Breaking Out of the Hospital for Christmas

Thanks to a chronic illness, a coworker has been trapped in the hospital for weeks and is bummed he’s going to miss the company Christmas party—that is, until you and another coworker unexpectedly show up to bust him out and take him to the celebration. Write this scene.

Post your response (500 words or fewer) in the comments below.

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32 thoughts on “Breaking Out of the Hospital for Christmas

  1. jmcody

    Bob never was one to miss a party. So it shouldn’t have surprised me to find him dressed to thrill and standing in the doorway of his hospital room when we arrived at just past 7 pm.

    “Dude, where’d you get the tuxedo?” marveled Dean, our friend and fellow cubicle dweller, as we entered Room 533, Cardiac wing.

    “I have my sources,” Bob winked, a familiar gleam of mischief in his eye. “I’ve been waiting for you guys to come and spring me. Come on, we can still make the Christmas party if we leave now…”

    “Bob, you’ve just had a heart attack. Why don’t you take a night off?” I groaned.

    “Besides, it’s going to be pretty lame, with all the cost cutting this year,” added Dean. “Can you believe it’s a cash bar?”

    Bob didn’t look sick. In fact, he looked great – better than he’d looked in a long time. Gone from his face were the fatigue and stress from all those late nights, the ever increasing workload and the looming threat of still more layoffs. The throbbing vein in Bob’s forehead, the one that had seemed so prominent during all those tense staff meetings dominated by falling sales numbers and management rants, was gone.

    Bob was practically glowing.

    Maybe that’s why we agreed to his plan. This was the old Bob, the pre-recession Bob, the charming, fun-loving Bob so full of vitality and enthusiasm that we didn’t have the heart to say no.

    Somehow we managed to slip past the nurse’s station without anyone noticing the tall, good-looking guy in the tuxedo who, just one day earlier, had been virtually unrecognizable beneath a jumble of wires, tubes and surgical tape.

    At the party, we were war heroes returning with the rescued prisoner. Cries of “Bob!” rang out at every turn. Coworkers crowded around him, remarking at how wonderful he looked.

    Bob danced. He told heart attack jokes. He drank, maybe a little too much. It was like the old days, when we were golden, when we could make money almost as fast as we could spend it, before the world turned upside down and before any of us had ever heard of a mortgage-backed security or a credit default swap or any of the other high-flying instruments of our undoing.

    I think Bob had a better time than the rest of us, judging by the sudden conspicuous absence of both Bob and a certain lovestruck receptionist. But you didn’t hear it from me.

    “How are you feeling, Bob?” I asked, upon his stealthy return.

    “Never better,” he replied, running his hands through his disheveled hair, a strand of shiny red tinsel falling to the shoulder of his jacket.

    “Even so,” I said, “shouldn’t we be getting you back to the hospital?”

    “Crab puff?” A waiter with a tray appeared on my right.

    “No thank you,” I replied, and turned back to Bob, who was gone. Probably off to the bar, I decided.

    The crowd began to thin and still there was no sign of Bob. I began to worry. What if he went off somewhere and had another heart attack? I grabbed Dean by the elbow, dragging him away from the curvaceous new accounting clerk. “Dean!” I hissed, “We’ve got to find Bob!”

    We looked in restrooms, behind bars, even under tables. We asked the doorman if he had hailed a cab – or an ambulance — for a roguishly handsome man in a tuxedo. He hadn’t.

    With the party over, and not knowing what else to do, we left. Bob probably went home with you-know-who, we decided. We would check in on him in the morning.

    The next day, I wasn’t a bit surprised to find someone else’s name posted on the wall outside of Room 533 of the cardiac wing. That is so Bob, I thought, laughing out loud. Here he had us thinking we were sneaking him out, when he had probably already been discharged. What a character. Good one, Bob.

    Still grinning, I decided to gather up the proof I’d need to properly bust Bob.

    “Can you tell me when Bob Healy in Room 533 was discharged?” I asked at the nurses’ station.
    The nurse scanned the chart in front of her.

    “Oh… Mr. Healy…” She paused, “Are you family?”

    “Yes,” I lied, “I’m his cousin.”

    “Oh… I’m so sorry to tell you… Mr. Healy passed away yesterday.”

    The blood left my face, a flood of panic and guilt rushing in to take its place. We did this to him. My knees buckled with the weight of what we had done. We never should have listened to him. It was a crazy idea.

    “What… how…” I stammered.

    “Cardiac arrest, yesterday morning. Such a shame. He was so young.”

    “Wait… Did you say yesterday morning?”

    “Um… yes, I believe so,” said the nurse, rifling through a manila folder. “Let’s see… it was just after 11 am.”

    “But I visited him here yesterday evening. He looked fine. No, better than fine. He looked great.”

    “That’s not possible. Mr. Goldstein has been in that bed since 1 pm yesterday.”

    “Mr. Goldstein? I don’t understand…”

    “Would you like to sit down?” offered the nurse.

    I shook my head, thanked the nurse and turned to leave. At room 533, I paused to look up at the nameplate on the wall. There in block letters was the name GOLDSTEIN. And draped over it was a single, shiny red strand of tinsel.

    Bob never was one to miss a party, I thought.

    And then I knew, as if there were ever any doubt: The party really was over.

    1. jmcody

      Too long, I know. I just hacked fifty words and could probably hack more. Oh well — so much for my first-ever attempt at fiction (honest!). Will work on brevity…

  2. Icabu

    “This party’s lame,” Sheryl said.

    “Same as last year,” agreed Tom.

    The two long-time employees of Talbert Industries sipped paper cups of un-spiked punch.

    “Totally lame,” repeated Sheryl, shaking her head.

    “You know what this party needs?” Tom asked, grinning.

    “A dose of Action Jackson,” Sheryl said. “And fast!”

    Sheryl Forsythe leaned her elbow on the counter of the nurse’s station at St. Francis Hospital’s Renal Center. She had her ‘borrowed’ lab coat sleeves rolled up to her elbows; otherwise, they would hang well beyond her fingertips. Tom paced the length of the counter.

    “This is highly irregular,” the evening nurse said as she studied the paperwork.

    Tom stopped long enough to address the nurse. “Look, lady,” he said, “we don’t make the orders; we just gotta carry them out.” Tom started pacing again. “If we don’t show up at City Central with this patient in …” Tom looked at his watch. “In twenty minutes, it’ll be my hide.” Tom stopped and placed both hands on the counter in front of the confused nurse. “It’s nearly Christmas, ma’am. I don’t wanna lose my job now. City’s looking for this guy.”

    “Well,” the nurse said, hesitantly. “The transfer papers do appear to be in order.” She looked at Sheryl and Tom closely. “It’s just highly unusual to do a transfer this late in the day.”

    “It’s probably a paper-pusher mistake,” Sheryl said, ignoring the sharp look Tom gave her. “They probably meant for the transfer to be earlier today, but someone fat-fingered the time entry.” She waved her hand in Tom’s direction. “We certainly don’t want to be here at this hour doing a transfer.” Sheryl shrugged exaggeratedly. “It’ll be City’s problem to deal with him tonight.”

    The nurse signed the form. “That’s likely what happened. But, like you said, that’s City’s problem.” She handed the form back to Tom. “He’s in room 417.”

    “Man, this is great!” Jackson Smedley exclaimed from the back seat of Tom’s car. His head poked out the window letting the cold December air numb his skin.

    “You got everything?” Sheryl asked, smiling at his antics.

    Pulling his head back into the car, Jackson rummaged through several bags. “I have two pints of vodka for the punch bowl, three sprigs of mistletoe, a Santa suit in Tom’s size, and a string of a hundred fire crackers.”

    “That should liven that dull office party,” Sheryl said.

    Jackson grinned widely. “A little Action according to Jackson.”

    “You doing okay?” Sheryl asked.

    “Yeah,” Jackson said. “You know how it is. I’ve had three weeks of rest and dialysis. Blood’s clean as a whistle and I’m restless as hell.”

    “Well, this lame Christmas party is just what you need then. You’ll be its shot in the arm,” Sheryl said.

    “Only shots I want come in a glass,” Jackson stated. “One of these days I’ll get these tired ol’ kidneys replaced and we’ll get to party all the time.”

    “Why’s the Santa suit in my size?” Tom asked.

  3. chopper

    “No, no Jerry….we’re not supplying the costumes. You’ll have to buy your own,” I said into the speaker phone. Shelly walked into my office carrying two cups of coffee and sat one down in front me. “See you at the party.” I said before hanging up.

    “Poor Jerry. That old man is confused enough, without you throwing a costume Christmas party this year. But, you’re the office manager, so I’m sure you know what you’re doing,” said Shelly

    “I was just trying to spice things up and raise morale around here. I saw some pics on the internet of a party like this and thought it might be fun. What are you coming as?” I asked.

    “I don’t know. I’m leaning towards coming as an angel“

    “That’s too close to your real personality. You’re the nicest person in this entire office, so you need something edgier.”

    “What about one of the Reindeers then.”

    “Shelly, there’s nothing edgy about Reindeers. They’re a bunch of followers that go wherever Santa tells them to. Unless–

    “Uh, oh Joyce—I know that look in your eyes. What are you cooking up now?”

    “Well, unless you come as Rudolph. He has the potential to be edgy.”


    “Think about it Shelly—his nose is always red, which implies that he’s on something. And maybe the other reindeers didn’t want him around, cause he couldn’t be trusted with the gifts—might steal and sell them for drug money.”

    Shelly began laughing so hard that tears leaked out of the corners of her eyes.

    “Remember, there’s a $500 prize for the most inventive costume,” I said.

    “Rudolph the crack head Reindeer. Okay, I’ll do it. But only if you help me with it.”

    “Of course I’ll help you. But, we better get started. The party is in a couple of days.”

    “And what are you coming as?” asked Shelly

    “Mrs. Frosty, the snow woman.”

    “I don’t recall Frosty the snowman having a wife.”

    “Well he did. She melted him for the insurance money. Everybody thinks I’m a cold hearted bitch anyway, so why not,” I said

    “This will be our best Christmas party yet!” she said.

    “I hope so. It’s been a lotta work, especially since Jade has been out sick. I’m really worried about her. The doctors don’t quite know what she has yet—just that it’s highly contagious and God help you if she coughs or sneezes on you. Thanks for stepping in and helping me in her absence. I could—“

    Just then, the voice of a raging maniac rang out and flowed into my office.

    “Sheellllyyyy! Here you are. .Where’s that Goddamn report I asked about?

    “”Oh, hi Jack.” I sent it to you.” Shelly softly said

    “No you didn’t!”

    “Yes I did,” she timidly insisted?

    “Are you calling me a liar? I said I didn’t get it. Get in my office and find it right now!” Shelly began to follow him like a scolded puppy.

    “Hey,” I said as I grabbed her arm. “You don’t have to put up with that asshole. He doesn’t have the right to talk to you that way.”

    “I know Joyce, but what am I gonna do. I need my job.”

    “He’s a bully and what you need to do is stand up to him.” She dropped her head and slinked out of my office. I plopped down in my chair and thought about how unfair it was for Jade to be stuck in a hospital ward with some God-forsaken illness while guys like Jack were free to roam the earth, pissing off everyone he came in contact with. Then it hit me. I sprang forward in my chair and did a couple of Google searches. Then, I picked up the phone and started to dial. “Hello, I’d like to rent a couple of red hazmat suites and two of your ugliest Christmas sweaters.”

    The day of the party, I left work early and headed over to the hospital. Upon attempting to enter Jade’s room, a nurse stopped me and instructed me to put on one of those masks that almost covers your entire face. I did as she instructed and moved in closer to Jade, who was laying there with her eyes closed and tubes running in and out of her body.

    “Hey,” I whispered to her through my mask. She woke up and stared at me for a few minutes. Then, she smiled.

    “Joyce—what are you doing here?” she asked.

    “Never mind that. How are you feeling?”

    “Well, the drugs are keeping me in good spirits.”

    “Enough to go on an adventure with me?’” I asked. A goofy smile appeared on her face as she gave me a thumbs up sign.

    I peeped out into the hallway to make sure the coast was clear. Then, I drew the curtain around her bed and proceeded to change into one of the hazmat suits and hideous Christmas sweaters and helped her do the same. I kept my hospital mask on and put one on her as well.
    We scurried down the hallway, ducking oncoming traffic while Jade leaned on me. Mouths dropped as we passed by a few people, but the sweaters rendered them speechless.

    Once in the car, I picked up my cell phone and called Shelly.

    “Hey, it’s me. Do me a favor—make sure you reserve a table for 3 for me and my guests. We’ll be there in a minute.”

    When we got there, I spotted Shelly right away in her reindeer costume with a big red clown nose that had white powder all over it. She was holding a glass of wine and wobbling a bit. I motioned for her to come over.

    “Joyce, is that you in there?” she asked.

    “It’s me and Jade.”

    “Wowww. You guys look horriiiiible.”

    “Thanks. Where’s the table I asked you to reserve?”

    “It’s right over there,” she said as she twirled and pointed, spilling wine on us. But, we didn’t care. We all went over and quickly sat down.

    “What are you doing? That seat isn’t for you.” I said to Shelly.

    “Well who’s it for?” she asked.

    “Jack, your boss. He’s our special guest tonight.” I replied.

    Shelly got up, hunched her shoulders and went over to get Jack. He came staggering over dressed like a drunken psychotic angel with a beer in his hand.”

    “Hi Jack. It’s me.” I said, as I removed my hospital mask and then put it back on.”

    “Oh hey Joyce. And who is this?” he asked leaning over on Jade.”

    I carefully removed her hospital mask as she stared him in the eyes and began to cough in his face.

    “Jade???? What are you doing here? What are you trying to do, kill me?” he shouted.

    “That’s the plan,” I said with a smile.

  4. UtahJackson

    Our loafers clacked down the shiny waxed floor in a nervous, hurried cadence. My office cohort Leonard held a shading hand above his squinting eyes. “What’s the deal with all the whiteness and brightness of hospitals,” he said. I gave a quick smile to his poetic adage, while swinging my head side to side, focused on tonight’s mission.
    “I wish we could find this damn room,” I said, pinching my voice down as we rounded the nurses station once more.
    Leonard stuck out a long, skinny arm and pointed behind us. “I told you, it’s back there.”
    We passed three more rooms, the last of which had a missing number plate. A familiar voice fired out into the hallway. “Hey.” Leonard and I stopped, looked at each other and hustled back to the room with the missing number. We stood in the doorway, two angels of deliverance.

    “Lenny. Tom. What’r y’all doin’ here?”, Scott asked. He was sitting on the end of his bed, his knees drawn to his chest like a Do No Evil monkey.

    Leonard caught sight of his condition first and turned his head to the sky. He panned a finger in Scott’s general direction. “Umm, Scott, you might want to put your horse- and everything else- back in the barn.” Scott looked down between his knees. My eyes followed his to the barn door and instinctively, my head shot up towards the ceiling, joining Leonard in a faux count of the small holes poked into the tiles above.

    “Man, I’m sorry guys,” Scott said. He grabbed and gathered his bed’s blankets around his ankles, concealing his privacy, but keeping his knees to his chest.

    Leonard shuffled from one foot to the other, daring not to drop his upward gaze. “Dude,” he said, “I’m just going to go ahead and ask because I really don’t know- but it looks like, looked like…dude, your balls are enormous and black”. Leonard carefully peeked sideways towards Scott.

    “Lenny, I covered them up. It’s OK to look now”, Scott said. His face was red. He rested his head on top of his knees, listless and pathetic.

    “Is that why you’ve been here so long?” I asked. Scott moved his head up and down in confirmation. Leonard ran his hand through his shaggy hair, momentarily turning back towards the hallway. He spun around, and spoke with a slight tremble.

    “Dude,” Leonard said, “what is wrong with your juevos?”.

    Scott’s head hung a little longer and lower. I could barely hear his tiny voice as he told his shameful story.

    “You guys remember when I went to Costa Rica over Halloween, right?”. We nodded. “Well, one night I had a lot to drink and there were a couple of girls there, hookers really. Only they didn’t charge me money, they wanted to marry me because I’m a gringo. Anyways, they went back to my room with me and we got it on, all night. Well, one of them had a fetish- she liked to bite. I was drunk and couldn’t really feel anything, but apparently she bit my balls…a lot.”

    Leonard heaved a shoulder into the doorjamb, looking white and sick. I put a hand on his shoulder. “You OK?” I whispered. A troubled nod was all he could muster.

    We were all silent for a moment. Finally, I spoke. “Well, Scott, we came to bust you out of this place tonight and hustle you down to the office Christmas party. But, I don’t think that’s going to happen is it?”. He shook his head side to side.

    “Can you even walk?”, Leonard asked with little tact. Scott didn’t answer as he rose out of bed. With his back hunched and his legs parted in a spread designed to accomodate his swollen largesse, he shuffled across the room towards us. Leonard’s terrified look made Scott smile for maybe the first time in a long time. He extended his hands out to us and grasped each of us on a shoulder.

    “I really appreciate you guys coming down here tonight. Please let everyone know I miss them and as soon as I return to, you know, normal, I’ll be back, stronger than ever.”

    He gave us each a pat, turned and shuffled once more to his bed where he laid down gently on his side. We bid him good-bye and started back down the hallway, our heads down, staring at the passing linoleum. I slid my hand in my khaki’s pockets, feeling for and cherishing the normality of my own testicles.

    “Thank God we backed out of Costa Rica,” I said to Leonard as we slinked out of the hospital’s main entrance. He didn’t say anything.

    A few steps later he began to sing Jingle Bells under his breath. I joined in that happy chorus and we crescendoed up to full volume by the time we reached the car. We sang every carol we knew all the way to the office party.

  5. Delilah2011

    Another bout of water retention in the lungs, and another trip to the hospital to open and drain that wound from the botched hip replacement operation; it’s a trip Ted has taken three times a year over the past five years.

    “It’s really not like him.” Nina, Ted’s wife, sounded worried over the phone. “You know Ted. He’s the silent sufferer type. But he’s really down in the mouth this time around. He keeps mentioning the company Christmas party; that this will be the first time in 20 years he won’t be there. I think that’s what really upsetting him. I don’t know what to do.”

    “Don’t worry, Nina. We’ll figure something out.” I tried to sound encouraging.

    “Thanks George, I’d appreciate it.”

    In the “your mission if you choose to accept it” vein, I called Walter, told him what was going on, and what we could do about it. He was on board before I finished asking.

    We went to visit Ted often, but after Nina’s call our visits took on a different purpose. We were casing the joint. We only had three days, and we had to find the perfect window of time if we were going to pull this mission off.

    The day of the Christmas party we showed up in Ted’s room in our tuxedos.

    “Wish I was going to the Christmas party with you.” He said sadly.

    “It’s not going to be the same without you.” I said
    Ted stayed quiet, and looked out the window.

    Walter gave me an anxious glance and looked at his watch. It was getting late, and if we didn’t do this now, we might not get another chance.

    “Hey Ted, let’s go for a trip around the floor. I got a wheel chair for the occasion.”

    He got up, and limped towards the wheel chair. “I’m almost ready to dance again; just another day or two.” Ted said as he sat down.

    We wheeled him out passed the nurse’s station, turning the corner towards the elevator bank.

    Walter nonchalantly pressed the down button.

    “Bing.” The elevator doors opened, and in we went.

    “Hey, where are you guys taking me? I’m not sure I can leave the floor?”

    “We’re busting you out of this joint! We’re taking you to the party!” I said excitedly.

    “What! I’m going to look ridiculous.”

    “Well, at least you’re not worried about being kid knapped. Don’t worry, we’ve got it all covered.”

    In the lobby, we wheeled him into the men’s room where Walter had hid a bag with a tuxedo in it.

    Ted’s eyes lit up as he got dressed. We were waiting for alarms to go off, but so far so good.

    Once we were back in the lobby, patient and wheel chair in tow, we easily made it to the car, and drove off.

    At the hotel, we made our way to the ballroom. When we opened the door everyone shouted “Merry Christmas”!

    Ted stood up, and with a big smile on his face asked “Who wants the first dance?”

  6. Cailin Dresden There is my entry on my blog but here it is:
    Lael Klover had been Cailin’s analyst for a year. She had been the voice in Cailin’s ear that had guided him through mission after mission. When she got hospitalized for cancer two weeks ago to start a treatment course Cailin had gone to visit her. Every year the part of the agency that Cailin belonged to threw a little Christmas party, this would have been Cailin and Lael’s first year attending but with Lael being in the hospital she couldn’t attend. Cailin saw how upset it made her.

    A group of his coworkers and Cailin came up with a plan, they were going to break Lael out for a night. They just had to be careful about it.

    All dressed up in black clothes with black masks the group headed out in a black van with tinted windows. It screamed CIA but no one at the hospital knew what Lael really did for work so it wasn’t a factor. Pulling up in front of the hospital they jumped out and Cailin tossed a smoke grenade into a side door of the hospital that led to the stairwell. The fire alarm started blaring and the team went through the front door towards the elevators. One of the team members pried open the elevator emergency box and grabbed the fire key so they could take the elevator straight up to the floor they needed to be on.

    On the floor, after seeing no one was paying attention they found the room that Lael was in. She was fast asleep and it was only six pm, this was going to freak her out, Cailin had made sure no one had told her their plan. He thought that a surprise would make her happy. While the others waited outside Cailin walked in and shook her arm until she woke up.

    “Who are you?!” She yelled bursting up in bed.

    “It’s me, Angel.” Cailin said, using his nickname for the CIA officer that had saved his life by satellite and other high-tech tools multiple times.

    “Why are you dressed all in black?” Lael asked.

    “We have a surprise for you.” Cailin said powering off the machines and unplugging them from her.

    Cailin had already checked with a CIA doctor and the party shouldn’t be a problem as long as Lael didn’t get hurt and didn’t over exert herself. He helped her out of bed and into a set of clothes they had borrowed from her house. Quickly they got back in the elevator before anyone could notice them and rode it down to the bottom floor where they tossed several more smoke grenades so that the lobby was obscured. One person put the key back in the box that it belonged in while the rest got Lael to the van.

    Once they were inside the van they drove off to the Christmas party.

  7. bobp

    Fred, where’s Fred?
    You mean the nerd from IT.
    Yeah that Fred, where is he?
    Don’t you remember he ODed on Caffeine last week, and is still in the hospital.
    Oh yeah, what A jerk, I’ve heard of a Caffeine habit, but mainlining the stuff; gag that’s a heart attack waiting to happen.
    You know this party’s getting boring, let’s bust him out.
    Cool, let’s do it.
    Isn’t he still in intensive care?
    Don’t know, but give him a double latte, with a shot of red bull and he’ll come right back to life..

    Hey Merry Christmas.
    Merry Christmas to you, why aren’t you at the party?
    I’m in a hospital bed, in case you haven’t noticed.
    No excuse.
    Seriously, I’m in the hospital, they say I’ve got to stay here another week, at least.
    It’s the Christmas party, and you’re going.
    Come on guys.
    We won’t take no for an answer.
    Hey! What are you doing?
    We’re getting you out of here.
    But the IV.
    You won’t need it, now get dressed.
    You guys are crazy.

    Fred what are you doing here, I thought you were in the hospital.
    I was, but these clowns drug me out.
    What were you thinking? Fred should be in the hospital.
    It’s all right I feel fine.
    Ok but take it easy.
    Get Fred a Red bull and vodka.
    I don’t think I should.
    Come on, just one won’t hurt, and you need to loosen up.
    Ok, just one.
    Look at Fred go, he’s the life of the party.
    He’s danced with nearly every girl here.
    How many Red Bulls and Vodka, has he had?
    I think he’s on his fifth or sixth.

    What happening to Fred?
    Somebody catch him.
    Get him back to the Hospital.
    Call an ambulance.
    Dial 911.
    Fred, Talk to me.

    Fred was a good guy.
    Yeah he was always the life of the party
    We’ll miss him,
    Hey Cindy, are you coming to Fred’s wake? It’s going to be a blast.

  8. AdyShearer

    “Hey, Max, you sure you’re up for it?”
    “You betcha.”
    Here I was, with Max, waiting for 10 pm to arrive in order to get Bucky out of the hospital.
    Poor old Bucky, he had just been diagnosed with cancer a couple of weeks ago and is upset that he’ll miss the party that he put together this year, our Christmas party.
    We(me and Max) went to visit him several times, as well as other colleagues, and he seemed so depressed because of the cancer.
    It appeared out of nowhere, he laughed at the doctor, at first, because he couldn’t believe that he could’ve gotten it, stating that he was a very healthy man and couldn’t possibly be his chart. Yet it was, and the doctor was extremely serious, even though the cancer was benign, he was adamant that Bucky going to be checked in the very next day in order to prevent anything bad from happening, despite Bucky’s arguments.
    It was nearly time. We had the ambulance here, the doctor outfits and tags and we went in.
    Everything was exactly how I planned it. Few people, every pacient asleep.
    We entered and said “hello” to the nurse at the front desk, she replied with the same word and we were on our way to his room.
    Entered the place and he was almost asleep, until he was us, and that made him scream a bit, but Max managed to get faster and pust his hand over Bucky’s mouth in order for him to be silent.
    He asked plenty of questions like why were we there at that time and why were we dressed like doctors. We said that he’ll see for himself in a while.
    After that talking, we stopped the power in the machines, then we unplugged him, but we left the saline attached.
    When we left, the nurse almost stopped us, but we told her that it was crucial of Bucky to come with us because his mother was in a bad way and wanted to see her son for the, probably, the last time. The nurse shed a couple of tears for that and let us leave.
    We celebrated when we entered the ambulance and went in the direction of the party.
    When we got there, he knew where we were and became excited.
    As we joined the festivities, we announced that whe brought in a stripper, and that she was under the blanket.
    Max pulled the blanket and Bucky jumped up and began to shake his butt singing “Tananana, This feels so good, so good” and everybody got a kick out it.
    All went well on that peaceful night.
    We returned Bucky to the hospital early in the morning and everything was going to be fine.
    He beat the cancer and went on to live a happy life.

  9. markfaith


    Chisel knocked on my door waking me up from an afternoon nap. I live one floor below him in a putrified expression of an apartment house. Underneath my digs on the ground floor is a cat squatter’s haven run by a reticent PETA worshipping female named Fresh Step who we called Freshy. Her flock of almost one-hundred strays were in command of the entire building turning up in the most unusual places such as inside the clothes washer and dryer in our laundry room.
    I opened the door to my apartment. Chisel was holding a new comer close to his chest. I rubbed the top of it’s head and it purred like a motor boat.
    I motioned for him to come in. Just then Freshy swooped by and scooped up the feline from Chisel and bellowed, “Sorry, I’ve been looking for her.”
    Chisel stepped inside. He sat on a metal chair.
    “Are you ready?”
    I quickly dressed. “I don’t think we can pull this off. We are bound to get caught.” I said.
    “Nonsense Roger will only be AWOL from the hospital for two hours. No one will be the wiser. We will bring him to the office Christmas party then sneak him back in his room.”
    Driving to the hospital I looked in the back seat of my car and saw one of Freshy’s strays curled up. I forgot about the him until we were at Rogers bedside and I opened the duffle bag that held a change of clothes and out jumped the cat. Chisel scooped him up before he could run from the room.
    “What are we going to do with that cat?” I said
    Chisel helped Roger with his clothes. “Don’t worry I’ll take care of it,” he said.
    Moments later we were at the Christmas party. Roger was really enjoying himself.
    “Thanks guys, you are truly good friends springing me from the hospital.”
    Back at the hospital the doctor in charge of the resident interns was performing rounds with a group of newbies. They entered Roger’s room. The privacy curtain was drawn around the bed. The doctor picked up the chart and read the diagnosis and prognosis. “Inoculation Lymphoreticulosis/ patient rapidly recovering.” he said.
    “Can anyone tell me what is Inoculation Lymphoreticulosis?”
    “I’m afraid not.”said one of the interns.
    The doctor pulled the privacy curtain back and with his back to the patient he stated, “It is commonly known as Cat Scratch Fever.”
    The interns all laughed. The doctor turned around and gasped dropping his clipboard when he saw nestled on the bed a sleeping cat.

  10. allie_00

    My medical bracelet had just begun to dig into my arm. A thin red crease had formed a ring around the outside of my wrist and I was reminded of how much it resembled a handcuff. I repositioned the bracelet further up my arm, close to the blue and purple veins in my wrist. The bracelet’s former residence has a sticky film where sweat tried to escape from my pores but was somewhat blocked by plastic. It smelled a little funny, as most everything does in a hospital.

    I couldn’t quite decide on which piece of fruit to choose from my numerous fruit baskets. They all looked too good to eat, really, which is a sure sign that you shouldn’t be ingesting them at all. I watched a documentary on crazy produce corporations – what they’re doing to our food industry. I had the urge to move further inland and keep my own hens. Too bad I don’t like cabins. Or camping. Or the outdoors.

    Jim and Gord said they’d be stopping by later but I’m not holding my breath. Our staff Xmas party is later tonight and they are probably already eyeing a couple of blondes at the local watering hole before joining the others at the yacht club. The last time I saw them was at our work golf tournament. The boys were hitting each other with golf carts, both about 12 beers in. I, of course, was drugged up on all sorts of medication and couldn’t even handle my usual wineberry wine cooler. But hey, they don’t judge, which I love. There’s nothing worse than those people who can’t associate with non-drinkers. Or as I like to call them, alcoholics.

    I could hear familiar laughter echoing through the normally dull, empty hallways. I made out what seemed to be screeching tires but I wasn’t exactly sure. Either way, the sound began to grow progressively louder. I looked across the room, into the hall and then back at the clock in my room. No, it can’t be them, can it?

    The wheelchair rounded the corner on its two right wheels. It narrowly escaped my IV bag hanging beside me.

    “Billbuddy! C’monlet’sgowegottablowthispopsiclestand – quick!” Jim was hovering above me, peeling off layers of blankets and reeking of gin, his spirit of choice. My hands instinctively pulled down my Robin egg blue gown.

    Gord was looking at me, pointing to the wheelchair and smiling.

    “It’s going to be a bumpy ride Bill buddy but you’re going to have a time with us tonight!”

    I went beyond my usual wildberry cooler. I had three!

    1. Delilah2011

      I like the patient’s point of view. Different from the other stories posted here, including mine. Good descriptions of people and places. Not sure I’d get in a wheel chair driven by a guy “reeking of gin”. Maybe for the breakout Gord could’ve surprised Bill by showing up sober, and then the both of them drink wildberry coolers together. All in all though, nice story.

  11. AlAuthor12

    I hate the smell of hospitals. The putrid cocktail of alcohol, hand sanitizer, bleach and hospital food linger in my nostrils as I leer over at Tracey pissed that she talked me into this asinine stunt. I mean…how far, when did the desperation of a single thirty-something woman sink below sleeping with a married man, one-night stands, patrolling for homosexual hook-ups (when obviously you’re not a lesbian and don’t have the power or wherewithal to convert a gay man), cougaring young younger and borderline jailbait guys sink all the way to this – busting the guy you fell for in the office out of the hospital, because you swear that late night Italian take-out dinner you shared was more than a late night Italian take-out dinner shared between two overworked associates? I mean, how…why did I believe Tracey when she said, “Leila, we connected and I’m telling you he’s the one!” What exactly does she mean the one? The one who paid for the meal? What’s all this about him being the one? And now, here we are in a freaking hospital closet stepping into protective gear to enter the ward with the big Red Hazmat sign and bold red cross on the double doors.
    “Ugh, Trace, what’s the plan once we enter this ward and find Rich?” I ask fastening the Velcro buttons on my green hospital jumpsuit.
    “You know Leila,” Tracy begins wrestling with the arm of her jumpsuit turning it right side in and sliding her arm through it. “I haven’t given it much thought, but now that you ask, let’s just work in the moment.”
    “In the moment, what…what does that mean exactly, in the moment?” I ask getting antsy and developing a major attitude.
    “Well, let’s just make it past the front desk and when we’re actually all clear, we’ll plan from there.” Tracey says with a troubling look of calm in her expression.
    With both our suits on and facing each other we collapse into laughter.
    “Tracey, what the hell are we doing here? This…is…insane!” I say trying to catch my breath through the laughter erupting from my belly. It is a welcome feeling replacing for once, the mini-gymnasts who had taken root in my gut practicing their triple axle flips ever since we arrived. Talk about nerves!
    “I..I..I know, Lee, I know,” Tracey uttered between breaths of laughter. “But trust me, I wouldn’t have us in here if I weren’t serious about Rich.”
    “But Trace, listen, the man has a chronic illness. Not a cold, not influenza, not even strep or mono, he has a chronic illness! Why would you plan to hijack him for the evening to take him to the office Christmas party? I mean, Trace, his boss will be there, and Stephanie knows why he’s been out for several weeks. He’s supposed to get an all-clear before he is even allowed back in the building, so I’m lost as to how you’re planning to pull this off. I mean…where are they Trace?” I ask looking up at the vents in the closet and down at the floor.
    “They…they who? Tracey asks following my eyes around the room.
    “The team from Mission Impossible who’s going to lead you through this mission using laser, surveillance, and master disguise, where the hell are they, because I know it cannot be only you and I on this impossible mission!”
    We both fall into hysterical laughter again, with tears and our breath fogging up our protective eye gear.
    Bang! Bang! Bang!
    We stop laughing and eyes bulging look at each other before turning to the banging on the closet door. Busted! The gymnasts return to my gut. My eyes search Tracey’s for answers. And then, Tracey pulls her mouth mask off and moves her lips to say: mission – is – on! Holy shit!

      1. Delilah2011

        Nice touch how the nervousness turns to laughter followed by a giggle fit. The ending is suspenseful, too – despite the prospect of getting caught, Tracey is ready to complete the mission; but not too surprising since she appears to be a little nuts anyway. Would’ve like to have seen the mission accomplished and the three characters show up at the party in their hazmat suits.

  12. asia_moon

    We paid a homeless crack head $50.00 to cause a scene at the nurse’s desk. He was happy to help us, and happy he could score some more dope to ease the cold winter on the streets The floor was understaffed, it was Christmas Eve after all, so it was easy to slip by unnoticed as 3 security guards and the 5 nurses on duty tried to sedate the flailing drug addict who was screaming hysterically.
    We raced for the car. Jude was grinning ear to ear, cheeks flushed, bright eyed and energetic. “You guys are the best!” he exclaimed breathily. Carl and I exchanged a look. It was good to see Jude looking so alive, just 2 weeks ago he was so deathly pale and frail looking, with tubes sticking out of his arms. They still didn’t know what was wrong with him.
    We cruised to the Magnolia Inn singing Christmas carols as Jude changed into a shirt and pants and tossed his hospital gown out the window, laughing heartily.
    The lobby was gaudily decorated, too bright and smelled like cinnamon scented candles. Jude looked around, a dreamy look in his eyes. There was no one at the front desk, no one in the lobby at all…. We proceeded onwards, shrugging. It was Christmas Eve after all. The gilded doors to the banquet hall were right around the corner. Carl giggled like a schoolgirl. “This is gonna be so awesome!” he muttered to himself.
    He stopped abruptly. “Jude, you go in first,” he said. Jude looked at us nervously. “What if this is a mistake, what if they flip out and take me back to that room?” he said. “Trust me, no one’s going to protest,” Carl said smoothly. I looked at him, puzzled, something was different about him. Jude pushed open the double doors with gusto, stepped in and froze. “What’s the mat-,” I began. I stepped in after Jude and gasped.
    There was blood everywhere, on the glass ceiling, blotting out the clear night sky and on the floor, everyone was lying on the floor with their throats ripped open, dead eyes gazing up, and mouths contorted in sheer terror, the room reeked of death and iron. I felt strong hands push me. Jude was also thrown to the blood soaked tiles, his blue eyes full of confusion, despair and fear.
    Carl loomed above us, laughing. I turned to look at him and screamed, his face had changed, his mouth was full of sharp teeth and his eye burned like hot coals. He raised his head skyward and let out a grizzly shriek. His fingers burst into talons and two colossal bat-like wings exploded out of his. Jude was screaming along with me, our cries echoing in the grand hall of death. Carl or what used to be Carl flapped his giant wings and rose up above us and dived down talons ripping at us, mouth full of our blood. Then….there was silence

    1. asia_moon

      oops i made a few errors

      eyes* burned….

      bat-like wings exploded out of his back*

      Thank you, I’m a young writer and your tips would be very helpful!

  13. vcp773

    Jack Bauer has nothing on me, I thought as I hugged the wall of the stairwell. The Institute of Tallahassee sits one mile from the intercoastal waterway and a 5 minute drive from our office. I made my way to the 7th floor, quietly and efficiently. I had not yet been spotted. There was no way that I was going to let Tyler miss this party. After all he is supposed to be the talent. He has worked so hard all year to get into the best shape possible so as not to be embarrassed when jumping out of the cake. That desire and determination will not be wasted if I have anything to say about that. As I peek in the crack of the door, the hallway looks fairly empty. There are rolling tables full of computer towers, monitors, and various other techincal gadgets lined up the hallway against the wall. A doctor crosses the hall right in front of my line of sight. “He’s skinny, if I had to I could take him” I say to myself. The door creeks softly as I slide into the corridor. “Room 718, there it is.” A note on the door catches my eye, Anti-virus Ver. 1.8. “Oh this is bad” I say. I slide into Tylers room. It is dark except for the television on the corner of the wall. The screen is faintly lit with no picture on it, just a blue screen and some periods. My eyes begin to adjust to the darkness and I hear Tyler breathing heavy. I look and her eyes are wide open like a picture window and fright has settled on her face. There are blue cables running into and out of her body. Thick, snakelike cords look like veins strangling her arms and legs. I follow them scared at where the destination will lead me. Tyler is writhing on the bed frantically. I pull the mask off her mouth.
    “Quick, control, alt, delete!” she says.
    She looks to the corner and all of the cords are plugged into the back of a large computer tower. The hum of the machine has taken on a life of it’s own.
    “It’s Mcafee! “, she says, ” It’s the virus!”
    Bewildered I look back at her not understanding anything she is saying.
    “Look, I called troubleshooting because I was having issues with my computer. They asked me some questions and they said it looks like I have a virus. The last thing I remember is my office door being kicked in and I wake up here, hooked up to that!” Please help me and reboot!”
    This just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense I thought to myself. Everyone has anti-virus protection on their computers. That doesn’t mean that YOU have a virus. But I do know what the blue screen of death is and for sure that is what is on the television.
    “Institute of Tallahassee, doesn’t that mean anything to you? I T…..don’t you get it. It’s all about machines. We are not the users, we are being used….NOW REBOOT.”
    “Reboot? I have to get you to the party……”
    “There is no damn party, can’t you see that? Everyone will be hooked up ….we have got to get out of here”.
    Reluctantly, I slid the keyboard out and Control….Alt…….Delete.
    When I did, the screen went black……the hum died down on the tower.
    The conenction lights on the cables quit blinking and the machine fell silent.
    ” I did it now let’s get the hell out of here.”
    As I turned towards Tyler she was not breathing. No connection. Mcafee.

  14. sputnik

    It seemed simple when Lisa and I first thought of The Great Escape. We would dress up in Santa costumes and sneak into Norman’s hospital room. We would bring an extra Santa suit for him to wear so he could slip past the nurses’ station. Then we would whisk him off to the party for a few hours,.

    Norman had been in the hospital since early November for complications related to his diabetes. He’d never been very good about taking care of himself and he was in danger of a stroke when he finally checked into the hospital. For over a month, he had been monitored, probed and prodded. Lisa and I had visited him almost every day and we could see that the time in the hospital was hard for him. He was slowly going stir-crazy and he was ready for a change of scenery. The office Christmas party was the perfect antidote for his depression.

    Friday night was the annual Santa Crawl through downtown, so a pair of female Santas wandering through the hospital during visiting hours didn’t raise any eyebrows. We walked right past the nurses’ station dressed as sexy Santas, the only costumes left in the store that day. I regretted the fishnet stockings and skimpy skirt, but I reminded myself that I was doing it for Norman. Lisa had a tote bag containing an XXXL Santa suit for Norman. Apparently there weren’t any plus-sized Santas doing the crawl that night.

    We slipped into Norman’s room and slid open the curtain partition. He was sitting up in bed, watching the evening news. “Okay, Norm—are you ready for some fun?” Lisa whispered as she placed the tote bag at the foot of his bed.

    Norman smiled at Lisa. “I can’t believe you girls are actually doing this. I’ve been waiting all day for you to get here.” Lisa rummaged in the bag and pulled out the enormous red satin jacket. “Here, put this on.” I turned back to the door to watch for the nurse on duty. Everything was going according to plan. From behind me, I heard a groan.

    We had forgotten about one thing. We didn’t have a plan for slipping a Santa suit over a 350 pound man hooked up to an IV stand.

  15. rob akers

    “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?” We heard Kathy ask rhetorically as she sat next to the hospital bed. She stared at the body that was wired like Captain Picard after he was captured by the Borg. There were wires, breathing pumps, heart monitors and other machines making noises and keeping the body alive by the force of mechanics. Kathy was neither young nor old but she was beautiful and her spirit shone like the floodlight of a monster truck. She saw us come in as we did every day at this time.

    “Good Morning.” She smiled.

    “How are things?” Randy asked.

    With a shrug and a wince. “The same as yesterday.”

    “Do you know what today is?” Randy asked.

    “No, I do not.”

    “Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Today is the day of the party and we are begging you to come with us. Everyone will be there and they can’t wait to see you. It has been a long time, too long. You haven’t left this room since the accident and it will be good for you to see some friends.” Randy spoke with a peaceful tone and a loving voice. They hadn’t known each other for long but he was nominated by everyone to be the one to get her out because he just had that way with people. He accepted the task with one caveat; if she didn’t want to leave then he wouldn’t force her. It was agreed and Randy was off to the hospital room.

    “But what if something happens while I am gone? I can’t just leave. I have to stay, there is no one else.”

    Janice spoke next. “We know how important this is to you so I will make a promise to you. If anything important happens while you are gone I will call you and you can return. The party is nearby and Randy will bring you back. Please go to the party and we will take care of everything.” Janice was the newest worker and had never met Kathy until this moment. Somehow, Kathy knew she could trust Janice to do as she promised and she was relieved to have co-workers like these.

    As they spoke the middle aged nurse came in and checked the equipment without acknowledging the group. Kathy spoke to her. “I am going to leave for a little while and my friend Janice will be here if anything happens.”

    The nurse looked up and just nodded as she went back to her work. With everything taken care of Kathy and Randy left the room. Immediately the heart rate monitor started its shrill steady tone indicating that the heart had stopped beating. The nurse paused and said a silent prayer and turned off the alarm. She called the nurse’s station and the doctor arrived a moment later. After performing his checks, he looked at his watch and stated “Time of death is 11:03.” He left the room and returned to his football game as Kathy spirit passed into the next life knowing the exact number of angels that can dance on the tip of a pin because she was one now.

    Please comment as I need all the help I can get. Happy Holidays.

    1. Egg

      I liked your solemnity and I liked your analogies but I’m not sure that the two necessarily fit together here to convey a definite ‘tone’ (eg ‘the floodlight of a monster truck’ reminds me more of a gregarious bikie chick than a beautiful dying woman). Also, Janice’s role confused me a little. (These are pretty subjective comments so I’m not sure if they help – I hope so). Keep it up and happy hols to you too.

  16. Caligwriter

    The only way this will work is with good timing, a great plan and an even better disguise. Ok. We go in just after the dinner hour and return as visiting hours are over. No will notice or care. In tow, we’ve got lots of holiday bags, filled with assorted gifts and chocolate goodies for the nurse’s station also known as bribes.

    We arrive, laughing with our ridiculous elf hats on, chortling our ‘Ho, Ho, Ho! Merry Christmas!’ and proceed to pass out the candy — laced, of course, with some of the finest, high-octane cognac we could find. It goes down smooth and blurs the senses enough. As they begin to devour these items, we make our way down the hall and burst into Room 1225. “Hey Stranger! Party’s on and you’re invited!” He smiles back. We open our gift bags and instruct him, “Here. Put these on. Hurry. We haven’t got much time. Our friend complies and we make our way into the corridor, down the back stairs and pour him into the waiting vehicle before speeding away to the party. We are laughing at our genius and the actual escape plan’s success.

    We arrive at the party, now in full swing; the usual holiday music fills the room complete with tinsel, red balls and enough lights to wrap a large sedan. Everyone there is already drunk except for us due to our tardy arrival. Easy enough to remedy as servers float by with trays of champagne. We indulge and toast our friend. Holiday greetings swirl around us as our sick friend is surrounded by the love that only this group of people can exhibit. He is delighted, stumbling around taking silly pictures before the band stops and our fearless leader takes the mike. We cringe collectively; he tells the worst jokes at these annual gigs and usually at someone’s expense. Not tonight. “Ok. Ok. You rebel-rousers.” He begins as we brace ourselves for what’s coming. “Before you all don’t remember anything, I’ve got something to say. Since one of our own is currently convalescing, I say we move the party to him. Right now! Agreed?” Applause erupts. “That’s what I thought so I’ve rented a bus. It’s outside now. Take your drinks and make haste. Visiting hours end soon.”

    We steal glances at each other and fall in line with the others. Can we beat the bus back? We’d better. Wait! Why not go with them? A perfect solution. We file in together, distract the nurses and get him back into bed before anyone is the wiser.

    This is exactly the way it went down.

    Later, after the others left, we were feeling pretty smug as our sick friend admonished, “You guys are great. Really. Thanks for the get up. You are geniuses. Santa. Brilliant.”

  17. Tami

    Had it just been me, it never would have happened. But where Perry was, there was mischief. It was his best and worst trait, all wrapped in one very tall and skinny frame. Suffice it to say that this company party will be remembered by all in attendance. Especially since the video went viral on YouTube.

    It was only a wild idea that blossomed in an evening of raucous drinking at the company party, his mostly, tequila mostly, straight, totally. After a few hours of hilarity (not funny at all to our boss, who not so ceremoniously called us a cab), we headed to the hospital to see if we could wake Brian up. He had been stuck there for way too long, and since he seemed to be destined to spend his 21st birthday AND the company party there (poor guy has some weird heart condition, he gets stuck there from time to time), we decided to take the party to him. At least that was the “plan”. The gang had called him from the party, and he sounded so sad. I could feel Perry’s wheels turning beside me. Something must be done! Me? I went along for the ride, straight man to his stand up comedy, as always.

    We weren’t exactly following a well-laid out script, mind you. We had a few details that hadn’t passed the company roundtable discussion.

    Like the part where we found some scrubs in a side room, his for someone at least 8 inches shorter (everyone is at least 8 inches shorter than Perry), or the part where we borrowed an unoccupied stretcher. I became the patient, covered by some sheet he found somewhere and using the natural groans that were arising from his not too gentle handling of my tequila-infused body to give the effect some credence. To this day I cringe to think what might have been on that sheet.

    Or the part where we burst into Brian’s room, singing “Auld Lang Syne”, and herded him onto that same stretcher, under the sheet, and right back out the door. Wild-eyed with shock, Brian was so overcome by Perry’s nutty enthusiasm that he had no chance to object. Somehow we managed to fly under the radar (still can’t figure that one out…can’t really remember, truth be told), call a cab, and show back up at the party, to a rousing applause from our work buddies.

    By then the boss had polished off what was left of the Jose Cuervo…she was, in fact, making out in the corner with one of the least desirable underling employees when we arrived (it’s all there in the video), so all in all, she forgave our recklessness and acted as prim as a school marm come the new year.

    And Brian? Well, he finally got the date he was hoping for with his nurse, whose number he managed to snag on his way out (on the pretense of wanting to have it for medical advice). And he’s out for his birthday. We like to think we inspired him…but we’ll never know for sure.

  18. jmiff328

    The plan was terrible as plans go. Redding and I were not thinking about the things that could go wrong. If we had been thinking then we would have never tried to break him out. Joey was scooped up by the CDC van last week on a routine street cleaning. They have sensors on top of the vans that can detect the virus on anyone within twenty-five yards. Joey was standing outside our apartment smoking- a habit that I always told him would kill him. He would say “Dude, we live in a world full of zombies. Why the hell would I care about smoking?” I knew where they took the “infected”. It was just a matter of breaking in and getting Joey out without getting caught. Being caught inside the walls of the hospital compound would be a fate worse than death. There are always stories floating around of people who are not sick at all being taken and infected for research purposes. The compound is housed in what used to be Methodist Memorial Hospital, and is surrounded by prison-style razor-wire. The fence is electrified and the only way in is through the front gate which houses a minimum of ten ex-soldiers who get bonuses every time they shoot a trespasser.
    We made the hour drive in silence. We stopped the car a few blocks away from the compound so we wouldn’t be spotted. We got out and suited up, crossed over third street on foot, and made our way down the back alley leading to the compound. It had just started to drizzle and the temperature had dropped to twenty at least. This, I hoped, would work to our advantage. The guards should be inside the shack and slow to respond. We made it within thirty yards before we saw the first guard checking the perimeter fence. “So much for them being inside” I thought but didn’t say. We were too close and speaking now would ensure our quick demise. Redding dropped the guard by the fence just as he was turning to go back to the shack. The silencer seemed loud in the dead night air but nothing inside the shack stirred. We stayed low and shoulder to shoulder as we made our way to the well lit boundary. I knew if we could get inside the rest was easy. The doctors were just that, doctors, they weren’t trained to handle a break in, that’s what these guys were for.
    I’d like to say it went as easy as I had hoped, but it didn’t. We killed all the shack guards without issue but once inside things got dicey fast. We were led deeper into the compound and quickly lost our way. We finally made it to the top floor after thirty minutes inside. Time was not on our side at that point. The guards were supposed to check in every twenty minutes and they were ten minutes overdo. We found Joey in his room and I think we both knew that he wasn’t well at that point. His eyes were sunken in and his lips were pulled tight against his teeth. It was his bodies way of beginning to shed things it didn’t need any more, like lips and hair. The way back out was nothing short of a miracle. We ran into three guards and five doctors before they decided to let the infected out. Apparently catching us was worth risking the rest worlds safety. We heard them before we saw them which is always the case. The moaning of hunger coming from the mouths of the dead is a sound as gut wrenching as it gets. We turned the corner in to what we thought was an exit and we were blocked by a wall of dead at least a hundred thick. I emptied three clips and Redding emptied at least that many before we made it out. We ran to the car with the last bit of strength we had and hit the road towards home. Joey hadn’t said a word since we busted him out and we both knew why. It was a just matter of time before we would have to end his life but we wanted to make it home for one last drink before it was over. It was Christmas for god sakes! I remember thinking about how depressing this all was when Redding screamed in the seat beside me. I turned to see Joey biting into his shoulder like a rabid dog. I looked back at the road but it was too late. Suddenly everything was upside down and the metal crunching sound was still not louder than Redding’s screaming. I must have passed out because when I woke everything was silent. The car was empty and I crawled out wondering why no one had shown up to help. My head was killing me and I was still in shock but I didn’t have long to think because not too far away I heard the unmistakable sound of a woman screaming..


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