A frazzled paramedic stuck his head out from the surgery room, “We need more blood!” he shouted to a bustling nurse.
The old man sitting across the waiting room table watched the nurse rush down the hall, “You know thats something you can help with instead of sitting around here moping”.
I sighed, the old man was right and arguing with upset people never served a purpose. As I stood up to walk out I already missed the cozy spot on the couch I had invested so much time warming with my body heat, a process id have to start all over again once I returned. Stupid kids, I thought and mentally bit my tongue, they had only been doing what they thought was right, it seemed as though the looters were coming down with the storm and the children had only tried to protect their home. The doors to hospital slid lazily open, unaffected by the turmoil around them. An EMT yelled out a warning, something about bad weather when the doors finally closed and I was once again alone with the storm.
After an hour of running I had encountered a half-dozen people, only two of which had what I needed. The storm must have finally gotten bad enough that even the city’s petty thief’s didn’t think it was worth grabbing a brand new flat-screen in this weather, or maybe they already had their flat-screen and were huddled under the covers sipping cocoa in their cozy lair. Stupid kids, and this time I felt alright thinking it. A crash nearby made my ears perk, maybe there was one person whose media center wasn’t complete yet. Turning the corner my feet crunched on broken glass, a man was hobbling away. Encumbered by the large sack thrown over his back he took quick shuffling steps across the flooded pavement. I glanced at the hole in the glass, a tiny smear of crimson on the remains of the shattered store window caught my eye. Wiping it carefully off the shard of glass with my finger I tasted it, O negative, perfect.
The face of the man contorted contrastingly to the playful notes of Pachelbel’s Canon. This was the best part, even after all these years, I could still enjoy the subtleties of each individuals reactions. These days anger is the prominent reaction, but in the good old days most people just felt fear or confusion, interesting how things change. He struggled against the makeshift constraints holding him to the table, yelling and cursing, trying to get some good Samaritan to happen upon the situation and save him. Yell all you want, I thought. I checked the battery on my music player, seventy-eight percent meant he could scream until dawn and I wouldn’t care. I flicked open a small knife and with that one motion the mans eyes were locked on the two-inch blade as though they were magnetically connected to each other. His lips formed more words than just the general cursing before and I assumed he was begging or pleading. Rolling my eyes I tilted my head, the bag at the side of the table had filled up considerably faster than I anticipated, he must have really been working himself into a frenzy. I removed the needle from his arm, put the blood pack in a cooler of ice and cut the mans constraints. I would already be down the block before he would groggily try to sit up.
Walking back to the hospital with my cache tightly gripped under one arm I happened to walk past the collapsed hovel of the old man. The only good thing about a place so broken down and worn-out was that it would be easy to put up again. The strewn wood and metal sheets I had all too recently pulled the three kids out of were getting picked up by the storm, the old man would probably have to find all new pieces of debris to make his home again. Places like this were popping up more and more in the city, the kids that lived here were actually come of the more lucky ones, at least the old man wasn’t a pedophile. I paused, I’d have to remember to do a background check on him later to be certain.
More time passed in the waiting room, my couch was quickly returning to it original warmth-state when a man in scrubs stepped in and motioned for the old man. The two talked, some nondescript hand gestures were exchanged, I closed my eyes. A few minutes later the old man slumped down with a sigh of relief. He didn’t seem like a pedophile at least, still better to check and not be sorry. I got up and walked to the next waiting room, someone else would need use of my skills tonight no matter how tough it was to be vigilant when your couch was almost at the perfect temperature it had to be done. So once again, the night is a little less dark and lonely thanks to a man named Nick, a man who only pretends to work for the Red Cross so that he might continue on his works where he is needed most.