A.W. Hartoin - Mercy Watts 04 - Drop Dead Red

Free A.W. Hartoin - Mercy Watts 04 - Drop Dead Red by A.W. Hartoin

Book: A.W. Hartoin - Mercy Watts 04 - Drop Dead Red by A.W. Hartoin Read Free Book Online
Authors: A.W. Hartoin
Tags: Mystery: Cozy - P.I. - St. Louis
    “Whatever happened.”  
    “Nothing happened. Go get Brittany before she runs out into traffic.”  
    “Right. I’ll get her and then I’ll kill her.” Christine spun around and marched out.  
    “Mrs. Silverstein, are you okay?” I asked my wide-eyed patient.
    “What?” she yelled.  
    I peeled her hands off her ears. “Are you okay?”
    “I’m fine. What’s wrong with that girl? She seems to have a nervous condition.”  
    “That’s one way to put it. Brittany’s just a little high strung.”  
    “Then, honey, you better tell her that nursing’s not for her. This is just a little ear infection. What’ll happen when somebody chops their foot off?”  
    “Heaven knows.” I got out a fresh scope and took a peek in Mrs. Silverstein’s ear, expecting to see the equivalent of a pus shooting boil. What I did see took me aback. There was a little scream. Maybe a grimace and repulsed body language, but I kept it all on the inside like nurses do. No matter what crazy crap people have or do, we keep it on the inside. I looked in that ear and saw eight eyes looking back.  
    “So how bad is the infection?” asked Mrs. Silverstein.  
    I straightened up, gave an involuntary shiver, and said, “Great news. It’s not an infection.”  
    “Really? How come it hurts so much?”  
    “You have…something lodged in there. I’ll take care of it and you’ll be out of here in a jiff.”  
    I did a warm lavage on Mrs. Silverstein’s ear and washed out a tiny little spider into a pink emesis basin. Then, and only then, did I tell Mrs. Silverstein what was in her ear. She took it very well and insisted that we release the spider into the wild, which I did after we were done.  
    “I’m going to write you a good review,” said Mrs. Silverstein.  
    “I don’t know if they have reviews for nurses,” I said.  
    “They should. That girl was unprofessional and she wears too much perfume.”  
    “I’ll talk to her about it.” I finished the chart and handed off Mrs. Silverstein to my replacement. When I found Christine to tell her I was out, she was at the desk, trying to talk sense to a sobbing Brittany. No sense was getting in that dripping mess.  
    “I told her to leave, but she won’t go,” said Christine.
    “I’m going to fail. They’ll fail me. My parents will be so upset,” wailed Brittany.
    I looked at the ceiling and said, “I’ll take her with me.”  
    “Would you? Thank goodness.” Christine ran away before I could change my mind. I gathered up the still sobbing Brittany, got our stuff, and half-carried her to the parking lot. The sun was coming up and the interior lights had shut off so it was dim in the garage. We walked five steps toward Brittany’s Prius when I jerked her back.  
    “What’s wrong?” she said.  
    “I don’t know. Quiet.”
    For once, Brittany was quiet. I clutched her to my side and looked around. I had to scan twice before I saw him. A slim figure, dressed in jeans and a dark grey hoodie with a baseball cap, stood in the shadows directly under a surveillance camera, but he wasn’t worried. Nothing conceals a face like a cap and a hood. He stood completely still, but something in his stance said he was both confident and dangerous. He didn’t react to my look.  
    “I see him, too,” whispered Brittany.  
    “We’re going back inside.”  
    “Uh, huh.”  
    We took a step back and he ducked behind a pillar the second he realized I’d made him. We ran inside, bursting through the door just as Raymond, the night security supervisor, was coming out of the stairwell.  
    “Hold on, girls. What’s up?” he asked.  
    “There was a man in the garage,” cried Brittany.  
    Raymond went from friendly to pissed in an instant. He yanked his walkie-talkie off his belt and told Jack to get the hell up there. “You girls don’t move. I’m going to check this. I told them we need to patrol this garage. Pretty nurses coming and going. It’s

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