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stealing an ambulance 10209

January 7, 2009

Donovan twitched in his seat, drumming his hands on the wheel of the ambulance, checking the mirrors every two seconds, or more often. Ice was forming on the outside edge of the windshield as he sat parked on the side of the road. Charlie should have been here an hour ago, and he was growing more nervous by the minute. Cars slushed by, spraying melted but freezing snow onto the sidewalks. People traveling home to loved ones. Friends having a night out, despite the weather. Donovan was jealous in the back of his brain, but if he wasn’t busy waiting on other people, he might have been drinking a whole fifth of rum to himself by now. He rubbed his hands together to keep them from hurting.

Where was he? There was only so long he could sit here before some cop was bound to drive by and wonder what an ambulance is doing stalled out on the side of the road without a distress call on the short wave. There was no legal explanation. There is no way to explain that you stole an ambulance full of dead people. There is no way to explain why the dead people have been dead for days now. Donovan crossed himself again for good measure then scratched at burning tract marks and old sores.

Car after car paced by, leaving even more of the street on the ground around Donovan as he climbed out of the ambulance. Street lights be damned, he had to piss. A homeless man was wandering about on the other side of the big blue box, now serving as a freezer. Donovan shooed him away, shaking one ungloved fist uncertainly.

The man moved, but cautiously, and waiting for the man to be out of conversation distance made Donovan more unsettled than before. Now he could be seen. What if the police drove by now? What if they came by at this second? Or this one? Or this one?

He stood there, piece in the biting December air, waiting for his bladder to feel comfortable in this weather to do its job. It never did. As though from nowhere, a tall bearded man wrapped around the back of the ambulance, grabbing Donovan’s arm. He yelped in surprise.

“Charlie! What the hell? Where have you been?”

“Plans changed. Leave the truck, you’re coming with me.”

“But…okay.” Donovan realized he didn’t care enough anymore. I wanted indoors, and he wanted out of the bitter orange light of the north side of town.

A tromp through the open lot where Donovan had parked, and down into a drainage ditch. The ditch sat low enough to leave only Donovan and Charlie’s heads visible above the ground, but it quickly descended on earthen stairs into a sewer grate left open for those needing passage. Ducking in, ignoring the stench that is not defeated by cold weather, they disappeared under concrete just as a police cruiser pulled over behind the ambulance.

In mere minutes, the cops had it open, pulling out bodied bags one by one, and loading them in the back of their cruiser. Except this cops didn’t wear badges, and they were as much police officers as Donovan was a paramedic.

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2 comments

  1. OoOooo, is this yours?


  2. “But…okay.” Donovan realized he didn’t care enough anymore. I wanted indoors, and he wanted out of the bitter orange light of the north side of town.

    Is the I a mistake?



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