Sisters of Mercy

Sisters of Mercy by Andrew Puckett Read Free Book Online

Book: Sisters of Mercy by Andrew Puckett Read Free Book Online
Authors: Andrew Puckett
Tags: UK
thinking about Stephen, partly because, for some reason, I was filled with a vague apprehension.
    I don’t believe in omens or anything similar, but that night, while I was on duty, Mrs Sutton died.

     
    6
     
    There was no warning.
    Teresa handed over to me at midnight, reporting no particular problems. It happened twenty-five minutes after that.
    I was at the nurses’ station looking over some reports when the alarm went, and I hurried over to Mrs Sutton’s bed. Gail already had her night clothes off and was giving her external heart massage.
    ‘ Ventricular fibrillation,’ she said as I arrived. I glanced up at the monitor to confirm it, then quickly drew the screens around the bed.
    Deborah Hillard and the rest of the crash team arrived less than a minute later. She looked at the monitor, then at Gail. ‘When did it happen?’
    ‘ Two minutes ago. Less.’
    ‘ OK.’ She looked at Mrs Sutton’s face as it lay to one side; the mouth slack. ‘Intubate and oxygen, please, Graham,’ she said to the anaesthetist. ‘A hundred mil of sodium bicarb, intravenous,’ to Jane Bromley, staff nurse. As she spoke, she checked that the defibrillator paddles were well smeared with electrode jelly before handing one to Nicky Twycross, the other staff nurse.
    ‘ Ready?’
    Gail had stepped back. Jane completed the injection. Deborah and Nicky placed their electrodes either side of the heart and Deborah administered the shock. Mrs Sutton jerked, as did the trace on the recorder before settling back into the fibrillation pattern.
    But, as with Peters, I knew it wasn’t going to work and a dizzying sickness grew and spread from the pit of my stomach.
    They went on trying for three-quarters of an hour, then brain stem death tests were carried out and she was pronounced dead. Deborah, hollow-eyed with fatigue, rang Mr Sutton herself. He arrived twenty minutes later.
    If I hadn’t been so busy organizing Last Offices (washing and laying out the body) and so wrapped in my own misery, it might have occurred to me to warn Deborah. It was only when I heard the familiar accent shouting: ‘You mus’ be out of your tiny fucken mind , ’ that I realized she must have asked for permission for organ transplant.
    Then there was a noise as he pushed his way into the air-lock, Deborah saying: ‘You’ll disturb the other patients,’ and Sutton replying: ‘I don’t give a fuck about the other patients, I want her !’ He was pointing at me.
    I hurried forwards to try and prevent him leaving the air-lock.
    ‘ Mr Sutton, I’m truly sorry —’
    ‘ Don’t give me that, you bitch. You said you’d take care of her. This what you call taking care? Eh?’
    Deborah hurried out.
    ‘ Please believe me,’ I tried again. ‘We did everything possible —’
    He lashed out, the back of his hand caught my mouth and I staggered against the door …
    ‘ Someone’s gonna pay for this, lady, an’ I’m lookin’ at you …’
    He hit me again and something inside snapped.
    ‘ Why don’t you find the one who really killed her,’ I shouted, ‘and take it out on —’ I broke off as he stared at me.
    ‘ Wha’d’ya mean?’
    ‘ Nothing. I — I didn’t mean anything —’
    He caught my wrist, bent it, dragging me towards him …
    ‘ Yes, you did’ — his face closed in, unshaven, his breath sour — ‘I can see you did. Wha’d’ya mean, the one who really killed her ?’
    ‘ You !’ I said desperately. ‘I meant you, for making her so unhappy that she —’
    The door behind opened and Gail’s voice snapped, ‘Let her go!’
    ‘ You keep outa this!’ His eyes flicked over to her, although he kept hold of my wrist.
    ‘ Let her go, or I’ll —’
    Then two security guards burst in and grabbed him — he released me and tried to hit one of them … Fortunately, the other spoilt his aim … Then, realizing he couldn’t win, he relaxed and allowed himself to be led away. He turned and gave me a look just before the air-lock

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