What if Laura and Sam had switched places? What if Sam had gotten blood poisoning instead of Laura? And what if they didn't get the penicillin in time?
Just to be clear, Sam didn't do what Laura did at the Taxi. She helped the people out still, but she didn't cut her leg getting over the taxi. Let's just say, Sam got there sooner, and he cut his leg helping her over the taxi.
Forms of Law Enforcement Through the Years
What We Do, a memoir of Chicago Police Officers
How to Become an FBI Agent for Dummies
I pinched the bridge of my nose between my gloved fingers, trying to desperately stop the headache that was currently pounding in my head. All I could be thankful for was that the library was quiet, and Elsa wasn't saying anything to add to the pain. I could barely hear anyone over the blood pounding in my ears, making even more painful thumps to my already throbbing head.
But, as bad as my head was hurting, it still couldn't numb the pain in my lower left calf. I knew I had cut it on the taxi when I took Laura in the library, but I didn't think it was much more than a little cut. And that it was. It couldn't have been bigger than my hand, but it hurt like hell to touch or even to walk on. The skin around it was red and inflamed, but I figured it would be just a small infection. I couldn't afford to get sick. Not now, at least.
My stack of books next to me looked pathetic, with only five or so books in it. I looked over at Elsa's pile of books, who was over in seventeenth century literature, and saw that she was already on her fifth pile of books, with each pile having at least ten books in it. I threw my three law enforcement books into my pile, and went back to finding suitable books to go into the burn pile.
However, right when I picked up a copy of Inside the Car, it felt as if a knife had just been dug into my leg, and had been twisted multiple times. I felt all the air go out of my lungs, as I dropped my book on the floor and hunched over, letting out inaudible gasps of pain. My hands gripped around my leg, but not near the cut. I apparently went too close to the cut, because, before I could stop it, a small howl of pain escaped my lips. I saw out of the corner of my eye, Elsa look up from her pile, concern written all over her face. She jogged over quickly, her hands moving frantically around me, not sure what to do or how to help.
"Sam!" She all but yelled, her hands still waving around me, somewhat making me more dizzy than I already was. "Oh my God, what's wrong? Are you going to be sick? Did you break something? Maybe you have-" I cut her off, reaching up and stopping her frantic hands from making me sick. I just sat there with my eyes shut, breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, focusing on not moaning in pain again.
"Sam," Elsa tried again, this time much softer and calmer. She laid her hand on my shoulder, prompting me to look up at her, not too quickly though. My face felt sticky and warm, and I absently felt cold sweat dripping down my temple.
I attempted to give her a small smile of reassurance, but it came out more as a grimace of pain, even if it truly was. I waited a few seconds to regain my voice, knowing if I didn't, I would be sick right away, and that wouldn't help the situation.
"I'm okay," My voice was hoarse and barely audible, but she heard it by the way her face showed relief for the briefest second, before it quickly melted back into concern.
"You were screaming in pain a minute ago, you're incredibly warm and sweating, and you look like you're about to be sick. You don't sound or look okay, Sam," She said gently, her eyes warm and caring.
I shook my head, shifting my body slightly, so that I was flat on my bottom. I felt the pressure come off my leg, and felt a small ounce of relief.
"Really, I am okay. I just caught a cut on my leg on the bookshelf, and it was much more painful than I expected. It caught me off guard, so I really didn't expect it either."
Her face still held concern, but I saw curiosity add to her features as well. Her head tilted ever so slightly to the side, and her eyes became more slanted than usual.
"How did you cut your leg?" She asked, her focus being shifted away from my little episode I just had.
"Caught it on a taxi when the tidal wave came in. It's no big deal, really, Elsa. Like I said, I just caught it the wrong way." I told her, somewhat, honestly. It was true. I did get the cut from the taxi when the wave came in. And I did catch it the wrong way. The very, very wrong way.
She didn't look completely convinced, but she gave me a small smile anyway, and sat down next to me, reaching for the book I dropped.
"Here, let me help you with your pile. It looks pathetic, to be honest."
I chuckled, leaning over to the bookcase. "Yeah, but we shall see at the end."
I tossed once again on the slick leather couch, letting out a small cough. I've tossed and turned for the past hour, and nothing seems to help me go to sleep, or extinguish the pain in my leg.
Everyone else drifted off about an hour ago, relishing in the fire's warmth. It was true, we did make an amazing fire with the books we gathered. But, it chose a bad night to be warm enough. I had already been sweating before the fire was started, but now it felt as if someone put the fire on my body. My forehead was sweating profusely, and every other part of my body was flushed crimson.
I felt the stabbing pain that I had felt in the library earlier about fifteen times in the past hour, and it takes all my self control not to yell or scream or howl in pain, and awaken everybody. It wouldn't do anything for me at all, except a lot of explaining.
Suddenly, my leg exploded with the pain I had been much too familiar with over the past few days. However, this pain seemed much worse than the previous experiences. I grit my teeth together in pain and frustration, wondering how long this was going to go on before it healed. The pain amped up its scale, as the pain took on a new blinding quality. The pain was excruciating, and I felt myself balance on the line of unconsciousness. My eyes started drooping closed, and I let fatigue drag me away from the pain that hopefully would be gone when I came back.
It's about nine or so in the morning when the majority of us woke up, judging by the sunlight that shown through the large windows and onto the dark carpet. We had all woken up at around the same time, but Sam was still asleep, even now when it was a couple hours later. I estimated it was around noon or one in the afternoon, which was late even for Sam.
I got up from my position on the couch to walk over to the opposite leather couch by the fireplace, and put my hand on Sam's shoulder, shaking him gently.
"Sam," I said quietly, shaking him a little bit harder. "You need to wake up."
He still didn't stir, so I raised my voice and increased the shaking.
"Sam," I spoke in my normal tone. "Come on, it's passed noon."
Still, nothing was happening. I started getting a growing pit of anxiety that was pooling in my stomach, and resorted to grabbing both of his shoulders and shaking him with full force and yelling his name.
Before I could yell anything to him, however, he slumped out of my grip and fell to the floor, still unconscious. At this point, I yelled at everyone to get in the living room, and was in full blown panic mode. He might've frozen in the night, or had a heart attack, or even had a stroke. At this point, anything was possible. I didn't notice any signs of pain or discomfort in him earlier, but apparently something was wrong because he was lying on the floor unconscious.
"Oh no, Sam. Oh no no no no no. Sam! Wake Up! Oh God, please wake up." I yelled at him, shaking his shoulders, about to do anything to get him back and awake and conscious and back with me.
"What happened?" I heard a whisper behind me, but couldn't decipher who had said it, or even care who said it. All that was on my mind now, was making sure Sam was okay and alive.
Elsa came into my view from my right, and quietly lifted his left pant leg up. I heard her gasp, and I looked down at his leg, shocked at what I saw.
His whole leg was swollen and crimson red, a large cut racing down his calf, all the way down to his ankle. The skin around the cut was a much deeper red and inflamed, and by the looks of it, the cut and the leg were severely infected.
"Blood poisoning," Elsa said beside me. She had snuck up silently beside me, and was now looking at Sam's leg and body, with a sad and tragic expression, expressing exactly what I didn't want to happen. Sam had to make it. He led us here and kept us alive this long, he had to be able to keep himself alive as well. At least until his dad made it, if he was even coming. The storm could've killed him already, like so many of us were convinced, but didn't voice our opinions to Sam.
"How do we cure it?" I whispered, feeling a sense of brokenness and guilt seeping in through my veins. If there was no cure, he was going to die, and it would be all my fault. I was the one who went to taxi to help. I was the one who Sam helped to safety. I was the one who got him that cut on his leg, and I would be the one responsible for his death.
"He needs a large dose of penicillin immediately," She told me, her voice somber. There was no hope in her voice, just regret and loss. She was talking like Sam was already dead, and while I know she doesn't mean to, I felt my blood boiling inside my veins. She's not even trying to save him while there's still a chance! He's not dead, but he will be if we don't try.
"But," She continued in the same regretful tone. "There's no penicillin anywhere in the library. And we can't go outside, or else the storm will kill us as well."
I felt the tears prick the corner of my eyes, and I felt one slip down my cheek. Sam couldn't die this way. He's supposed to go on and live and have a great job and marry a lucky girl and have children and it just couldn't end this way.
"Is there anything else we can do?" I asked brokenly, leaning over Sam's body, willing those bright blue eyes to open and look at me and just say everything would be okay. He would get through this. But, it didn't seem like that would happen at this point, no matter how much I wanted it to.
"No," Elsa said back, her eyes starting to glimmer with unshed tears that were threatening to break. She didn't continue her sentence. She was probably afraid, like I am, that if she says anymore, she'll completely lose it and break down.
I laid my hand on his forehead, closing my eyes. His forehead was incredibly warm to the touch, and I involuntarily shuddered at the heat waves cascading from his head. I sat still for however long, just relishing in the few minutes or hours he had that heat left in his body, and then he would go stone cold. He would be gone, and we would be gone shortly afterwards, considering he's the reason we're all still alive.
Suddenly, there was a noise outside of the door. I stiffened, wondering if the next stage of the storm had arrived or not. It could be people, but that's highly unlikely. Not in these temperatures.
Something started pressing against the door, making it shake with force, bound to bust open. I heard people behind me back away, afraid what was on the other side. I was too, but nothing could make me leave Sam's side. Not now.
The door finally broke, revealing the one person I was convinced wouldn't come, and Sam was:
Jack Hall. Sam's father. He did make it, just like Sam had been saying.
But, as much as I was happy to see him, I didn't want to explain that the son he had been trying to rescue, was quickly dying. I don't think he could handle hearing it, as much as I couldn't handle saying it.
"Mr. Hall," I breathed, looking around at my friends. They looked just as equally shocked, but sadness lingered as well.
Jack nodded in response, but his eyes quickly fell on his unconscious son, and he immediately walked over next to him, crouching down. I could see panic written on his face, and I felt a lump grow in my throat at the thought of telling him what was happening.
"Sam," He said, his voice low and calm, trying to mask panic and confusion. He shook his shoulder, losing more and more of his composure. He shook harder, talked louder, but Sam wasn't waking up. He looked up at me, not wanting to believe what he saw.
"What's wrong with him?" He questioned, looking down at his only son with sadness and grief. I just looked back behind me at Elsa, silently asking her to step up and say what I couldn't. She saw my unshed tears, and scooted up beside me.
"Mr. Hall," She started, her voice gravelly low. "Your son contracted blood poisoning when he cut his leg on a taxi during the storm surge. The poisoning is in a very advanced stage and," She took a break, clearing her throat of unshed tears and sadness. "I'm afraid if we don't have any penicillin, " She looked up at him through watery eyes, portraying everything he and I didn't want to hear.
"What?" Mr. Hall questioned, his eyes wide with panic. "What's going to happen if we can't get penicillin?" He knew what would happen, he just didn't want to hear it as much as I did. Hearing it, made it a reality we would have to face.
"He'll die," She whispered, her face void of all color. The tears were now running down her face, and her voice wavered, even with those two small words.
Those two words, however, destroyed Mr. Hall's, and my, world. There wasn't any chance of having penicillin, and without that, Sam was gone. He was practically dead now, all that was keeping him going was the slow, sluggish pace of his heartbeat, slowing each and every minute.
Mr. Hall paled, and automatically went into search mode, a last desperation for a father who's son was laying on his death bed. He asked all of us to help him look for penicillin, but I stayed with Sam, smoothing down his hair and whispering kind words.
It wasn't until about fifteen minutes later, when I felt Sam's chest still under my hand. Ice water hot through my veins, panic gripping me like a vice. I shook his shoulders, his arms, anything to be able to get him to awake.
"Mr. Hall!" I screamed, the same desperation that he had, now lacing my voice. This couldn't be finished. He wasn't done here.
Mr. Hall came rushing over, his face mirroring mine. He put his hands on his sons chest, and I heard him choking back a sob. He moved my hands out of the way, and quickly started doing CPR.
He went on with CPR for about three minutes, when he finally broke down, surrendering to the sobs that continually racked his body. He laid his head on Sam's unmoving chest, crying for the son he lost.
I let my tears flow as well, letting every emotion, just come over me. I didn't care about composing myself, or restraining myself. All care for composure and restrain died away when Sam did.
I didn't pay attention when the others came back. I simply grieved for the friend I lost to an injury that was simple "caught the wrong way".
Wrote this a long time ago….back when I couldn't write too well. Gah, I think I wrote it about the time Day After Tomorrow came out. Woah.