—We have to get out of here! — cried that wounded man desperately, a construction worker who was lying on a stretcher inside of an ambulance, removing the oxygen mask that had been placed on his face some minutes before—. Move the fucking ambulance! Now! Come on! They're coming! They're coming...
His clothes were stained with blood and covered with dust, impregnated with a rancid smell of sweat that mixed with the iodine and the disinfecting liquid in some bottles and containers: meanwhile, the strident siren of the vehicle covered the whole street outside, composting to the chaos of the constant beeping of horns in the middle of the traffic jam of the small avenue. A young paramedic named Diego, watched nervously the wounded worker, trying to contain the bleeding caused by a steel bar buried in the side of that man's belly. The situation was already critical. The air felt heavier than other nights. It was the third emergency of the day and, without a doubt, the worst of all up to that moment.
—David!, Why haven't we moved yet?! —He yelled at the driver of the unit, as I've used more gauze to dry the tiny trickle of blood that flowed constantly from that guy's body—. We've got to get to the hospital! What's the hell is going on out there?!
—There's too much traffic! I can't move on! —answered his partner, hands on the wheel—. There was a crash a hundred meters away ... focus on that guy and do your damn job!
Outside, on the crowded transit route, dozens of vehicles were stopped without the slightest possibility of maneuvering to make way for the ambulance: three streets away, a collision had resulted in some minor injuries and a heated dispute between two drivers. Only one of the four lanes was clear, and traffic flowed slowly through it.
—Get me out of here! —claimed Javier, once again, agitated and moving between the harnesses that held him to the stretcher—. We must hurry! They are coming! They are coming!
—Calm down, sir. Please. Tell me your name again —asked the paramedic to distract him.
—Javier Ramírez —he replied—. Boy, listen to me: please, take me out of here. They will come for me... and for you too! If I don't bleed to death they'll kill me either way!
Diego stopped while trying to clean the blood: he saw a worried expression on that guy's face, making him hesitate; the adrenaline was keeping him pretty awake despite the loss of blood, but it wouldn't take long before he passed out. The worker was aware of the pain and danger of the situation, but his urgency was different. Javier looked him in the eyes: on his face, the exhaustion from the bleeding and the pain could not hide a genuine fear about something else.
—Listen to me —he said, making an almost superhuman effort to contain his groans in the face of suffering—, this was not an accident... There are people following me and they will come for me... We have to hurry to escape from here.
—What do you mean it wasn't an accident? —asked the young paramedic—. Your coworkers have indicated to us that you fell off from a third floor and...
—No, no, no! This was not a fucking accident!
—What the hell are you talking about then?
—Someone did this to me! —he yelled, frustrated with panic. Time was running out inside the emergency vehicle—. They lied! Maybe they're trying to cover up this whole shit! Maybe they didn't even see them... But they are already on the way! We have to hurry!
—Who are you talking about? What happened then? —Diego asked, beginning to get upset.
The crippled worker had some spasms from the terrible pain and his face contracted in grimaces of agony: beads of sweat gleamed on his face. He tried to take a deep breath.
—A while ago I went to a dogfight ... —He paused as he tried to contain the dreadful pangs that ran through his body until make him feel dizzy—. I bet a lot of money and it all ended badly for me. The bastard I owe is an acquaintance who's also related to drug issues. He gave me a term to pay him, —he explained—, but time passed and I couldn't raise the money. I was hiding from him and his gang... I left my job and started working in that building... but those fuckers found me and... —He stopped again to take a breath—, now they must be almost reaching us.
—Shit! —Diego exclaimed. The horror on the wounded man's face corroborated his anguish: it was not a delirious caused by the pain. Now he was frightened too for his own safety and feared the terrible retaliation being taken against that worker—. Tell me now what the fuck happened before we got to pick you up.
—I was about to end my shift. I walked around the second floor of the building checking that there was nothing out of...
—Go to the damn point, you fucker! —he ordered—. Now, listen carefully: if something happens to me or to my partner, or to this ambulance, you will be the fucking responsible, do you hear me?
»David! Are we leaving?! We have to get the fuck out here right now!
—Some cars are already moving, —said the driver—, I think in a few minutes we...
—We don't have a few minutes! Move this fucking ambulance! —he yelled, leaving his partner uneasy at his attitude. Then he turned to Javier again—: Tell me what happened, how did it end like this?
—They did this... those damn fuckers... —He breathed hard to continue—: I went around the building to check that there were no materials out of place and then I saw a shadow on a door. It was a man.
»I approached to indicate him he should not be there, that it was a restricted area. —He paused and breathed again—. When I got closer, he turned around and I saw his face. He was that bastard I owed the money to! Then I felt like someone grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me back. They were another two guys: they came out of nowhere, between the walls of the building, they grabbed me and threw me to the ground.
»Then that son of a bitch looked at me, while the other two held me on the floor, and he said: "I finally found you... Do you got my money?" Oh man... He... he had a steel bar in his hands... I froze in fear and tried to explain him that I had not been able to put it all together, but I already had most of it!
—Then that son of a bitch buried this bar in your body... —the anguished paramedic guessed.
—Yes! —Javier shouted, terrified—, and then the other two bastards threw me off the second floor! I fell on a pile of rubble and wooden platforms. A couple of my construction mates heard the crash I made when I hit the ground and immediately ran to my rescue. I was almost passed out from the pain and...
At that moment, a couple of loud thumps resounded between the chaotic beeping of the cars and the shrill siren. Someone was calling from outside: «Open the fucking door!»
—Oh God, it's them! —the worker yelled hysterically—. Let's go! let's go! We have to get out! They are going to kill us! They are going to kill us!
—David! Move the ambulance! —Diego ordered, as the driver looked through the side mirrors of the vehicle when he heard those blows and screams coming from everywhere: then he saw three bad-looking guys quickly approaching the cab and he hit the accelerator. The ambulance pushed through a pair of small cars in front of it, amid the screams of fear and surprise from some scared passengers. David managed to drive nearly forty meters before smashing into a truck: Diego and the worker stumbled inside the ambulance, shaking from the impact while the healing materials and medicines came out of the drawers, spreading everywhere.
—Damn it…! —one of the guys exclaimed, gun in hand, running to get to the vehicle: David was trying to remove his seat belt so he could escape on foot when the man came to his door and hit him on the head with the butt of the revolver through the window, knocking him unconscious.
—David! Are you okay?! —Diego called, but there was no answer.
—Open now! —they ordered from outside kicking the ambulance and hitting it with their guns—. Javier, you son of a bitch! We know you're there!
Then a couple of shots rang out against the ambulance's back door, smashing it's locks. All the beeping of the cars suddenly got silent, and the people in the other cars scrambled out in terror to flee the scene or crouched inside their cars. The door finally opened and those three killers peeked inside the ambulance, pointing their weapons at the pair of passengers lying on the floor: Diego looked at them, horrified, and instinctively raising his hands, trembling in panic.
—Please don't hurt me! —he pleaded nervously—. I didn't know what this man did!
—Shut the fuck up, asshole! —one of them ordered—. Get down of the ambulance! Now!
Diego got up from the ground and approached still shaking and with his hands up, trying to cooperate to avoid being hurt. Whe he got next to the door, a guy pulled him roughly on the forearm, knocking him on the hard asphalt on the avenue.
—Please don't hurt me!
—I said shut up! —the subject yelled again, aiming with his gun at Diego's head.
—I will not say anything! —the young man continued, terrified—. I know he owes you a lot of money...!
—Money? —another guy asked, the leader, after boarding the ambulance, interrupting him. —So that's what this piece of shit told you? —he said, pointing with his finger to the wounded man lying sprawled inside the vehicle screaming in pain—. Did he tell you that this was all for fucking money?
—Yes ... that's what he said... —the paramedic replied, already crying in fear.
—Well then... —the man laughed ironically— Let me tell you that he lied to you, boy... This son of a bitch is a motherfucking rapist! A piece of shit of society! And he's going to die right now! —he snapped in absolute anger at Javier, leaning over him, spitting in his face.
—Forgive me, Joaquin! Please! Don't kill me! I'm sorry for what I did! —the perv worker pleaded, terrified, crying, screaming in horror and panic, but that man stepped on the metal bar in his belly, making it move and tearing his insides, tearing at his internal organs, as he yelled in agony, with indescribable screams.
—You raped my daughter, you bastard! Why don't you just fucking die! —he growled.
And then, the guy shot his gun piercing Javier's skull with a bullet that made his head explode and splashed blood and brains inside the ambulance.
Diego screamed in horror just before he was hit on the head by one of the guys knocked him unconscious on the floor. The killers fled the scene until they disappeared in the dark surrounding streets, far from the traffic jam, leaving no other trace than a grotesque corpse and a couple of injured paramedics.
It all ended as fast as it started.
(This story was written between August 12 and 13, 2019 and corrected on March 29, 2020. It was translated into English between April 4 and 5, 2020).
Merci pour la lecture!