Thursday, June 25, 2015

Blurred Edges, Chapter Ten

Claire ran around the side of the house in a panic, the screaming still coming from the front of the house sounding as if someone was being pulled apart by wild horses. Rounding the corner, she saw a small crowd of the gardeners gathered around the source of the screaming, with marten at the back pushing to get to the front. Claire sighed and prayed her medication would hold for the day as she didn’t feel like taking any Ativan today. Jogging up behind her boyfriend, who had parted the gardeners, she saw what the problem was.

One of the gardeners had been shearing the bushes with an electric edger, a long serrated blade not unlike a chainsaw that helped shape bushes into desired formations. This shearer had somehow found it’s way from someone’s hands to the clavicle of a young Hispanic woman, digging deep into her flesh and through bone. She was lying in the arms of a screaming woman, presumably her mother, who was trying to stem the blood flow with her apron.
It wasn’t working.
Claire pulled out her tablet and dialed an emergency number, telling them the address and that someone had had a tragic accident that involved a lot of lost blood. They said they would be out within the next ten minutes, and that they should try and keep the girl from going into shock.
“We’ll do that, thank you!” Claire exclaimed as she closed the phone application before turning to Marten. “I called for EMS, they should be here in ten minutes!”
Marten looked up from where he was kneeling, carefully around the reddish mud, and gave Claire a look. “I don’t think she’ll last that long.”
The mother wailed at this statement and held the girl close to her, still keeping her palm flat over the gaping hole in her daughter’s shoulder. Thick dark spots were already straining through the coarse fabric of the apron, growing wider and more profound by the second. Claire looked at the rest of the gardeners, who were just staring at the troubling scene before them.
She grabbed one young girl, a dark skinned girl with kinky black hair tied back in a ponytail. “What’s your name?”
“Jennifer?” She said, obviously confused.
“Go inside and grab some linens, there’s a closet just beneath the stairs in the hall leading to the trophy room. Bring out some sheets,” Claire ordered. When Jennifer sluggishly started to move Claire grew frustrated. “Move!”
The girl took off, jogging through the open doors of the mansion, allowing Claire to turn back around and look at how the girl was doing. Her caramel skin was light and her eyes were glazed, but Marten held a hand over her wrist, checking to make sure she yet still lived. When he nodded, Claire turned and addressed the ten to twelve workers.
“Okay, we’re going to try and help her out. I’ve sent one of you in to get linens so we can bandage her up. Does anyone know any first aid?” Claire asked.
They all murmured amongst themselves but shook their heads no. Claire sighed, retreating to her tablet. Quickly typing in “deep wound bleeding how to treat medical advice” into the search engine, she pulled up pages of information. Clicking the first, she scanned the words presented before her before looking up.
“Does anyone have any liquor? Like whiskey or tequila? I won’t get mad, I promise!” Claire asked, looking at the older men, who all looked down at the ground.
One stepped forward, a large black man in overalls and a white sleeveless shirt. He pulled a flask from his pocket and held it up. “Bourbon. I just took a sip every few hours, you know, to take the edge off.”
“I understand, don’t worry we won’t be firing you. Just let us have it so we can clean the wound.” Claire said, holding out her hand.
The man gave it to her just as Jennifer ran back with a folded up set of dusty linens. Claire ordered her to spread them out and air them off before cutting them into foot wide strips the length of the material. The workers began doing this, allowing Claire to walk up and kneel beside Marten, handing him the flask.
“Hold some under her nose before getting her to swallow a little,” Claire said. “That should keep her from going into shock and keep her with us.”
“Got it,” Marten said, easing the girls head back at an angle where he could pour a small amount into her mouth. She hissed slightly, wheezing as the amber fluid swished in her mouth before her eyes blinked once. Spitting it out, she looked up, tears streaming from her eyes as she began to speak in rapid-fire Spanish. Marten looked at her and back at the workers, who’d produced a dozen suitable bandages. They brought them over, where Marten began slowly wrapping them over the apron covering the wound, tightly encasing it as she was eased out of her mother’s lap and into Marten’s.
“That’s it… you’re doing good Maria,” Marten said as he wrapped another bandage around her shoulder and under her chest. “We just need to keep you from bleeding, ya know?”
She nodded, wincing as she let out a cry of pain; suddenly the sheets swelled up with blood as if something gripped her and squeezed, forcing the precious fluid from her body. She leaned back, her body going pale as her lips went blue, her eyes becoming stained with red as vessels burst within her orbs. Marten held onto her, pressing down on the wound, calling out her name as she finally stopped moving, the rhythmic rising and falling of her chest stopping as she finally succumbed to the reapers grasp.
Four minutes later and ambulance drove up the road, followed by a familiar police cruiser being driven by Officer Wong, his partner sitting in the side passenger side seat, looking up at the mansion as they rolled up the driveway.
The ambulance stopped and two paramedics jumped out, one holding a bag, and ran over to where Marten was cradling Maria’s corpse. When they got to him, Marten just shook his head, staring down at the blood drenched sheets; he handed the body off to the paramedics and stood up to wash his hands in the fountain. Officer Wong and his partner, a tall man with closely cropped blonde hair and a goatee, stepped up the gravel drive around the ambulance. Officer Wong looked at Claire, looked over at the puddle of bloody mud and then to Maria’s body. He looked back at Claire.
“So what happened?” He asked, sounding tired. 

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