Mai Madness: “The Rescue” Chapter Two: Into the Woods

This story continues one I wrote for March FADness last year, called “The Rescue.”

Fernando came awake to a heavy weight against his chest and stomach, as though a jack collapsed and let the car fall on him. He tried to breathe and pain seared him.

“Keep him quiet,” a man’s voice snapped.

“I’m trying!”

It sounded like Adana, but Fernando couldn’t get his voice working to ask. He finally managed to pry his eyes open and saw the interior of the ambulance.

“He’s awake!” Adana cried. “Fernando!”

The EMT turned, his curly red hair held back by a bandana with jalapeño peppers on it. “There’s our hero,” he murmured, checking something attached to Fernando’s body that looked like a hose. Fernando didn’t want to think about that too hard.

“What the hell happened?” he managed to croak.

“I got the ambulance,” Adana whispered, eyes wide and threatening to spill over with tears. “You were on the floor with blood all over the wall behind you…”

He went cold. “You could have been killed!” he grated.

She shook her head. “The others ran when you killed those three. I was afraid the cops would come, so I called Felipe.”

He stared at her. Felipe. She called Felipe.

“I’m Karl, Fernando,” the EMT interrupted. “We’re taking you to General. You’ve got quite a wound here, but we’ll fix it up.”

“Insurance,” Fernando panted, trying to reach for his wallet.

Karl caught his wrist. He didn’t have to hold it very hard, Fernando was that weak. “I work for Felipe.”

Fernando froze.

Karl smiled slightly, a look sliding through his eyes that let Fernando know the red-head knew exactly what Fernando was thinking. “Don’t worry about it, old man. Felipe pays his debts.” He let go of the wrist and checked something on the monitors nearby.

His debts. Felipe thought he still owed Fernando something? Fernando tried not to think about it.

At least Adana was safe.

She slipped her hand into his, and he let her hold his palm. Her fingers barely covered his, but their warmth comforted him. He felt his eyes fall shut like they had weights attached to them.

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