Poison – an excerpt

 

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People are again dropping like flies in Dr. Steele’s ER. She is facing another string of unexplained deaths, but this time it’s even harder.

Why? Because she doesn’t mind seeing them dead.

They are the worst of the worst: wife beaters, child abusers, pet killers, and downright psychopaths that the law failed to punish. Even worse, it fails to protect their innocent victims. Can this be God’s work? Did God get busy cleaning their community of evil? Emma doesn’t think so.

She finds the answer disturbingly near. It isn’t God; it’s a human, way too close for comfort. As she struggles to decide, she finds herself engaged in the fight of her life to protect everything she holds dear. Will she destroy the evil, or will it crush her first?

This is an excerpt from POISON, an ER thriller.

“Put me down. Put me down, you motherfuckers. I’m gonna kill you all. Every one of you. I’m going to stab you in your sleep. Put me down!”

The kid was tied to the stretcher, his hands cuffed in front of him. The EMTs pushed the gurney. The police officers walked behind, their heads low.

Really? Cuff a kid? What’s he? Nine? Ten? That looks like overkill.

Judy came in just as Emma finished sewing.

“The kid.”

“Yes.”

“We need to sedate him.”

“Will he take a pill?”

“No. He ripped apart the mattress. He’s now hitting his head against the wall.

“Give him 5 of Haldol IM. Make sure he’s not allergic.”

Judy left. The closed door muffled the screams, making them even eerier.

“Let me go, you fuckers. I’m going to kill you all. And your babies. And your mothers. And your cats.”

The Haldol didn’t touch him. He peeled the paint off the walls, put it in his mouth, then spit it against the door.

“This young man has issues,” Emma said. “What happened at home?”

The police officer was a former EMT. “Hello, Dr. Steele. His mother called us. He killed the cat.”

“He killed the cat?”

“Yes.”

“How?”

“He stabbed her with a knife.”

“Wow! That’s different.”

“Not for him. Last week he set the dog on fire. He poured gasoline on him and lit him up.”

Emma felt sick.

“The mother called us because he threatened to kill the baby.”

The urge to vomit became overwhelming.

“Excuse me.” She rushed to the bathroom to splash cold water over her face. Something is wrong with this kid. No normal kid would set the dog on fire or stab the cat. What the heck do I do with him?

The speakers called her before she could figure it out.

“Dr. Steele to Room 1. Code 99. Code 99 Room 1.”

The code in Room 1 looked familiar. She leaned over to see him better.

“It’s yesterday’s drunk driver,” George said, looking up from the IV he was placing. Joe continued CPR.

One hour and many procedures later, the patient was still dead. Police came.

“I thought you took him into custody?” Emma asked.

“We did. They let him out yesterday.”

“Why?”

He shrugged. “The judge did. His lawyer got him out on bail.”

After he left, George and Emma looked at each other.

George shrugged. “God’s work.”

“I don’t know, George. It’s getting hairy. I’m not that religious. It’s hard to believe that, suddenly, God decided to fix our community. We need to look into what’s happening.”

George disagreed. “We’re not the police. It’s not our job.” He glanced around, checking that nobody listened. “Listen, this guy already killed two people—his mother, and the kiddo the other day. Maybe the kid’s mother too. We don’t even know yet. He was a danger to society. The world is better without him.”

Emma couldn’t disagree, but she couldn’t pretend that nothing had happened. The screams coming out of Room 6 reminded her. The kid. He had set the dog on fire, stabbed the cat, and threatened to kill the baby.

What if the world was better without him too?

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Rada Jones MD  is an Emergency Physician in Upstate NY where she lives with her husband, Steve, and his deaf black cat, Paxil. POISON is Book 3 in her ER thriller series following OVERDOSE and MERCY.