EXTENDED EXCERPT OF SICK, SICKER, SICKEST (A CHLOE DANIELS MYSTERY)
Baby Jane reminded Anna Black of Angel, her little sister. Baby Jane didn’t stand a real chance at having a decent life, Anna thought to herself as she filled the syringe without measuring. The teen mom, young, dumb, and immature, didn’t even realize she was pregnant (or that’s what she tried to tell anyone who would listen) until it was too late. Anna didn’t see the mother beforehand, but the buzz around the nurses’ station was that the girl didn’t gain a lot of weight with the pregnancy. Her parents must have been stupid, too, Anna thought to herself as she found just the right spot behind the baby’s ear for the deadly injection. Who doesn’t know they’re pregnant, no matter how young they are? The girl is said to have had the baby at home sitting on the toilet. She supposedly panicked and didn’t grab the little girl out of the shitty, bloody toilet water until it was almost too late. The new grandmother heard commotion coming from the bathroom and fished the baby out of the toilet. By the time they got the baby and the mom to the hospital, the baby had suffered brain damage. They weren’t sure if she would ever be right again.
I’m doing her a favor, Anna mused as she pushed the piercing needle deep into the baby’s pink flesh. The baby didn’t even cry, completely unaware of the assault of insulin about to take over her little body. First to die off completely would be her brain, then her main organs would start to shut down—her liver, lungs and finally her heart would fail to beat ever again. It was late at night in the nursery and Anna was one of only three nurses on rotation in the infant ward. After recapping and placing the poison-filled needle back in the pocket of her nursing smock, Anna rubbed the baby’s back lovingly and began to hum and then sing her favorite lullaby.
Hush little baby, don’t say a word… Anna continued to hum as she went along.
The life supporting machines blared over Anna’s broken melody, alerting to the crisis the baby was beginning to experience. Anna, being the savior that she was, ran to the alert button and slammed against it, signifying there was a problem in her unit. Making her way to the entrance of her unit which spilled out into the main corridor of the infant ward, Anna went into full blown rescue mode.
“Help! Help! She’s Coding!” Anna yelled into the hall for anyone in ear shot. Doctors and medical personnel responded immediately, pouring into the unit and moving as quickly as possible to the aid of Baby Jane. Anna stood back and let the madness unfold in front of her. She hoped she had given Baby Jane enough to take her out of her misery. If not, the baby would be worse off than when Anna started. Besides, she was fucked up anyway. Either way, Anna would be seen as the hero. She was the one who found the baby in a compromised position. She was the one who alerted staff to the medical crisis. No matter what others did to try and save the baby’s life, Anna would be the one the parents would remember as the first to respond.
Anna moved closer to the action. She had to. She was a nurse and charged with the responsibility of aiding the sick. Anna had taken the Hippocratic Oath just like the rest of the team working diligently to save little Baby Jane’s mediocre life. Hands were moving swiftly—orders were being given from the lead doctor. They were almost frantic as the machines continued to blare the disaster that was happening right in front of their eyes. They had no idea that this disaster was man-made. Anna had to hold back a smile as she saw just how much energy she created in such a short period of time. After a few moments of non-stop medical mayhem, the machines that indicated how well or how poorly the patient was doing started to utter sounds closer to normal. The height of the crisis was over, but Baby Jane was not out of the woods yet. She would have to be moved to the neonatal intensive care unit where they would try and see if they could undo the things that had been done to her—the things they didn’t know had been done to her. Baby Jane had a chance at survival if they found out about the oversaturation of insulin that had been so violently injected into her poor defenseless body. If they got to her in time she would live, and her life would continue to be a waste. If they didn’t, Baby Jane would go to be with the angels.
The next step in the process was really what Anna lived for. She lived for the thank you’s she got from her fellow medical practitioners for getting to the baby just in the nick of time. Anna lived for the moment when the parents would be told what happened and who helped save their baby. Even if Baby Jane didn’t make it, for her parents, Anna would live in infamy as their hero—the one who got their first. Anna didn’t go with Baby Jane to intensive care. That was not her job. She had done what she intended to do. The rest of what happened would be left to others. Besides, there were more precious little babies for her to give her special kind of attention to.
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