After a few weeks away from #fridayflash I’m back with this short, short. If you read my previous post, you’ll be aware that I spent the best part of the last two weeks visiting my Mum in hospital. I’m pleased to report that the British National Health Service is still (just) able to provide great care to everyone who needs it. Whether this continues to be the case remains to be seen.
The following is a dystopian-esque take on what could be. As always, your comments are greatly appreciated.
Had he been conscious, John would undoubtedly have been able to argue his own case; he was good at that sort of thing. “A born problem solver”, his last employer had written on his redundancy reference letter, although even he must have been aware of the persuasive effect John’s emerald eyes could engender in the most intransigent of colleagues; male or female.
Even now, in a medical coma, his eyes gleamed with suggestive possibility; a fact not lost on Lucy who had been alerted to their potential during the early stage of the procedure. She’d swabbed more carefully, squeezed his heart more lovingly and held her breath more intently. She imagined sending invisible pulses from her own chest to bolster his too-weak rhythm and wondered if it was fair to know a lover’s heart better than he did himself.
‘We’re going to need more blood, at least five units.’
The surgeon’s tone was one of controlled urgency.
‘Nurse, scan his code please.’
Lucy grabbed the portable scanner and found the patient’s chip. Her gasp was muted by the surgical mask.
‘Nurse Mitchell, the figure please.’
‘Speak up, Nurse.’
Lucy double-checked the statement on the screen: the ambulance, emergency room treatment, two initial blood units, theatre charge; it was all listed.
‘Zero. He has no more health credit.’
‘Check his reserves, quickly.’
Lucy scrolled through his details. There was no emergency reserve account: they’d recently been cancelled for the unemployed; the government citing recessionary constraints by way of explanation.
‘Nurse Mitchell, need I remind you that time is of the essence? No credit; no blood. No blood; no patient.’
‘I’ll check his family transfers.’ Sweat prickled under Lucy’s scrubs as she scrolled further. They’d already taken all eligible transfers from his mother’s account to cover the surgeon’s call-out. Lucy closed her eyes, drowning in his swirling, green pools of light.
Lucy held the scanner over her upturned wrist; she had over two hundred credits. She moved the curser to “donate all” and clicked.
‘There’s a credit transfer,’ she said.
The surgeon’s eyes held Lucy’s for a moment before he turned away.
‘Start the transfusion,’ he ordered.
The young man standing on the doorstep had the loveliest eyes she’d ever seen.
‘I’m Lucy’s mother,’ she said, ‘you can’t have heard.’
‘There was an accident. Lucy had no health credits left and we’d nothing to give. I’m so sorry to tell you like this. Were you good friends?’
‘Not really,’ said John, ‘I just came to return something she’d lent me.’
© flyingscribbler 2012