Saturday, December 16, 2006

Connected: Chapter 3

3 Zev had been shot. Zev had been shot 42 times. The EMT that worked on his dying body was covered with Zev’s blood. The ambulance blared its siren and then abruptly cut it off when it came towards the hospital’s ramp. The ramp lead up to the Emergency Department of County General Hospital where Zev had worked two years earlier. Now he watched as the EMT blurred in and out of focus. He saw a flashlight, heard his own breath come out in ragged gasps and felt the bullets being pushed out of his body. Then his heart gave out and he felt the defibrillator paddles on his skin.
The EMT put a white cloth over Zev’s lifeless body and banged on the barrier wall so the driver didn’t have to rush anymore. The EMT removed her gloves and tossed them into the red plastic container with the bio-hazard warning on it. She sighed and put her face in her hands and let her muscles relax. Then Zev sat up.
The EMT screamed and then passed out. Zev looked at his chest and both saw and felt the bullets being pushed back out of his body. Several clanged onto the metal floor of the ambulance and Zev made his way to the door. He opened it and nimbly hopped out since the truck was moving so slowly. He jumped a foot high railing and landed in some bushes. He removed the tatters that had been his shirt and left it hidden in the bushes. He waited for some people to walk by and then casually stepped out of the bushes and followed the small crowd towards the front of the hospital. He reached into his back pocket and removed a five dollar bill.
Zev spotted a lunch truck and walked towards it. He pulled an ice-cold bottled water out of the drink area and paid the woman that operated the lunch truck, letting her keep the change. He saw the Dash bus and paid twenty-five cents to go to Chinatown. From Chinatown he hopped aboard the light rail towards Union Station. Zev conversed with a homeless man named Hogarth for about an hour and then bought him a bagel sandwich. They talked about the 8th Parallel destroying our eco-system and the breaking down of barriers between our world and the ones right next door to earth. An hour after lunch Zev bid Hogarth farewell and headed for the Red Line, which was underground. He rode without incident. He had even bought himself a new t-shirt for twenty dollars. It was an I ♥ Los Angeles t-shirt.
He got off at Sunset and Vermont then caught a bus to La Brea. Waiting at the bus stop right on schedule was Selma. She had her arms crossed.
“Hiya doll face,” Zev said. He hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek and a slap on the ass.
“Zev Petrovich Sigmally. Where the hell have you been?” Selma said. She tossed him the keys to her car.
“I would have been here sooner had your dear brother and his boys not shot me forty-two times Selma. That boy has got violence issues,” Zev said. He smiled at Selma and his gray eyes flashed in the sunlight.
“Forty-two times? What did you do to him this time?” Selma said. She sat in the passenger’s seat.
“Nothing sweetie, he barged into my house, kicked down my bedroom door while I was sleeping and proceeded to shoot me dead. Then an ambulance came, picked me up and I wound up getting paddled and scared the EMT when I came back,” Zev said.
“Did you meet someone from the 8th Parallel today?” Selma said. “You smell like you did, it’s that sulfurous stench they have about them.”
Zev put the keys in the ignition and started driving. He was going to tell Selma about Hogarth and then decided against it. She never liked anyone he had ever met from the 8th Parallel anyway.
“Where’s your brother going tonight?” Zev said. He turned into a Carl’s Jr. drive-thru and waited in line.
“Sergei told me he was trying to get into Midnight’s, you know that club downtown. Said he had a proposition for the owner about the restaurant Daylight, which is what the club is during the daytime up until ten at night. It’s actually a pretty good restaurant. We should make reservations. Anybody can go, it’s not like it’s for VIPs only, Zev,” said Selma. She played with a red Bic lighter she had found on the dashboard.
“Maybe for our anniversary hun, for now, let’s get something to eat. Being shot that way takes a lot out of a man. Your brother will find out soon enough,” Zev said.
“Order me a salad too yeah?” Selma said. She tossed the lighter in the back of the car. “Sure thing sweets,” Zev said. He ordered for the both of them.


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