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Old 10-18-2012, 09:38 PM
Andara Bledin's Avatar
Andara Bledin Andara Bledin is offline
Girl Thursday
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Sunny Southern California
Posts: 10,135

It's been a busy night at the emergency clinic. It always is on Halloween. And since most people want to be out having fun with the other revelers, I volunteer.

The kids overload themselves on candy and excitement and then the parents, scared out of their wits by shocking news articles about adulterated treats rush them in to get checked out. The older ones, too cool for trick-or-treating, graduate to egging and tp-ing houses and other similar tomfoolery, resulting in a sudden upswing in minor sprains, bumps, bruises and the occasional fracture. And then there are the adults, often a mixed bag of overanxious parents oversampling their youngsters' goodies, oversampling the drinks at whatever party they attended, and, sometimes, engaging in the same juvenile hi-jinks as the teens, and resulting in the same injuries.

I like the bustle of a busy night. The more people rushing about, the less attention they pay to the lowly aides. The more chaos in clinic, the less likely they are to notice a roll of bandages being used on a patient with no external wounds, or that same patient making a recovery from what was an otherwise serious condition. The crazier the lobby gets, the more opportunity I have to help people, and helping people makes me happy.

I hadn't realized how late it had gotten when they start wheeling in the first of about a dozen local high school kids who had been mudding in one of the fields over at the old Masters place. The rains from earlier in the week had made it the perfect place for them to show off the different trucks some of them had received for birthdays over the last several months. One thing led to another, and I'd gotten the story from one of the girls (who escaped injury because she refused to get into a muddy truck bed in her fancy white Cleopatra costume, which I had to admit looked a hell of a lot better than my own, despite the mistakes the manufacturer had made with it).

It seems that most of the crew had stuffed themselves into the bed of the biggest truck there and then the driver had set out spinning around in the mud and making a general mess when he hit something that had been buried while doing a spin and the speed and momentum was enough to throw the truck onto it's side and sending the kids in the back flying everywhere. It was a mess.

The shiver that ran down my spine had nothing to do with the ear-splitting shriek of pain mixed with melodrama out of the girl with the broken foot and the mud-splattered Bride wig. I don't even see the note until the guy in the James Dean jacket is given a bed and I spot the white slip stuck in the mud of one boot. Nobody else seems to be paying any attention to things that don't involve either cleaning or patching up freaked out teens, so I get to satisfy my curiosity without challenge. I wipe the other side off on a clean bit of bed (it's not like there's much of that left, anyway) and spot the crimson O. I resist looking around to see if anybody is watching me and glance inside before tucking the paper away.

I know all the old stories; Mom has made a point of making sure I knew our purpose. But I never actually thought there would be a call. Not in my lifetime. Not while I was still so young.

I'm not ready for this.

But ready or not, this is it.

Faith is about what you do. It's about aspiring to be better and nobler and kinder than you are. It's about making sacrifices for the good of others. - Dresden