Maddy’s piercing screams echoed off of the sickly green hospital walls as she was rolled down the sanitized hospital hallways on a rickety gurney. She didn’t know what hurt worse. The sting of the bullet hole in her shoulder or the constant knifelike jabs from her broken ribs. Or perhaps it was the emotional scars that once again were being recalled as she feared she may be taking the final ride of her brief thirty-six-year existence.
A kaleidoscope of images and memories were flashing in her pounding brain. The beatings at the hands of her mother as her impotent father looked on. The love of her beloved aunts and uncle. The Friday night dance parties, the smorgasbords of junk food, the cross-country trip to college with her beloved uncle Joe. The laughing and singing with her friends and babysitting Kristy’s delightful children. This last image put a slight smile upon her tortured face.
The smile quickly faded as her thoughts turned to her mentally sadistic ex-husband and the execution of her uncle. Intense outrage replaced hopelessness as she relived her brand of justice that she had applied to the insignificant deplorables that found their way into her world. The white trash that had murdered her uncle leading her to cut his brakes and plant his head into a pole. The wife and child beater that discovered that fireworks in the right hands could be quite deadly. The deadly overdose that she injected into the arm of the man who was grooming her to be a sex slave and who had nearly killed her with the same intravenous venom. The would-be date rape druggist who she ripped to shreds in a dark alley. The black-market pandemic profiteer of essential goods who has eaten his last hot dog. The serial rapist and murderer of children who received a righteous arrow through his rectum. The pair of redneck rapists who she publicly left dismembered and hanging. The voyeur of her best friend’s rape that she eliminated in a most sado-masochistic manner. Her work couldn’t be over yet. She and Erick had so much more to do.
Then her prince’s face flashed before her eyes. She looked up at her aunt Blair who was gripping her sweaty hand as the gurney rumbled along. “Erick! Where is Erick? I need him now more than ever! Where is he?” Maddy screamed. “He’ll be along dear,” Blair replied in as soothing of a voice as she could muster. “You’re in good hands. I’m here. Patty’s here. The doctors will take care of you. Erick will be here as well. Please don’t worry. Just try to relax. We are all here to take care of you and…”
At that moment, the gurney turned a sharp corner and entered an operating room. Maddy could hear voices say, “We have to take her now!” “But doctor, she’s in too much pain!” “I know, but dammit, it has to be now if she’s going to make it through!” She was transferred onto a bed and the bright lights shone down upon her, immediately dilating the pupils of her fading emerald, green eyes. Something was being injected. Her aunt’s grip was steadfast. And the only thought in her mind was “Erick, where are you?”