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This patient is going to kill me before we make it to the hospital

The only thing between me and certain death at the hands of a psychopath is a seat belt and portable radio

Empty eyes.

Nothing there.

No glint, sparkle or life.

I have never seen eyes so vacant.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul. If that is the case, this guy’s soul went missing.

He moves weird. Tics, shudders and spasms, then dead still.

It’s strange, and unnerving.

He doesn’t look at me. I’m glad.

Those dead things filling his sockets are freaking me out.

The ride is quiet so far. Too quiet.

I can sense his mind spinning faster than the wheels carrying us to the ER.

Tension fills the space between us. It’s thick as gravy, I can reach out and touch it, run my fingers through it, hold on to it.

But I don’t. I try to be invisible.

Tension never stopped a charging bull,

I’d rather have a fence between us. Chain link. Barbed wire. Maybe electric.

And a bazooka in my hand. Not this radio.

Can’t out run a portable radio they say. Motorola can’t stop an attacker, I say.

Unless you hit him between the eyes with it. But I’m a lousy shot.

He feels my eyes upon him. He does not trust me.

I’m one of them. I know it.

He knows it.

I cannot be on his side. I don’t want to be. I just want him out of my truck.

The rear windows tease me, a world of safety beyond the grit covered glass, a world moving backward speeds past.

Familiar ground beneath me. The ambulance bounces on cue.

I anticipate the turn. There it is, we’re a minute out.

Sounds from him now. Inhuman sounds. Grunts, squeaks, murmurs. Words I don’t understand come out of his mouth.

His eyes stare into nothing.

On second thought, maybe what is nothing to me is significant to him. He’s talks to whatever is or isn’t there now.

Words that have no meaning to me but might have meaning to him.

Thirty seconds to go.

Now he sees me. Great.

Where’s that dip in the road?

I need something familiar. Ah, there it is, almost home.

He’s fiddling with his seat belt. Might even figure it out.

I still have a lot of time to kill. Or be killed.

This sucks. He’s got it. The seat belt falls to the floor.

We’re backing up. He’s getting up.

I’m shrinking into the captain’s seat.

The radio is slick with sweat. I only have one chance if he charges.

The rear doors open. Security is there.

He grins at me. Turns and follows security in.

And I can breathe again.

Captain Michael Morse (ret.),, is the bestselling author of Rescuing Providence, Rescue 1 Responding, City Life and Mr. Wilson Makes it Home. Michael has been active in EMS since 1991 and offers his views on a variety of EMS and firefighting topics, focusing mainly on the interaction between patient and provider as a well respected columnist and speaker. Captain Morse is a Johnson/Macoll fellow in literature from the Rhode Island Foundation. Follow Michael on Twitter and Facebook.

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