The Pool

He sat on the stretcher; skinny kid, good thing, too or the bullet that grazed him would have been in his body. I let him talk on his cell phone en route to the ER, didn’t bother me much, it sounded like he was talking to his mom who was pretty upset. He repeated over and over he was okay, was just standing there talking with his friend when some guys came upon them and opened fire. He was concerned about his friend, nobody knew where he was.

  1. We got him to the hospital and were preparing to leave when another call came in to the same location for another gunshot victim.


We sped out of the ER fully expecting the worst.

“Rescue 1, expedite,” came over the radio.

We were on scene a minute later.

Lying face down in the dirt, head up against a chain-link fence, next to a swimming pool was his friend. I rolled him over, felt for pulses, looked into his dead eyes, noticed the holes in his torso and realized we were too late.

I focused on the sound of the pool filter, the water soothing as screams, sobs and shouting filled the air around us.

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