editor’s note: My take on The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes began some years ago when I made a correlation between EMS and detective work, and thought it would be fun to have an alter-ego. My station is located directly across from Baker Street, Holmes’s home in the original stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and one of my many nemesis’ is actually named “Moriarity.” Also, my friend Captain Healey is the perfect Lestrade. All of the stories are based on actual calls. Check out the rest if you dare, I have links to them at the top of the site categorized under “Mystery Theater.”
“I’d like to, Holmes, but somebody has to stock the truck!”
My erstwhile companion turned his back and sauntered toward the ER. Our IV setup needed replacing, and our oxygen delivery systems were low. I allowed another report to sit on the dash unfinished, another chore for another time. I enjoyed the silence for the briefest of moments, until my reverie was interrupted by the incessant radio chatter that had prior to this moment been mercifully quiet.
“Engine 10, respond to 11 Swan Street for a report of shots fired.”
Watson emerged from the ER, his hands full of supplies and rushed toward the truck.
“Come now, Watson, there’s a game afoot!” There are no available rescues but us, and I could hear the shots from here!
I keyed the mic.
“Rescue 1 responding to Swan Street from Dudley Street.”
“Roger Rescue 1, stage for police.”
“Shots fired on such a glorious day, it seem impossible!” said Watson.
“Elementary, Watson,” said I, “recall if you will the previous evenings festivities. Two boys were shot at this very address, and it was we who responded.”
“But so close to the hospital, it is madness!”
“Be it two streets or two miles, it matters not, crimes of passion emerge where they shall. Madness reigns where education lapses.”
Last night’s boys had been exceptionally dull. They bragged of their wounds to their contemporaries through their cellular communication devices, the glee in their voices most disturbing as they described their brush with death. I admonished them, and counseled them as I dressed their wounds, but the blood lust was upon them, and their fight took prevalence to sanity.
“Them North End boys got no business in the South Side,” said one chap, the bullet hole in the fleshy part of his upper arm oozing blood.
“Them North End Boys were trying to kill you, my good man,” I mentioned. “And for what?”
“Cuz I’m gonna kill them.”
“Dr. Watson, look there!” I said as we turned the Rescue Wagon onto Swan Street. A vehicle was stopped in front of the very domicile that last nights unfortunate event took place. All four doors were open, and not a soul was present. A body lie slumped in the drivers seat, and police lights flashed behind me. We let them pass, and followed them in.
“Holmes, it’s the boy from last night!” said Watson, med bag slung over his shoulder and a look of grim determination taking over his countenance.
The constables secured the scene, and Watson and I extricated the boy from his seat. He laughed.
“Young man, this is no laughing matter,” I said once in the treatment area of our vehicle. He ignored me, and I checked him for bullet holes. This time there was no hole, simply a graze in the very shoulder that bore the arm that had been penetrated the prior evening.
“Where’s my boy?” he asked.
“You’re boy? Pray tell, who is that?”
His arrogance faded then, and he looked about frantically as we sped from the scene toward the hospital, two blocks away.
“They came up behind us and started shooting, my friend ran up the driveway and over a fence, they thought they got me and ran away. Where is he, man!”
“The police will find him, of that I have no doubt.”
At the ER we returned our young victim to the triage area. Soon thereafter, the radio clacked to life.
“Engine 10, respond to Swan Street for a reported shooting.”
“Leave that Watson!” and away we sped.
The police had surrounded the area with their yellow tape, and we lifted it and joined them in their search.
“Holmes, look here!” said Watson, pointing at a bloody sneaker at the foot of a six foot fence. I followed the trail of blood over the fence, and Watson boosted me over.
I keyed the mic.
“Rescue 1 to Fire Alarm, possible DOA on Swan Street, I’ll keep you advised.”
I rushed to the other young man who just last night exhibited such bravado in the back of my truck that I found myself envious at the arrogance and fearlessness of youth, my own confidence in the stability of life shattered by the brutality I have borne witness to since beginning my employ at Scotland Yard.
No pulse. Flatline. A dead boy in a backyard, full of holes. A small swimming pool stood five feet from the spot where he took his final breath, and it leaked, two small holes in its side, water pooling near his shoeless body.
“Should we return to the hospital and console his friend?” asked Watson as we drove away, no more work from us needed there.
“I believe that his friend will be inconsolable, my dear friend. Let us pry the tiny bit of enjoyment we can from this achingly beautiful day, and try and forget the promise that was forfeit by man’s endless struggle to find his place in a brutal world.”
We drove back to Baker Street lost in our thoughts. The promise of a pipe full of shag made the ride bearable, and the sun continued to shine, and a gentle breeze pushed on, oblivious of the life and death struggle it blew past.