Spring’s Knight by Joy Wild
The lightning litup the sky as the ambulance pulled up to the accident site. As Spring Williams jumped out of the unit, the thunder shook the ground. “Great,” she grumbled. I wanted to get soaking wet. As a seasoned paramedic, she demanded respect on a scene. Her little five-foot-three frame didn’t stop her from being the boss at any location. She grabbed her gear and headed for the cars to see what she had.
The officer on the scene jogged up and said, “There are four vehicles involved, but the gray car is the worst,” as he pointed to a car in the middle of the road. “Two teenagers, both saying they are not hurt. Don’t know how it’s possible.”
“Thanks,” Spring said and headed for the two teenagers. She knew her partner, Walker, would go to the others. They worked together like a well-oiled machine. Eyeing the mangled mess of metal in front of her, she couldn’t believe anyone even survived. She focused on the patients and what she needed to do.
“Who was driving?” Spring asked the boy.
“I was,” he said. “My name is Chris; her name is Lisa. We aren’t hurt, and my mom is on the way.”
“Well, I understand, but I still need to check you out,” Spring said, a little more terse than she meant it to be. She had worked hundreds of calls, just like this one, and had heard it all. Softening her tone, she said, “You are minors, so we have to wait for your mom anyway. So, tell me what happened while I check your blood pressure and examine you for any injuries.”
As Chris told her what happened, she checked vital signs and found no external injuries on either one.
“Oh my gosh, Chris, Lisa, are you guys okay?” A brown-haired lady came running up.
“Yes, Mom. We are okay.” She squeezed Chris in a tight hug and then reached for Lisa.
“What happened? Oh my gosh, we need to call your parents.”
“We already called them Mom, I was telling this paramedic a silver truck suddenly made a right turn, and I had to swerve to miss him. I didn’t see the cars stopped in front of him til it was too late. I clipped the back of the SUV; he hit the car in front of him. But when I hit him, it threw us into the oncoming traffic. We got stopped, and then a red truck slammed into us. Hit us head-on; we spun completely around. He didn’t even try to stop.”
“Oh my gosh, there is nothing left of your car, how did you walk away? The vehicle sat in the middle of the road and was so mangled, and you couldn’t tell what kind of car it was anymore. Based on the damage, these kids were lucky and blessed.
“Ma’am, they don’t want us to take them to the hospital, and I have checked for injuries and didn’t find anything obvious. I do recommend going to the hospital for a full evaluation though.”
“I will take them to the hospital myself. I can sign your releases. Thank you so much for taking care of them.” She took the clipboard and signed both releases.
“No problem, it’s my job. Get checked out, guys; you are going to be sore tomorrow.”
She glanced around for her partner and saw him attending the other people involved in the wreck. Walker was finishing checking the last patient, so she called out to him. “Hey, Walker, do you need anything?”.
“No, I’m ready to go, you?” he called back.
“I’m ready too.” They jogged back to the ambulance and loaded up. “It’s going to be a long shift,” Spring stated.
“Yep, at least the rain waited until we finished the call,” Walker said.
As the rain began to pour down, they realized they were only two hours into a twenty-four-hour shift. Yep, it was going to be a long twenty-four hours.
“Let’s grab some breakfast, partner.” Walker looked at Spring for confirmation.
“Sure,” she said. “It may be the only meal we get today. With this weather, every single crazy person out there is going to be on the road.”
“Nothing unusual for us.”
They decided to eat at the local Waffle House. As they walked in, the lady behind the counter told them to sit anywhere.
The waitress, Jenny, came up to take their order.
“You want some hot coffee?”
“I do, but I have a feeling Spring wants some hot chocolate.”
“Hot chocolate would be amazing, thanks.”
“I’ll be right back for your order.”
Spring and Walker were perusing over the menu when the doorbell jingled. They glimpsed up to see the local police coming in for their breakfast too. The officers looked over and smiled, then went to find a table. It seems they were thinking the same thing about it being a crazy shift with this weather.
“I think I’ll have the chocolate chip waffle with a side of hash browns and bacon, soft,” Spring placed her order, then stared at Walker.
“I think I’ll have the same.”
“Great, let me know if you need anything else.” The waitress was nice but not overly friendly. She seemed to be the only one working besides the cook and was a little frazzled. Suddenly laughter filled the small diner, and Spring observed the waitress flirting loudly with one of the police officers.
“Guess it’s not your lucky day today, or you wear the wrong uniform,” Spring said, and laughed at Walker.
“Funny. Besides, I don’t think Jesse would appreciate it if the waitress was flirting with me.”
“Well, true. You guys have been married, what, seven years now?”
The waitress brought their breakfast, and as they were eating, Spring was staring out the window. It was three years ago when Spring met Walker Roberts for the first time. She was told she was getting a new partner. “This one would keep her in line,” they said. Wow, what a joke. She was outspoken, and no one understood her sense of humor. No one knew her past or how she hid her feelings behind humor. At first, he seemed a little intimidating like maybe he was ex-military. He didn’t smile or anything. Little did the powers that be know; they would become good friends. They could work calls and not ever speak a word. Even his wife, Jesse, was amazing. Going shopping with Jesse was fun; they seemed to have endless energy when they were together. Shopping meant spending money, which always drove Walker crazy. They always bought more than they needed. She and Jesse needed to go shopping again soon, she thought. They hadn’t been shopping in months.
“Hello…earth to Spring?”
“What? I’m sorry. I guess I was daydreaming.”
“Yea you were far away there for a little bit, where were you?”
“Sorry, I was thinking about when we first met. I was also thinking Jesse and I need to go shopping again soon.”
“Yea, I thought you were going to be a snot to work with based on what Daniel and John told me anyway. And no, you do not need to go shopping. Jesse comes back with more stuff than she needs every time.”
“A snot? Seriously? Who even says snot anymore? I should be offended.”
“Yes, a snot. You’re tiny but sassy, and your red hair screams attitude. The first call we had, when that woman pulled out in front of me in that little car because apparently, she couldn’t see the lights or hear the siren, then she was going slow, and I had to slam on the brakes to keep from hitting her. You called her a bitch, and I laughed because you looked at me to see if I was mad at you for saying it. That was the moment I knew I was going to love working with you. You make me laugh, and Jesse likes you, so I guess I win.”
“Well, your blonde hair and blue eyes scream California beach bum, and that is so not you! Since we work together so much, I guess I’m your work wife,” Spring said with a laugh as they paid for their meals. As they walked outside, the rain had stopped, at least for a while. They climbed in the unit and buckled up. They headed back to the station to check out their supplies before attempting to take a nap. While checking out the lists, it was too quiet. Spring couldn’t handle all the silence, so she threw some bandages at Walker.
“You hussy.” The bandages came flying back at her. Spring laughed, picked them up, and put them away. She loved picking on Walker because he knew how to dish it right back. Now the supply list was finished; it was time to try for that much-needed nap. After only an hour of attempting to sleep, the tones sounded for a call. It was too hot to sleep anyway. After all, it was late July in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, so of course, it was a suffocating heat.
“Unit 101, go available, for an emergency,” dispatch called on the radio.
“And here we go,” Spring groaned. Walker jumped in the driver’s seat since Spring already said she was not in the mood to drive.
“101 is ten-eight, ready for emergency.” Spring climbed in the passenger seat. “Thanks for driving,” she said to Walker.
“No problem,” he said.
“Unit 101, head towards Port Allen at this time, we will advise shortly,” dispatch directed.
“Ok, ten-four,” Spring grumbled on the radio.
“What’s up, Spring, you’re quiet and moody. Too much breakfast?”
“I don’t know. I’m tired, I guess. I haven’t been sleeping well.”
“Why aren’t you sleeping? Boyfriend?” Walker laughed.
“Funny, jerk,” Spring said. She wasn’t laughing, she had told him she wouldn’t date but noy why.
They pulled out of the Riverside station and headed across the Mississippi River bridge, she was pondering what the call could be. Spring wanted to think about anything but being on the bridge. She hated bridges. She didn’t like water or heights, so, a bridge was a massive fear for her. She closed her eyes until they took the Port Allen exit, and when they arrived, dispatch advised them they were going to the Super 8 Motel but told them to stage in the area. The Sheriff's office was on the scene, and the location was not deemed safe yet. They pulled to the side of the road to watch the Sheriff’s department officers and some Baton Rouge Police officers work the scene. Port Allen was a small town, so Baton Rouge often supplied mutual aid.
“Unit 101, you are clear to enter the scene. You have two gunshot victims.”
“Great. We needed a shooting today,” Walker moaned. “Watch yourself, Spring, I’ve got your six.”
“Always do, Walker,” Spring retorted. The bad feeling she had all day was getting worse. She felt a migraine coming on too. I love my job; I love my job; I love my job. At least for now, pep talk is done; they both grabbed their “go” bags and Walker grabbed the cardiac monitor.
As Spring approached the officers on the scene, one shook his head, indicating the victims were deceased. “Hey, gorgeous,” the second deputy said.
“Hey, Shane,” Spring said. “What do we have?”
“Two deceased, need your confirmation as if it isn’t obvious,” Shane said.
“Gotcha,” Spring replied and started walking toward the room.
“It’s bad in there,” Shane called out.
Spring waved, she was used to gruesome, but nothing could have prepared her for the scene she was about to see. She thought she had seen it all until now.
Walker joined her to walk into the room, both expecting a drug deal gone bad. The scene was so much worse than they could have imagined. There was a lot of blood spatter around the room. The room had been turned upside down as if someone had been searching for something, and the stench was enough to turn Spring’s stomach. But the victims drew her attention. They appeared to be a mother and her daughter. The woman appeared to be in her early thirties, red hair and brown eyes and had a bullet hole directly in the center of her forehead. That explained the splatter on the bed and wall behind her. She had her arms wrapped around her daughter, who appeared to be about ten. The girl looked so much like her mother. She had been shot in the chest, which explained more splatter around them.
There was a pool of blood on the floor surrounding them. Both were deceased. Walker hooked up the cardiac monitor to run a strip and confirm the death, but it was only a formality. Spring had seen almost everything in the last six years as a paramedic, but this call had to be the worst one. Not because it was a shooting, she had worked plenty of those, but because this was a mother and daughter. Why would someone murder a beautiful family? It made her think of her mom, of her past. Spring turned and left the room. Rushing toward the ambulance, she walked past Officer Shane Stroud and he asked, “Hey, are you okay, Spring?” She just kept walking, and Shane started to go after her, but Walker stopped him.
“Dude, she needs some air, just leave her alone.”
The crowd was gathering, and Spring wanted to get away from the scene. She felt eyes on her, and she scanned the scene, but nothing caught her attention. There was the typical lookie-loos, the people who had to stand around to see what was going on even though it didn’t concern them. Walker came up and motioned for her to get in. She gladly climbed in the unit, and they cleared the scene. She was fighting back the tears. Calls like this reminded her of her mom. They headed straight back to their station, neither talking much on the way. Walker backed in, and Spring told dispatch they were at the station. They got out and headed into the main area.
“You okay?” John, the supervisor, stopped in to check on them.
“Yep, I’m peachy.” Spring’s favorite line for everything.
“I’m fine,” Walker told John, eyeing Spring.
“If you guys need to talk, the PTSD team is on standby at Cortana station.”
“Thanks, but we’re good.”
The rest of the shift passed by without any more calls and Spring was ready to go home, take a shower, and spend time with her best friend. Stephanie became her best friend when Summer bought Stephanie’s house. Having a best friend that was a nurse helped Summer to deal with the calls she ran. It gave her someone to talk to that understood the emotions involved. Walker said he was heading home to hug his wife.