Figure 20 from Charles Darwin's The Expression...


The Grim Reverend Steven Rage



This is the second post of 'PHARMACIDE'. Marcos is still running for his life...

 I try and convince myself that I am the only one who could have heard it, hiding as I am on the floorboard of the Buick. But I know I’m just fooling myself. That makes me all the more frightened.
The ER physician in me begins to note the rapid increase in all my own vital signs: heart rate, blood pressure, breathing frequency and depth. Panic breathing, I think as I begin to lose feeling in my fingers. My eyes dart from side to side. I can’t believe I just did this stupid, stupid thing.
This is bad, Marcos, I think fearfully. So very bad.
Increased lung volume in a cold car with all the windows rolled up and the doors shut tight. I try to swallow and find that I cannot. I should have seen this coming. The realization of the danger I put myself in dawns huge on me.
I rise very slowly and carefully from the floor of the Buick. I look all around. It’s just as I fear. I find myself already completely encased in a shroud of mist. My panic breathing has fogged over the windows so completely and quickly, that I now have zero visibility of the outside world, where an armed man is searching for me.
I hear a door open and nearly crap myself. I hold my breath and wait. A few seconds later, the distinct sounds of a car’s engine fire to life in the hospital parking lot. Some lucky body gets to go home. Where, I’m sure, no one is trying to murder them. I lean forward and bring my left index finger up to the inside of the driver’s side rear window. I want to clear myself a small spot, so I can see outside.
A bullet pierces the glass cleanly. It slices through the tip of my finger, right above the first knuckle. The power of the impact, as well as the shock of it, launches me backward and into the passenger-side back door.
Before my shoulders even make contact with the rear door, I’m already searching frantically for the door release. The blood from my severed finger spurts all over the car’s upholstery. The panic in me nears a crescendo. I have to get out. There are two more spits from the gun. At the same time, I spy the foam-filled inners of the Buick’s back seat as it erupts in a choking cloud. The fingers of my right hand find the catch on the door, my feet still scrambling. I hear a small clicking sound as the catch releases. The door flies open.
El Oso misfires as the car door hits him square in the chest. The impact knocks the killer down and I fall out of the Buick and on top of him. His handgun, complete with silencer; tumbles to the black asphalt and skids under an adjacent pick-up truck. The backward thrust keeps me going. It rolls me off El Oso and dumps me near the truck. I see the gun. I reach for it. Still on the ground, the killer kicks me savagely in the back of for my troubles. I pitch forward into the truck. My head hits the cold metal of the truck from the force of the blow. I turn and slide down the truck to the asphalt. Sitting there on the rough ground, the images in my vision begin to blur.
I discern the hazy outline of El Oso getting to his feet. He comes to me. Probably out of sheer frustration, the killer punches me in the face. The man knows how to hit and I haven’t been in a real fight since junior high. I almost pass out, but don’t. El Oso kneels over me, reaching for his lost weapon. Barely hanging on to my consciousness, I notice the bulge in El Oso pants, now only inches from my face. I clench my right hand into a fist and send it screaming into the killer’s unprotected groin. This time, it’s El Oso who crashes to the ground. I scurry to my feet, gasping, bleary-eyed and bleeding. I watch the moaning killer gently grasp his unfortunate injury while huddling himself in the fetal position. Quickly I check the parking lot, as well as this well-lit part of the hospital grounds, for any sign of help. I find none at all.
I take a quick look back down at the huddled mass and observe, with great dismay, El Oso’s fist as it curls around his gun. He brings the silencer muzzle up slowly. He levels it right at my head. I leap to the side, just as El Oso fires the gun. I drop to the ground and roll behind another Buick, this one a Cutlass Supreme. I listen carefully to the killer getting to his feet. Not waiting another second, I begin to move in a crouch. I do this as rapidly and as silent as I can manage.
I press the tip of my wounded finger against my chest to attempt to stem the flow of blood, while zigzagging through the parked cars. I’m heading toward one of the oldest buildings on the hospital campus. I think I need to get inside. Clearly the parking lot was a dim-witted place for me to try and hide.
Even with the sharp pain that pulses relentlessly up my hand and arm, I still manage to work my way to the very edge of the lanes of parked cars. There are only a few open feet of distance between myself and the staff entrance of the old building. I feel as if I’m going to faint, but I can’t. If I do, then I’m dead. Simple as that.
I can hear the killer. He is, apparently, still in pain. He curses too loud in Spanish as he hunts for me.
Good. Keep talking, asshole.
“Oh, you’re going to get it now, Arellano,” El Oso promises with a painful wince.
“But you’ve got to catch me first,” I mumble to myself, momentarily pleased with my being able to inflict even temporary damage to the killer. I am so far from being a badass its ridiculous.
I’m a Healer, for Christ’s sake.
I slant back against the grill work of the last car that stands between the staff entrance and me. I slide gradually up and around. I rest there, trying to catch my breath. I remove the rubber band Carolyn gave me from my wrist. I bind it tight below the wound on my finger, hoping to stanch the flow of blood. I just know the motherfucker can follow blood drops like bread crumbs. While resting, I see the killer. His back is to me and he’s searching high and low, in and under the parked cars.
I want to linger a few moments longer while El Oso works his way further and further from where I’m hiding. I’m slowly but surely catching my breath, the spots before my eyes fading. My stressed heart is still thundering away, though it’s probably more from raw fright now than from physical exertion. When El Oso seems to be far enough away, I begin my slow creep across the naked distance that lie between the car and the door. The few seconds it takes for me to cross the open ground feels infinitely longer. Halfway across I want to turn back, but I keep going. Soon I’m at the door.

— end excerpt 2. Go to NEWER POSTS for #3…