah, dispatch. I’ve got an approximately 55 year old woman. Found DOA. I’m…”

I said, what happened?”

The calm, quiet force of Edward’s words turned the EMT’s head away from the window.

Yeah, one sec dispatch. I’ve got a kid here. Hang on.”

Dropping the radio from in front of his face, the EMT looked at Edward.

Now listen, kid.”

Edward looked back at the person before him, quickly searching out the man’s dull grey eyes. He noticed that they were grey, and even had time to remark on it to himself – he had ever seen grey eyes – before a sound that he had heard just recently, the sound of a sand bag hitting the floor, snapped Edward back to where he was standing.

The hysterical cadence of his shoes rang in Edward’s ears as he flung himself down the stairs of the building and out into the night.

11.

HUH. HUH. HUh. HUh. Huh.

Whew.

Edward collapsed against the brick wall of the nearest building, catching wafts out of the nearby alleyway of the baked goods that they produced within. His mouth began to water despite his ragged breath. He recognized the sweet smell of red bean paste and coconut buns. China town.

Edward placed his hands upon his knees, working to slow his heart and regain his recently lost relationship with oxygen, taking in his surroundings as he did so. The staccato pops of nearby fireworks sounded around the corner. Streamers on the ground…BANG!

Another firework.

Edward realized it must be New Year’s today. Dusk was falling and the parade would start soon.

Edward?”

His head whipped around towards his name. “Eedee? What are you doing here?”

It’s New Year’s. Are you okay? Are you jogging? Are you going to watch the parade?”

Embarrassed, Eedee registered that she had just bombarded Edward with questions as he was trying to catch his breath. She blushed and started to ask him why he was running through China Town right before the parade.

I have to go Eedee.”

Hey! Hang on a second.” Eedee reached out and grabbed Edward’s wrist as he turned to go. The sound of something sizzling reached her ears.

Shit! Ow, ow, ow, owie, ow. God, my hand! Owwwwww.”

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