Temptation at Trousseau
An ambulance sped through the wet, mostly empty streets of Montrouge, France at 3:00 a.m. towards Hospital Armand Trousseau. Saint-Antoine was closer, but Trousseau specialized in treating children. A construction vehicle had crushed a section of metal drainage pipe where a homeless woman and her young daughter were sleeping. Both were in very serious condition. The paramedic in the back of the vehicle was frantically shouting into a radio phone listing the major injuries to the staff waiting at the hospital. No one could see the ghostly form of the angel fleeting along above the ambulance.
The critical care ward of Hospital Trousseau covered the entire third floor, and was mostly dark except for one brightly light corner that was the center of activity. The mother was unconscious. Her upper body was mostly crushed, nearly every bone splintered. One lung was completely ruptured, and the other had numerous punctures from broken ribs. Some workmen had tried to pull her from the crushed pipe, and a rusty piece of metal had pierced her abdomen, making a jagged cut nearly down to her groin that was bleeding badly. Amazingly, she still had a very weak heartbeat, and some slight brain activity. Her eight year old daughter was luckier. Her hips and lower spine had been flattened, and one leg practically severed, but her injuries did not appear to be life threatening. At the moment, she was in great pain and screaming terribly. The rescue crews had used a torch to cut the metal pipe open, and in the process burned her face and left hand and arm pretty severely. The nurse scrubbing the charred flesh on the left side of her head was wincing with each scream. So was the angel standing out of the way in a corner formed by two privacy curtains. It was a horrible thing to have to watch.
The senior physician in attendance made the decision to cease cleaning the mothers wounds. She was too far gone, and the girl needed more urgent attention. He cursed to himself, and barked at one of his associates to get some morphine for the flailing child. The angel in the corner was still wincing at each of the girls spastic screams, but her attention became more and more focused on the mother. After a moment she walked over to the bedside, held the woman's hands, and stared intently into her fading eyes. Little by little, the womans eyes seemed to focus on the angel's face.
Fraveshi was watching the whole scene from the dark end of the ward. It's very unsettling seeing people in so much pain. The only consolation is knowing that death ends it all. The living view death as something to fear, Fraveshi thought to himself. In reality, it's an amazing experience. People don't realize how much pain and pressure they carry around every day. The moment of death, crossing over, is an instantaneous release of all that. It's like a massive overpowering orgasm of joy centered in your heart. Your eyes open for the first time to pure truth and beauty, and the first thing you see is the perfect face of a loving angel. Fraveshi never got used to seeing it happen. It was like seeing a child being born. His eyes teared a little as he watched this woman escape her broken body and embrace the angel who was leading her up and away from the horrid scene.
Suddenly, behind the woman, a nurse shouted, "Réaction allergique!" An allergic reaction to the morphine. For an instant, the angel broke her gaze into the woman's eyes, and looked over at the girl. It was long enough. The mother remembered the daughter she was leaving behind, and started trying to pull away from the angel. Fraveshi's blood boiled instantly with rage. He wanted to shout at the angel, "Get her out of there!" at the top of his lungs, but he couldn't. He took a step closer, and pulled his longbow off his back and notched an arrow. The girl went into cardiac arrest, and was so near death, that she could hear her mother screaming for her. The mother was pleading with the angel to look at the girls devastated, bloody body, and sobbing about how there was no one in the world to take care of her. She was begging the angel to bring the girl along, to let her die. The doctors were shouting at each other trying desperately to save the child. For a split second, the angel considered it. She even began to reach out to the child while trying to reason with the mother. Fraveshi couldn't wait any longer. He drew back his powerful bow with all the strength in his chest. At the last moment, He shouted out loud to the angel, "NOOO!" Realizing who it was, the angel overpowered the woman and whisked her up through the ceiling, into the night sky.
Fraveshi drew down the arrow in relief. He wasn't suppose to give warnings, but it had worked. Gradually, the doctors were able to stabilize the girl. She would loose her leg, be paralyzed from the chest down, and probably suffer months of painful surgeries to graft skin onto her burns, but she would live; at least a little while longer. He only hoped that the young angel had learned a lesson, whoever she was.
Temptation at Trousseau