The tiny ambulance careened down the empty LA streets around noon on a Saturday. Emmett lay dying on the stretcher when the driver slammed on the breaks at my request.
“Stop at that bar up ahead, will you?”
“Sure thing, I could go for a beer,” she replied.
“Hell yeah!” I screeched. “Do you want anything, babe?” I asked, opening the back door.
“Is it an Irish pub? I’d really like a shepherd’s pie.” My poor sick Emmett said.
I looked at the sign. “I’m not sure. The sign only says Paddy O’Callaghan’s, but I’ll ask when we get inside.”
“See if they’ll put extra butter on top, okay?” That was the last thing he ever said to me. As it turned out, they did have shepherd’s pie, but I forgot to ask for the extra butter and he refused to speak to me after that.
The two paramedics and I enjoyed about a dozen beers each. Emmett waited patiently in the ambulance despite the 120-degree weather we were having. When we all piled back in, he was practically a ball of sweat—just a new symptom to give the doctor.
We sped down the road with a crunch and a scrape here and there before we arrived in the emergency room with a loud crash, broken glass and mangled bodies flying everywhere as we drove the ambulance straight through the ER doors. It certainly helped us move straight to the top of the triage list.
They wheeled Emmett into a room and prepped him for surgery. A doctor took me aside; his name was Carlisle something or another.
“Edward, Emmett has had a major stroke and suffered extreme dehydration. You need to be prepared for fact that he may not pull through this,” he said in a monotone that sent chills down my spine.
How could he be so cold and objective? This was my husband, in some states, at least. What a prick. If he couldn’t do the surgery himself, I’d do it for him. I grabbed him by the nametag and ripped his skin off like wrapping paper. Not that I tore it or anything; I neatly peeled the tape off and stuff then put it on another box. The other box, of course, being me.
“All right, I’m going to need a pound of cocaine and a couple of Ambien, stat.” I called my orders out confidently, fooling the nurses.
“Who the hell are you, and why are you wearing Carl’s skin?” one nurse asked. I killed her with a mind bullet. Her name tag read “I was played by Dakota Fanning in the Movie.”
“Any other questions?” I continued.
They got me my cocaine, and after that I don’t remember much. Emmett was dead when I came to. His heart had been cut out and replaced with a new one made of pink construction paper. I don’t know what went wrong with the procedure; I’d seen it done almost three times on TV.
I went out into the hall. I removed Carlisle and used his face as a hand puppet. “Edward, I did everything I could.” I moved the mouth of the loose skin as I spoke the words in my best Carlisle voice. “He was just too damn fat, ugly, stupid, and black. In fact, I killed him on purpose because I’m a racist.”
I laughed and caressed what I think was his cheek. “That’s okay. I’ve been looking into upgrading to a doctor anyway.”
Carlisle shook his head. “I’m sorry, I have a wife. She’s a fourteen year-old menopausal Asian woman with blonde hair, green eyes, and red pubes. She’s my little freak show and I love her. Also, I’m dead.”
I tossed him across the hall in a fit of rage. “Fucking men. They’re so damned confusing! I’m sick of the way they say exactly what they’re thinking. I don’t tolerate these kinds of mind games.” I stormed out of the hospital and onto the street.
I hailed a taxi and headed towards home. I blew the cabbie. He looked like the love child of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart—his upper lip was upturned, his chest was concave, his tits were too small. He had a tiny face with really thick eyebrows, and his jawline was impeccable. I just photoshopped his jaw onto someone else’s body in my head and pretended I was blowing that guy.
I cleaned the spunk out of my hair, but was startled by a pigeon that smashed into the rear passenger window. “Oh, crap,” I said exasperatedly.
Another pigeon smashed into the glass, cracking it. Then another hit, expanding the crack. I leaned back and crossed my arms, waiting as bird after bird killed itself as it slammed into the glass and the fissures slowly crept outward.
Finally, the window shattered and two pigeons flew into the cab driver’s neck. I read the messages they were carrying while he bled out.
“Congratulations” was written on the first message.
“Bella” Was on the second. I sighed and got out of the car. I picked up the dead birds one by one, ignoring the cab driver’s pleas for help.
I let out the breath I didn’t know I was holding. Speaking of which, isn’t it uncanny how I picked them all up in the right order? But there were still a few more.