My name is Henry James. And I’m Sunny Alexander and we’re writers for Dark Sides of the Truth Magazine.
It all started with a car crash and hooking up with a ghost.
Now here we are, paired up to write a story which keeps getting more bizarre by the minute.
Doctor Baxter Huntley, a very dead Doctor Huntley, who has been lurking in the hallways of County Medical for almost twenty five years, is now telling us what happened the night tornadoes battered two school buses like a pair of pinatas.
“Me and Charlie kept at it, standing at that operating table for hours. There was so much blood, so much blood.”
Baxter stared at the floor.
“The floor got slippery. We actually had to lay bed sheets down to stand on. As soon as we got one stable enough to move, the nurses wheeled them out and we put another on the table. We were saving lives dammit and then the most ironic thing happened.”
We waited as Doc Huntley shook his head and offered us a wry grin.
“That’s when we found out we’d run out.”
“Run out of what?”
“We ran out of blood Henry. Most of those kids were really messed up inside. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen so much internal hemorrhaging in my life. They were bleeding out almost as fast as Charlie and I could open them up, find the damage and suture. The only way to give them and us a chance was to keep pushing whole units into them.”
“We’d tapped the bank so hard trying to save these kids lives we had no more to give.”
“Couldn’t you get more?”
“From where Sunny? The nearest blood bank was at least two hours away. These kids didn’t have two hours. I started yelling at Charlie to find us some O positive. Told him I didn’t care how the hell he did it, but he’d better find us some and fast.”
“Why O positive?”
“The most compatible blood type. Less, to almost no, rejection.”
Doctor Huntley winked and grinned.
“Very good dear. We may just make a doctor out of you yet.”
“No thanks. I’m better off writing about it. The sight of blood makes me queasy.”
“Excuse me Doc. Not trying to cut you short here, but did Charlie manage to find the O positive?”
“Sorry Henry. Yes he did. Which brings us to the three children and my two boys Charlie pronounced. Did I tell you folks Charlie kept a journal?”
“What does that have to do with this?”
“Everything Henry. It has everything to do with it. Charlie kept a journal and he wrote in that blasted thing every single day. Told us all he was going to write a personal memoir one day and get it published.”
“Good luck with that. I’ve published three books and it ain’t all that easy.”
Something we should note here folks. There are some writers who won’t pass an opportunity to let you know they’re published. Vain, inglorious, pompous asses that they are.
And then there are other writers who just don’t give a damn if they’re published or not. Despite the fact it lends credibility to their lackluster writing career.
Again, we’ll let you figure out which of us is which.
“What’s important about the journal Baxter?”
“Like I said Miss Alexander, Charlie wrote in that journal every day. Even that night he was writing in it. You remember those five children pronounced, two of them being my boys?”
We both nodded.
“Charlie was furiously scribbling in his journal as he stepped from body to body. I had no idea what the hell he was doing and sure as hell didn’t have time to ask him. Hell, there were times I couldn’t even find him. All night long I was up to my elbows in body after body, trying to keep those kids alive. I needed him assisting and he was nowhere to be found.”
The form of Doctor Baxter’s image begin to waver.
“Next week Charlie intends to tear this place down. As head of the hospital board he approved building a family wellness center here. When the demolition starts the journal will be lost forever. It’s here. I know it’s here. I remember the following morning when we left County Medical together. He didn’t have it with him. It’s got to be somewhere in this room. Find it, and you’ll find the rest of the story.”
The next moment Baxter Huntley was gone.
“You have got to be freaking kidding me. For real? He just decides to vanish on our ass now? Is he fucking serious?”
“Calm down Henry.”
“Dammit Sunny, don’t tell me to calm down. If I want to get pissed, I’m gonna get pissed.”
“Okay, stress boy, listen up. Start asking questions. Isn’t it what you do best?”
“You mean like why the good doctor would suddenly bail on our ass?”
“No Henry. Like what’s in the journal Doctor Huntley needs us to find? How is it connected to those five kids being pronounced dead? What caused Baxter to lose his license to practice medicine? Those kinds of questions. I guarantee you, if we find the answers to all of those questions we’ll have a hell of a story on our hands.”
“Ah shit. Well I’m not about to start tearing this place apart until I know the reason for finding the damned thing in the first place. We need to go back to my room and do more research.”
“Really? You want to corroborate the information before you publish it? What a novel concept.”
“You know what Alexander? You can just kiss my ass.”
“I’m not really feeling the love here James.”
When we got back to the room, we fired up and began pouring over anything we could find about Baxter Huntley, him getting stripped of his medical license and of course, Charles, Charlie, Macy.
Although we each were browsing at our own speed, it seemed we both stumbled across the same article almost at the same time.
“Okay check this out Henry. This is the reason Baxter lost his license.”
“The one published just before he offed himself?”
“Yeah, I’m reading the same article.”
“Really? You seem to be catching on to this information search thing pretty well.”
“Give it a rest Sunny. So if I’m reading this right the problem didn’t start until the following week when the kid’s bodies were processed at the respective funeral homes of the families?”
“Right. Remember what Baxter said? They lost eighteen kids that night.”
“Yeah, and according to this he and Charlie saved forty one kids and the adult driver of the other bus. The problem began with the five children.”
“Am I reading this right Henry? None of the five kids, including Baxter’s own sons had any blood in their bodies?”
“Not as much as they should have.”
We both peered over the tops of our laptops at one another.
“Are you thinking what I’m thinking Henry?”
“I bet every damn one of those kids was O positive. And I bet they weren’t dead when Charlie was making notes in his journal. So how did he know?”
“Remember what Baxter said? They did CBC panels on all of the kids.”
“What the hell is a CBC panel?
“Complete Blood Count. That means, Charlie knew those kids were all O positive Henry. He’d seen the test results.”
“Ah holy shit. So Charlie was bleeding those kids dry to give Baxter what he needed at the operating table?”
“Yeah, Charlie was playing God that night and he sacrificed both of Baxter’s sons to do it.”
READ ON — PAGING DOCTOR BAXTER HUNTLEY CONCLUSION
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