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Myshortstory

ReneeBallou
7/14
Mswriting

Meredithlookedatthepillsinherhand.Theeventsofthelastthreedaysoverwhelmedher.
Sheclosedhereyes.
"Male,age42,shortnessofbreath,coughingupbloodandhighfever,"theparamedicsaidashe
andtwootherswheeledastretcherintotheER.Fivenursesstartedtreatinghimimmediately.
"HelloTimothy,I'mDoctorBlack,"Meredithintroducedherselftothepatient."I'mgoingtotake
youtogetachestCT,"shetoldhim.TheywheeledhisbedtotheCTroom.
"Hehaspnemoiniasymptoms,Doctor,"Meredith'sinterntoldher.Shehandedhertheresults.
"Prescribehimcefaclor,"sheanswered.
Afewhourslater,SandrashookMeredith"Meredith,Meredith...wakeup!"Sandrahitherwitha
pillow.
"What...whathappened?"shegrumbledasshewokeup.
"Timothy'sheartstopped...wecouldn'tsavehim,"Sandratoldher.
"What?Hejusthadpnemoiniasymptoms...nothingtooserious!"shelookedconfused.
"Also,oneofournurses,RoseIthink,hasaterriblefever...shegotsickshortlyafterTimothy
camein,"Sandrasaid.
Buzzbuzzbuzzbuzz.Meredith'spagerstartedvibratingonherhips.
"I'mbeingpaged,"MeredithmoanedtoSandraasshejumpedoffthebenchandranintotheER.
"Whatdowehave?"Meredithaskedasshepulledonhergloves.
"It'sRose...nopulse,"herinternreplied.
"Chargeto200!"Meredithshoutedasshegrabbedthedefibrillatorpaddles.Sheplacedthemon
Rose'schest.Rose'sbodyboltedintheair,likeaflashoflighteningstruckherheart.Themonitorread
noheartbeat.
"Chargeagain!"Meredithtoldthenurses."Stillnothing,damnit!"sheshoutedagain.
"Timeofdeath,18:22,"Meredithbreathedheavily.Shequicklytoreoffherglovesandleftbefore
thenursescouldseehercry.
Laterthatevening,Meridethsighedasshereadthenewspaper.Theobituarysectionwas
overflowing.
"NursefromSt.Mary'sdiedyesterday,doctorfromSt.Mary'shospitalwasfounddeadinher
apartmenttwodaysago,"MeredithreadoutloudtoSandra.
"Idon'tunderstand!Howisthishappening?"Sandrasippedhercoffee.
"Thishospitalisnowunderquarantine,"ChiefRichardstoldhisstaffinhismeeting.Gaspsfilled
theair.Confusedlookswerepassedaroundfromnursetonurse,doctortodoctor.
"Wehavehadtoomanydeathsforthishospitaltoberunning.Nurses,doctors,surgeons...even
receptionistshavediedfromanunknownillness,"hetoldhisstaff
"DidyouhearGeorgedied,theparamedic?"MeredithwhisperedtoSandra.
"Andnowwe'restuckhere,"Sandramoanedasshecollapsedontotheattendingbeds."When
areyougettingyourbloodtested?"Sheasked.
"Bloodtest?"Meredithpouredherselfacupofcoffee.

"Everyoneinthishospitalhastobetested...theythinkit'sanepidemicorsomething,"Sandra
rolledhereyes.
"Next,"aplumpladycalledtothedozensofstaffwaitingfortheirbloodtobetested.

"That'sme!"Sandrajumpedup.Meredithtookadeepbreath.Sherolledhersleevesupsothat
theycouldgettoherveins.Shewasnextinline.

"Next,"theladycameagain.Meredithslowlywalkedtowardsthewoman.Shehadathingabout
gettingblooddrawn,thethoughtofherownbloodfillinguptheyellowandbluetubesmadehershiver.

"Armplease,"shetiedabandaroundMeredith'sarm.Theladyinsertedtheneedleand
immediatelyafter,cameredblood.Meredithclosedhereyestheminuteshesawherbloodfillingupthe
tubes.

"Allset,"theladytookouttheneedleandstuckabandageonherarm.

MeredithandSandraheadedbacktotheattendingslounge."Meredith,aword?"ChiefRichards
pokedhisheadintheattendingslounge."It'sbeenanhoursinceyourbloodtest.Wehavetheresults."

"Wearegoingtoneedyoutospeakwiththosedoctorsoverthere,"hepointedtoagroupofall
menwearingfacemasksthatcoveredtheirentirehead.

"What'sgoingon?"Sheaskedthegroup.

"Youhavearareillnessthatwethinkisthecauseofdeathofallofyournurses,doctors,
surgeonsandsoon,"theyexplained.Meredith'seyesbegantowaterasherheartbeatfasterandfaster.
Herhandsshookwithfear.

"SoyouthinkI'mthecarrier?"Shetrembled.

"Haveyoutakenanymajortrips,suchastoanyforeigncountries,inthepastyear?"Aman
askedher.

"Nono...wellyesactually,IdidgotoChina,threemonthsago.Iwenttostudyanewsurgery.I
nevergotsick,though.Reallyit'snotme...Idon'tunderstandhowitcouldbeme!Wouldn'tIbedead?"
sherubbedherheadandthetearscame.

"It'sdifferentforeveryone,somepeopledieassoonastheygetit,andotherswon'tdieuntila
yearhaspassed,"heexplained.

"Soit'sme,I'mthegreatbigmurdererthatbroughtbackafataldiseaseandinfectedeveryone
thatcameclosetome?"Sheyelledastearscamestreamingdownherface.Sheranfromthegroupand
intothewoman'sbathroom."I'mthecarrier...I'mthecarrier...Ikilledallofthosepeople...me...Meredith
black...killedeveryone..."Sheclosedhereyes.

"I'mgoingtodiebecauseIwenttostudyanewsurgerythatwouldSAVE
people?Thisisridiculousjustridiculous!"shelaughed,butontheinside,shewastearingherselfupinto
shreads.

Shetookonelastlookattheworldaroundher,thebrightandhappyworldthatisfilledwith
laughterandfun.Theworldthatsomehow,shetwistedaroundtobecomeadarkandgloomyplace
wherepeoplejustdropdead.Shethrewthepillsinhermouthandbreathedinherlastbreath.