There wasn't time for the driver to stop. He had just come around the corner- there was no way he could have seen the man! There was no way he could have swerved in time. He couldn't even see the traffic light! It wasn't his fault!
And yet here was the ambulance, swinging around the corner to pick up the man in his dorky rainbow suspenders and childish vest. The siren screamed as the paramedics slammed on the brakes and rushed out with the gurney. They pulled the man out from under the car, and the driver had to look away.
So much blood.
"He's not breathing," said one of the paramedics.
"I don't even have a heartbeat," said the other.
A crowd was gathering, surrounding the now dented and blood splattered truck, and causing the driver who sat on the curb even more guilt. He felt horribly sick and weighed down, and the inquisitive stares weren't helping. There were murmurs running through the crowd as the witnesses explained what had happened.
The paramedics packed up the bloody man in the back of the ambulance and sped away, leaving a very confused crowd and one horribly traumatized driver.
"We'll have to do surgery if we're going to save him," said the doctor.
"But doctor, he's out cold!" exclaimed the nurse. "We can't get his consent, and there's no one to give us permission."
"Then we'll have to just go right ahead," the doctor replied solomnly. "Did you find any identification on him?"
"No," she answered. "There was only a card for a day care center in Boulder."
"Call them," the doctor told her. "Describe the man. Ask them if they know who he is."
The phone at Pine Tree Day Care Center rang amidst all the noise. Mrs. Fowler ran to get it, muttering, "I hope that's Mork." She picked up the phone and said, "Mork, you're two hours late! The children have been waiting for you and-."
"Ma'am?" said the voice on the other end. She certainly wasn't Mork. "Um, my name is Lisa Megis; I'm a nurse at Denver Hospital. I'm calling to find out if you know a man with brown hair, blue eyes-."
"Is he wearing rainbow suspenders?" Mrs. Fowler asked in horror.
"Yes, ma'am, he is."
Mrs. Fowler swallowed. "And… he's in the hospital now?"
"What happened to Mork?!" she cried, causing the children to fall silent and listen.
"He's been hit by a car, ma'am. We need to perform surgery, and we must get the consent of a family member-."
Mrs. Fowler interrupted her again. "I have to call Mindy. She's the only family he's got."
"Ma'am, please, if you could just give us her number, we'll call her and everything will be much faster."
Mrs. Fowler took a deep, shuddering breath, nodded, and told the nurse the number.
Mindy Mconnell was on her way out the door when the phone rang. She spun around on her heel, accidently took the long way around the couch, and answered it in an out of breath voice. She was late for her job interview.
"Hello?" she panted.
"Is this Mindy Mconnell?" asked the other person.
"Yes. Who is this?"
"Mrs. Mconnell, I'm a nurse at Denver Hospital. We need to perform surgery on your husband. If you could just-."
"On Mork?" she asked, confused.
The nurse paused. "…Yes, that seems to be his name."
Mindy gaped. "Mork needs… surgery?"
Slowly, the nurse explained the situation again. Mindy heard her words, but couldn't get her mind to process. Finally, she forced herself to speak. "Y-yes, you can perform the surgery. But you need to wait until I get there. There's something I need to explain."
She slammed the phone down and practically sprinted out of the apartment, causing Mr. Bickley to yell at her angrily. Mearth wasn't home, and there was no time to call for him.
The doctor rolled his eyes when he heard Mindy's request. "We're going to have to proceed with the surgery right away if there's any chance of him surviving."
"I understand," said the nurse. "She gave us her consent, so we can begin."
The doctor walked to the operating room, snapped on his rubber gloves, and began to remove the pieces of metal lodged inside the man.
Mindy leapt into her jeep and landed awkwardly, causing a sharp pain to go up her leg. She jammed the key in the ignition, but the car wouldn't start. She cranked the key again and again, willing the engine to turn. Finally, it roared to life, and she was gone.
"Nurse?" the doctor said, concerned. They had removed most of the metal from the patient, and were examining his internal organs. "Something's wrong with this man."
The nurse stepped forward, the thermometer in her hand. "He's only sixty-three degrees!" she exclaimed.
"He doesn't have a heart," stuttered one of the surgeons.
"But the monitor's going!" stated another.
One of them stared at the sight before him, horrorfied. "This isn't right…."
The intercom rang. "Dr. Lucas, there's a woman to see you. She says it concerns a man named Mork?"
"That's his name," said the nurse, gesturing to the man on the table.
The doctor hurried over to the wall and held down the button to respond. "Send her immediately. I'm in OR 3."
Not even two minutes later, a flustered woman with brown hair and anxious eyes burst straight through the doors of the operating room, yelling "Stop! Stop the operation!"
A nurse came flying in behind her. "Ma'am, you can't be in here. They're operating." She grabbed the woman's arm and pulled- hard.
"I need to talk to the doctor about Mork!" the woman continued. "There's something I need to explain!"
"Let her in," commanded Dr. Lucas.
The nurse released her death grip on the woman, turned promptly on her heel, and stormed away. The woman turned to Dr. Lucas. "Doctor, my husband, he's-."
"Who are you?" asked Dr. Lucas.
"I'm Mindy Mconnell, and that's my husband you have on the operating table," she said, panting. Mindy Mconnell cringed away from the sight of her husband, unable to take the blood and open wounds. "And, if you may have noticed, he's not… normal."
"Oh, you mean besides the fact that he doesn't have a heart?" jeered one of the surgeons.
"Yes. See, Mork isn't… human, I guess. He's an… an alien."
Silence filled the operating room, broken only by the sound of metal tools clattering to the ground.
The heart monitor began to beep urgently and insistantly. The man- no, creature- on the table began to twitch and convulse. It coughed and blood bubbled up to its lips.
"Do something!" Mindy shrieked. "He's dying!"
Confused, the surgeons and doctor panicked. They didn't know what to do with something so far from being human. "Maybe we can shock him!" suggested one of them.
"We can't do that!" another argued. "We don't know where his heart is!"
"No, it'd be like putting cat blood in a human."
"Somebody call Dr. House!"
The surgeon who made the joke earned a slap from the nurse and glares from the rest of the surgeons, along with a wail of despair from Mindy. She sunk to her knees and began to sob. For the joke had made her see how hopeless it all was.
Mork coughed, and more blood came up. His arms and legs went into uncontrollable spasms, knocking tools off the table and forcing the surgeons back. His head banged on the table a few times, and his eyes snapped open wide and rolled back into his skull.
A wind began to blow through the room. Random objects flew from their places at dangerous speeds, causing them all to duck down for fear of being hit. Mindy crawled across the floor to the table, whimpering in fright. "Mork," she whispered. "Mork."
Mindy pulled herself up to see her husband's dying face. He was frightening like this, pumping even more blood from his body. Mindy's hair blew around her face in the tornado of wind ripping around the room. She gripped his twitching hand in hers.
Suddenly, his eyes were watching hers. The wind didn't die, but Mork stopped twitching, not noticing that his chest was cut open, or that there was blood spilling from his mouth with every breath. He looked deep into Mindy's teary eyes, his hand tightening its grip on hers as if it were his only lifeline.
"Your eyes are leaking," he whispered.
The wind suddenly stopped. The things that were soaring through the air dropped to the ground. Mork's eyes glazed over.
"Oh no," Mindy gasped. "No, no, not Mork."
"I want to thank you all for coming today," began Fred as he stared out upon the many faces seated in front of him, "and for paying your respects to our beloved Mork."
Jeanie placed her hand in Mindy's, and dotted her friend's eyes with a handkerchief. Mindy merely stared at the ground, her tears falling silently. Mearth sat next to her quietly, too young to truly understand what was going on. Grandma sat on his other side, dreading the fact that she would need to explain to him that his father was gone.
Remo choked back his tears with comfort from Mr. Bickley. Glenda Faye and Nelson Flavor cried on each other's shoulders. Exidor patiently waited his turn to speak.
Fred was afraid to turn around and glance at the open casket behind him, scared of looking at Mork's face without hearing a "How ya doin', Pops?"
"Would anyone like to say a few words?" he asked the audience.
Jeanie met Remo's eyes, and the two stood. "We have something we'd like to say," said Jeanie. "Mork was a wonderful person, and although we didn't get to see him very often, he always brightened our day."
"We're going to miss him," Remo added.
They sat down again to gentle applause. Mr. Bickley took their place. "I wrote a poem about Mork," he said. "I was planning to put it in a greeting card for Christmas, but…," he trailed off. "Well, here goes.
"Mork, he's one swell guy
Never one to make you cry
Always there to make you laugh
Took a picture of me in the bath." Mr. Bickley broke down in tears, as did several others, and took his seat again.
Exidor jumped out of his seat. "I have something I'd like to say," he yelled. He looked around, daring someone to defy him. When no one did, he continued. "Me and all my friends," he began, gesturing to the empty space behind him. Everyone turned to see who he was talking about, and looked confused when they saw nothing. Exidor continued, "have known Mork for a very long time. We were there for him every time he needed someone, and all the times he didn't. Mork was my best friend, and we will let you know when we get through to the spirit world to communicate with him."
He gathered up his robes and sat down again to a smattering of puzzled applause.
A voice very few of them had heard before spoke, deep and booming like a clap of thunder. "I have a few things I would like to say in memory of Mork."
Orson stood from where he sat at the back and walked to the front with his head held high. He stood next to Fred, causing the man to look extremely dwarfed and cringe away in fear. A boy who looked no older than ten stood beside him with a sense of superiority.
"Many of you do not know who I am," Orson stated, "or, for that matter, what I am. My name is Orson. I am the leader of the planet Ork, where Mork was born."
Whispers spread through the group like wildfire. The secret was out. Everyone who could think now knew that Mork wasn't human.
"I sent him to Earth for the highly important task of observing your primitive planet. He was to send reports back to me every week, to help us understand what kind of creatures you Earthlings were. He did his job well, and I'm sorry to lose him. My day was never complete without hearing a fat joke from him. The best doctor's on Ork have already examined him, and there is nothing we can do. Mindy," he said.
Mindy looked up, her face expressionless.
"I'm very sorry for you. Despite him being what he was, you still cared for and accepted him. We would clone him, but there is no way to clone something dead into something living." He stepped back, and the child stepped forward.
"I am (he stuck out his tongue and blew a raspberry), the wisest elder on Ork. Mork was the closest thing I ever had to a friend, and I am sad to see him go. However, I am also very glad, because if it weren't for Mork, I would have never experienced emotions. I thank you, Mork, for bringing such wonderful things into my life." The elder then bowed his head and kicked his feet back three times; the highest gesture of respect an Orkan can perform.
Their bodies glowed, and suddenly there was only Fred in front of them.
The rest of them took turns to say things, no matter how short, and a few even mentioned that now they knew Mork was an alien, all his strange habits made sense. Some laughed at this, some cried even harder. The only ones who said nothing were Mearth, who didn't understand, and Mindy, who was catatonic.
They filed by the casket, Mindy last. Grandma had taken Mearth away from the body, not wanting him to see. When Mindy passed by the casket, she paused, studying his face, memorizing each line. She bent down, taking his cold hand in hers, and pressed her lips to his dead ones. "Mork," she whispered.
As she walked away, it began to rain.