Close to the hospital the smoke was dense. Neither of us spoke. Emergency vehicles were parked on either side of the road. Pete slammed on the brakes, almost hitting a police car, invisible until we were almost too close to stop.
“You can’t go any further mate! Only allowing ambulances and fire engines past this point.”
“My brother was in the hospital.” Pete lied.
“Park to the side and walk through. They’re treating everyone for smoke inhalation over in field behind the pub. The fires almost out. Its smoking bad though.” The cop pointed in the direction we needed to go.
This all started with smoke…
After a few steps I stopped and looked over my shoulder. “Did everyone get out okay?” I yelled back at the cop.
“Far as I know, haven’t heard of any fatalities. I think someone’s missing though.”
Please let Mick be safe!
We walked downhill to the field where nurses and doctors busied around patients. I couldn’t’ see Mick.
“Over there,” Pete said.
Mick sat alone on a pile of stones in the far corner of the field. When he saw us approach he smiled.
“Not my day is it?” he said.
I flung my arms around him and gave him a hug.
“Hey, careful, my ribs are a little sore from the fall.”
“What happened?” Pete asked.
“What, earlier when I almost fell to my death, or later when the hospital exploded?”
Mick looked me in the eye as he spoke. “The incinerator exploded apparently.”
“Anyone badly hurt?”
“The guy driving the ambulance is the only one with any serious injuries.”
“The nurse?” I asked.
“She’s fine, she took me to the examination room. Reggie, the driver, went off with the radio. Said he was going to throw it in the incinerator. Said it gave him the creeps. I swear I heard music coming from it as he walked away. That’s not possible is it?”
“Shit!” Pete said, “This is all my fault.”
“How can this be your fault, what’s going on? Was the radio a bomb or something? This isn’t an IRA issue is it? Do we need to talk to the Police?”
“No Mick, the Police couldn’t help with this.”
“Shh,” I said as I saw the nurse from this morning approach.
“You can take your friend home if you like, he’s fine. He’ll be better off at home than in this chaos.”
“How’s Reggie doing?” Mick asked.
“Reggie’s going to be fine!” she said, obviously relieved, “it looked worse that it actually is. His ankle is either sprained or broken, can’t tell till we get the results of the x-ray. There was a lot of blood from his head injury, but it’s not serious. Needed a couple of stitches, that’s all. He’s very lucky, the explosion must have thrown him a long way. Someone dragged him away from the flames. He’s in Catterick General until we know if his ankle needs surgery.”
“Oh, that’s good.” Mick said.
“Can we go and visit him?” I asked. I wanted to know what happened, he might have remembered something.
“Not today, pop in tomorrow if you want. Check with the hospital first though, if it’s just a sprain they’ll probably let him go home in the morning. We’re more worried about the other guy. We can’t find him.”
“What other guy?”
“Reggie kept mumbling about a young bloke in a leather jacket standing next to the incinerator. The firemen are looking for him now.”
Some where in the distance we heard music, weird music.
Dead of July is still available on Amazon for $0.99. I make take a stab at creating a Screen Play with my current short story, the one your reading on my blog….what do you think?