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12 Days in Hell


The sun was high in the sky, and it shone its light and warmth over everything it
touched. The sky was blue, with a few fluffy clouds here and there. The traffic was
decent, considering the time of day, and the weather couldn't have been more welcoming.
Danny loved his job, but he was always happy to be going home where he could
relax for a while and spend a little time with Molly before she headed off for work. Every
time she left the house he missed her, and he knew that every time he went to work she
missed him too.
————
There was just something lonely, Molly thought, about being in the house without
the companionship of their love.
When it came to work, she and Danny left their home life at the door and focused on
their jobs. Truth be known, they both stayed too busy while they were working to notice
that they were lonely.
She was employed at a local hospital. She washed the sheets, helped out in the
cafeteria, and offered nice warm blankets to the patients—basically, anything that needed
to be done.
As she pushed the heavy gray container full of dirty blankets and bed sheets down
the hallway to the elevator that led to the basement where the washer and dryers were,
she felt a little sad—that her husband hadn't got the promotion, and for the patients in the
hospital, and that she didn't have children of her own.
She pushed the morose thoughts out of her mind and started to wash and dry the
sheets and blankets. After a couple of hours had passed, she was feeling much better. She
was even smiling and humming a happy song while she made her way from room to
room offering blankets to the patients.
She felt good in her heart that she was actually doing something to help people in
need. She knew she couldn't make friends with the patients but she was happy to help
them none the less. From floor to floor and hall to hall she would ask them if there was
anything that she could do to make their stay more comfortable.
Most of the time she was either asked to turn on the television set in the room or to
change the channels. Every now and then she was asked to raise or lower the bed to make
it more comfortable. All she knew was that she was happy to help.
————
The Ambulance rolled in with lights flashing, sirens wailing, and screeching tires.
Two young paramedics jumped out and flung open the back door. They rolled the
gurney out as smoothly as they could while moving as fast as they were able.
One of the doctors met them at the door and asked what the patient's symptoms were.
“Blurred vision, slurred speech, going from icy cold to burning hot, vomiting and
diarrhea.” said the younger of the two paramedics.
The doctor escorted them all to an empty examination room, where they began by
taking the old man's temperature and blood pressure.
Whatever this illness was, it was new, so they ran a few tests to see what it was
doing to his body. They kept him in room 502 while they ran the different procedures and
read the scans.
Something was attacking the man's brain and nervous system.
Seconds turned to minutes and minutes turned to hours, and the patient's breathing
grew more labored.
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