Bagman: A Little Less Red

I took some pills and a caffeine shot to stay awake then drove out to the hospital. The city, oddly, was hushed, the streets almost serene. I watched litter tumble ahead of my car, borne by the fitful gulf winds.

I parked on the sixth level of the garage and walked a skyway into the hospital, took an elevator to the eighth floor and approached the desk.

“Breida McKinney?”

“Friend or family?” The receptionist didn’t even look up.

I smiled, amused. “A Friend.”

“Sign the list,” she said, tapping a long, manicured nail against a clipboard. I signed “Kent Johnson.” She pointed to the left. “Down the hall. Second left, into Intensive Care. Sixth door on the right. 875.”

I found it and knocked on the door before entering. Red was on the bed, and she smiled at me.

“Hey,” she whispered hoarsely.

“Morning, beautiful,” I returned her smile and moved to her bedside to take her hand. I forced myself not to look down at her leg, but at her green eyes. Tears stood out in them, making them shine. “I’m so sorry, Red.”

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