The Ambulance Chasers

You get hired as an EMT, or start training to be one, anyway. You don’t have to quit your job to do it, but you do anyway. You’ve been working twenty years at the same desk, watching the same overweight slob pick his nose and flick his fingers at the trash can, making the same sad animals out of push pins and erasers, and you’re tired of it. It’s hard work, harder than you’re used to, but you’re still pretty young, you can handle it. You had to lie about your age to get the job, had to invent a whole new personality, had (in fact) to forge your papers, birth certificate, driver’s license, social security number, a whole new life, but other than that everything goes like clockwork. You discover you like studying, like helping people. You start to feel younger, as young as your ID says you are, a better person, kinder and more patient.

You go out with the EMT crews, get used to strapping on a bulletproof vest and providing covering fire when you have to. Some of the neighborhoods are worse than others; not just gunfire but all kinds of things, explosives and witchcraft all over the place. You learn to clear a door before you go through it, learn that sometimes it’s better to put a round in someone that might be trouble and add an extra body to your run than risk it, learn to keep a bag of salt and rosemary hidden under your clothes at all times. You learn, in a roundabout way, about patients that vanish, corpses that rise right through the roof of the van, DOAs that walk out of the morgue in the middle of the night as dead as they came in. Your Two Girls are just one more mystery in a sea of mystery.