Sunday, March 15, 2020

Tuesday, March 10, 2020



      Cade raced through traffic on his Honda CBR600RR sport bike. He could not shake the sound of Moselle’s words: Something unexpected has occurred. She needed his help, and he had never heard her sound so scared before.
      As he approached the hospital, he realized the large building was totally dark. He slowed and allowed his heightened senses to take it all in. Something’s very wrong here.
      Cade coasted his sport bike into the emergency room parking lot with the headlight off. If this was an ambush, stealth would be an asset. After parking between two large vans in the back of the lot, he moved cautiously toward the automatic sliding door that stood open.
      Head tilted back, he gazed up at the tall building. With a half-moon hanging behind it, the structure looked like a giant black stone. He shook his head. This is all wrong. 
      The scent of blood suddenly filled the air, but not what he would have normally smelled near a hospital. This blood was not tainted with disease—it smelled fresh.
      He watched as an elderly couple walked up the ramp outside the building. The man’s arm was wrapped in towels. Poor old guy probably cut himself.
      Cade stepped just clear of the car he stood beside as the wind shifted, and a new scent overwhelmed him: carbon monoxide. He fanned his scrunched-up nose. Where the hell could all that be coming from?
      Cade’s gaze returned to the couple.
      “I’m bleeding so much…I’m starting to feel dizzy,” the old man complained.
      The hospital. He was sure of it now.
      “Sir? Excuse me, sir?” Cade called out loudly.
      The old couple gasped when he ran up on them.
      “We don’t have anything. I’m hurt and just trying to get inside the damn hospital.”
      Cade heard the anger in the old man’s voice, but his eyes were drawn to the man’s cap. It had a large patch with several pins displayed on it, all symbols of the man’s status as an army veteran.
      “Vietnam?” Cade said softly.
      “What of it?”
      “I was there…briefly,” Cade said lifelessly.
      “I’ll never understand you kids and your desire to vacation someplace that I spent a whole damn year of my life suffering.”
      “It was hell,” Cade stated bluntly.
      “What do you want? Can’t you see I’m bleeding like a stuck pig?”
      The scent of carbon monoxide was clearly undetectable to them, but to Cade, it was as strong as bleach. It had no effect on his kind, but he knew it would kill the couple.
      “I just wanted to thank you for your service, sir.”
      “Well then…” The man trailed off, his head bobbing some. “Why’s the lights off?”
      “You need to get out of here,” Cade stated bluntly.
      “What?” the old woman said, finally joining the conversation.
      Cade turned to her. She looked tired and frail, out of breath from just helping her husband up the ramp. She won’t last long. The gas will overcome her quickly.
      “You both need to leave here now.” He was running out of options. With a quick glance into the dark hospital, he confirmed that the power was still off. No security cameras running. No witnesses.
      “Kid, be glad I left my sidearm at home or—”
      Cade bared his fangs and growled at the old couple. “Go! Get out of here! Go before I kill you both!”
      It worked; they turned and shuffled away as fast as they could.
      Cade sighed. He hated that he had to result to such a barbaric ploy, but he really did not want to see them die senseless deaths.
      After they sped off in an old Cadillac, Cade saluted the man and then finally entered the hospital. 

Kevin James Breaux