Outbreak: Just the Beginning

      "Get me antiseptic in this wound now!" head nurse Fields shouted as they dragged the unconscious Idahoan, Samuel Greene, through G. A. Romero Memorial Hospital. "Maddox, keep that pressure on!"

      Maddox pressed down harder on the formerly white rag, trying to keep the tourist's arm from bleeding out all over the linoleum. The rag was soaked through with blood and it got through to her gloved hands. With a nurse's lightning-quick hand she tossed the rag into the bucket attached to the gurney with a wet, sickening thuk! and pressed a new one onto the gash. Nobody had any idea what had happened. Greene had been found lying in a pool of his own blood in the Goethe State Forest, his deep, bloody gashes filled with pine needles and dirt. There was a woman in a tent nearby whose torso looked like a bread bowl somebody had filled with red Jell-O and let sit for a few hours.

      The skin around Greene's wound was turning a pale purple; Maddox rushed for the isopropyl alcohol to clean the wide canyon of a gash in Greene's arm. This was insane; she had never seen anything like this before in her medical career. Sure, people cut themselves all the time on camping trips, but this was horrific! And what about the mutilated woman? Never mind that, the police would handle all of that. Right now, she had to focus on fixing this man's arm. It looked eerily like he had been bitten by something. Something big, something with... human teeth, or at least close to it.

      Finally Greene had stopped bleeding and was beginning to show signs of life. The half conscious tourist squirmed as she administered the morphine. His head lolled from side to side lazily, his eyes struggling to focus. They finally found Dr. Fields.

      "My... wife," he groaned. "Where's... Jane?

      Dr. Fields put on her best Doctor's Sympathy Face and took Greene by his good hand.

      "Mr. Greene, I'm very sorry to have to tell you this, but... your wife is dead."

      His eyes widened and darted, suddenly alert but slow from the morphine. His eyes began to water like an overflowing cup and he began to sob, tears building and crawling down his cheeks in slow, mournful rivers. Maddox moved closer to him, speaking in low, comforting tones as she did.

      "Samuel, I'm going to pour some alcohol in your wound, we need to clean it out. Okay?" she said.

      He weakly nodded, still sobbing, and watched Maddox unscrew the bottle and poise it over his deep, pink-and-red gash.

      "Nurse..."

      "Yes, Mr. Greene?"

      Greene's bloodshot, wet eyes widened into what seemed like terror and he stared Maddox in the eye.

      "My brain..." he groaned, a half whisper.

      Maddox leaned in closer to hear. "What, sir?"

      Unfortunately, the isopropyl leaned with her. Stinging, burning alcohol poured into his open gash. His bloody gash foamed like the gaping mouth of a rabid dog. Greene screamed an ungodly roar of a scream and gripped Maddox by the arm, his stubby, dirty nails digging into her flesh with an inhuman pressure. She screamed as five slits of blood spurted open on her arm. She fell back, dropping the alcohol. Greene's head snapped back, arching his back and throwing the Idahoan into a violent spasm that shook the hospital bed. His good arm and legs flailed like a flipped June bug, foam flecks spraying as he craned his neck into impossible positions. His spasm knocked over the IV stand which yanked his arm, snapping it over the bed railing. Maddox and Fields scrambled to hold him to the bed.

      "Help! We need help in here!" Fields pressed a wall button for extra assistance just before Greene's foot slammed into her chin and sent her spinning to the floor. The other nurses came screeching to a halt at the sight of the hysterical, flailing man with the foaming, bloody arm.

      "What the hell happened?" a nurse shouted over the howling banshee wail.

      "Never mind, just help us hold him down!" Maddox shouted. The men hurried to pin his writhing body to the bed. Greene snarled at them, craning his neck. The bed rattled and shook violently from his spasms as the doctors strapped him down with restraining belts. His eyes were wide, angry, and bloodshot. They darted around the room frantically. Greene roared with the rage and anger of a caged lion, spraying foam like a sputtering fountain.

      And then the dementia kicked in.

      "MY BRAAAIN," he bellowed, his neck twisting and contorting, the muscles pulling in ways they shouldn't. "IT'S EATING AT MY BRAIN!!" Fields ran for tranquilizer as Greene slipped into uncontrollable, high-pitched screams of terror. He sounded like something out of a horror movie! His entire body was covered in a cold sweat and his head burned with a steadily increasing 103˚ degree fever. His face was a deep beet red, the muscles in his neck popping out grotesquely as he threw his head back at an extreme angle.

      Dr. Cal, a large black man, ran in and threw himself over Greene's chest to keep him down. Fields leapt forward and grabbed Greene's arm, pinning it against the wall with one hand and pushing the syringe of tranq into his arm. With one last screaming spasm, Greene lurched, shook, and was still. Foam slid down his cheek, and his eyes rolled in his head. But at least he was out.

 

The End

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