Welcome to Part 11 of my horror series, The Search for the Last Flower. I appreciate all the comments, shares, and tweets. You guys rock! I’m glad you’re enjoying the story––it’s why I right. 😉 (Part 12 is the final installment and I will be posting it on Friday.)
Caleb snatched his keys, opened the back door of his car, grabbed Lolita and shoved her in.
Lolita groaned and squirmed in pain.
“Stay with me, Lolita.” He got into the front seat and started the car. He pushed the pedal to the metal and sped away, just as Dr. Smith placed his face against his window.
“Talk to me, Lolita.” Caleb drove recklessly, weaving through traffic, ignoring stale green lights and stop signs, trying to get the girl to the hospital as soon as possible. Her wails and shrieks were making his head throb. He sobbed and pounded on the steering wheel.
By the time Caleb had reached the hospital, Lolita was quiet and still. He slammed on the brakes in front of the emergency entrance. He swung his door open and jumped out. It was hard to stomach what he saw when he opened the back door. Lolita lay sprawled on the back seat, naked, completely covered in her own blood and gore. How would he explain this? What the hell––he had to do the right thing. This woman needed medical attention. He grabbed her and carried her out of the car.
He rushed inside the hospital, leaving his car parked askew with the passenger side front and back doors wide open. His car could be stolen, but the only thing on his mind was to save the girl.
“Help me! This girl needs help!” He ran into the emergency room bellowing. “She’s dying! I need a doctor!”
Some people sitting around stared wide-eyed, others gasped, screamed, and some jumped out of their seats staggering backward in shock.
Several nurses ran to him, followed by paramedics pushing a stretcher. Caleb placed her limp, motionless body down on the stretcher. A young doctor came running while putting on his stethoscope’s ear tips. He tried to find a heartbeat. His brow knit tightly. He shook his head and grabbed her wrist to feel a pulse and then he auscultated her again. Nothing. “I-I’m sorry sir. The girl is dead.” The doctor looked at Caleb and pressed his lips together. He placed a hand on Caleb’s shoulder.
Caleb pushed his hand off. “No––no, check again! She can’t be dead!” The doctor opened his mouth to speak but Caleb yelled, “Check again! One more time––please.” The doctor stared at him with a pitying expression and auscultated her once more. He took longer than the last time. He looked up at Caleb, still maintaining the stethoscope’s diaphragm on her chest and shook his head.
Lolita’s eyes sprang open.
The nurses gasped and recoiled. The young doctor stared at the corpse. Caleb looked into her eyes. They were wild, cloudy and yellow. The doctor placed his hand over them to close them. Lolita reached and bit three of his fingers off with one bite. The doctor stared in shock at the stumps on his hand as blood jet out from them like geysers.
Lolita sat upright and grabbed the doctor from behind. She bit right through his lab coat and shirt into his upper back. The doctor howled in pain and pulled away from her. He stared at her with a confused expression.
A nurse ran to help the doctor. Lolita jumped off the stretcher and seized the nurse by the hair. She bit her on the neck. As the nurse screamed and struggled, Lolita continued to bite pieces off her until she lay still, and someone else got Lolita’s attention.
The emergency room was in an uproar. Nurses, paramedics, doctors, and patients were running, crying, screaming. Caleb backed into a corner of the room and watched––immobilized by fear and dread. Lolita moved differently from Dr. Smith. She was faster, stronger, and more agile. She grabbed one person, took a few bites and then grabbed another. At least eight or nine people were bit so far, and she showed no signs of slowing down.
She must be stopped. Every person she bit would eventually become like her. He knew that now. She must not leave this place––everyone she’d attacked must not leave this place. But it was too late. Many of the bitten had already left the building.
As Caleb watched Lolita chase several screaming people out of the emergency room, he became lightheaded. He slid down the wall. He hugged his knees, rocked, and held his head. This would never end now. It would spread until everyone in the city was a crazed––can someone dead be called crazed?
He knew he should not sit still. This was all his doing and he had to fix it. He could return to the lab and figure out how to stop this before it truly was too late. He was the only one who could do it. He had to find the strength.
Caleb made an attempt to rise, but his legs trembled, his knees faltered and he fell on his rump again. He looked at his hands. They trembled like leaves in a windstorm. He took a deep breath. He had to calm down and take ahold of himself. The longer he lingered, the more victims of his elixir there would be.
He rose and looked around the emergency room. There were two paramedics lifting the young doctor, who had attended Lolita, off the floor and onto a stretcher. One of the paramedics bent over to lift the stretcher, his head too close the doctor’s face.
“No––get away from him,” Caleb said under his breath as he ran toward them. The doctor opened his eyes and ripped the paramedic’s ear off with his teeth. The paramedic staggered away, howling in pain. His partner dropped the clipboard he was holding and went to help him.
“It’s too late for him!” Caleb yelled at the paramedic who was trying to help his friend. “Get away from him and leave this place or you, too, will end up like the doctor.” The paramedic looked at his friend, Caleb and then the doctor, who had already jumped off the stretcher. He left his friend and ran away as fast as he could. The other stood in shock, putting pressure on the hole that was his ear. The doctor launched at him, knocking him to the floor.
He pulled his shirt apart, buttons flew everywhere. He gnawed on the paramedic’s belly until he made his way inside and began to feast on his intestines, while the man still squirmed and squealed.
Caleb staggered backward, retching violently. He looked around. Others who had been bitten and died were beginning to rise, animated by the synthetic essence of the Brazilian tribe’s last flower.
This was his doing. Could this be undone?
Copyright © 2014 by Vashti Quiroz-Vega. All rights reserved.