Read Cowboy Ending - Overdrive: Book One Online

Authors: Adam Knight

Tags: #fiction, #adventure, #murder, #action, #fantasy, #sex, #violence, #canada, #urban, #ending, #cowboy, #knight, #outlaw, #dresden, #lightning, #adam, #jim butcher, #overdrive, #lee child, #winnipeg, #reacher, #joe, #winnipeg jets

Cowboy Ending - Overdrive: Book One

 

COWBOY
ENDING

Overdrive: Book
One

 

By- Adam
Knight

 

Smashwords
Edition – July 1, 2013

KnightFall
Productions Inc.

Copyright
2013

Author’s Note
and Legal Disclaimer

 

The following
work of fiction is intended for entertainment purposes only. Any
reference to actual places is only to provide a sense of space and
relevance for the reader, and is in no way meant to take advantage
of or exploit other people’s properties or brands. In addition, any
similarities between characters mentioned in this book and actual
people is purely coincidental.

 

As a proud,
full time resident of the City of Winnipeg it seemed only
appropriate to begin my literary journey in my hometown and display
pieces of it prominently as set pieces in this novel. The axiom
“write what you know” has been essential for me in this process and
I am hopeful that this tale becomes a fun read for other citizens
of Winnipeg, whether current, former or future.

 

If you
have enjoyed this book I invite you to join the OVERDRIVE Official
Facebook Page HERE (
https://www.facebook.com/OverdriveSeries
) and
start a conversation. I will be visiting it as often as I can to
provide insights and updates for future stories and answer any
questions you might have about this or anything else I might have
written or done.

 

You can also
follow me on Twitter ( @OutlawAK) . Though I warn you in advance I
also use this forum to talk about my upcoming Pro Wrestling dates,
my workout routines and various other entertainments that make me
laugh.

 

Thank you very
much for taking a chance on my work. Writing has been a passion of
mine for as long as I can remember.

 

Hopefully I
don’t suck at it.

 

Regards,

 

Adam Knight –
July 1, 2013

 

For Anne-Marie
who pushed me to keep writing

and for
understanding why I needed to even when I didn’t.

I love you.

 

PROLOGUE

St. Boniface
General Hospital

1979

 

They say
lightning never strikes in the same place twice. While that’s not
precisely true scientifically speaking the people working at St.
Boniface Hospital that night certainly prayed it never happened
again.

 

Rain poured out
of the sky in waves as lightning streaked from cloud to cloud,
illuminating the pitch black night to noonday bright. Thunder
boomed menacingly in an audible retort to the vicious light
show.

 

Nurse Gregg
cried in the rain.

 

It was the
middle of November. Which meant that everyone who wasn’t able to
get the Christmas Holidays off was taking their vacation time now.
This left an already steady hospital and emergency room perpetually
short shifted. Doctors working doubles back-to-back. Nurses running
off their feet for ten, even fourteen days straight. Interns and
support staff were frayed at the seams from continually taking the
brunt of frustrations from patients and medical personnel
alike.

 

The lightning
started shortly after dinner time though the rain had been coming
down in buckets since noon. Big fat heavy drops of rain; the kind
that soaked you instantly to the skin, ponchos and raincoats be
damned.

 

St. Boniface
Hospital was already the happening place to be if you were sick,
excessively drunk or had managed to nearly cripple yourself with a
common household item. As the evening progressed things quickly got
out of control.

 

After several
close strikes, more than a few traffic lights were down. Reports
indicated that one of the power stations had taken a direct
lightning strike leaving several sections of the city in complete
blackout. Including of course the street lamps around St. Boniface
Hospital.

 

With more than
a few vehicle on vehicle (and vehicle on non-moving brick and
mortar structure) collisions taking place around the city ambulance
drivers were in motion non-stop transporting wounded people from
crash sites to the E.R.

 

A
standard E.R. is callously forced to place people in a priority
system. Severely hurt patients take precedence over someone with
the sniffles. This is as it should be. However as this night wore
on the hospital staff were forced to prioritize people in the
horrible categories:
Bleeding But
Manageable
and
Seconds From
Death
. Sadly if patients from the first category were
left unattended long enough they eventually became enrolled in the
second category.

 

Nurse Gregg
never forgot this night. A relatively new member to the St.
Boniface staff she had been fortunate to be shielded from the worst
examples of human tragedy thus far. Even with the long shifts and
oppressive patient volume Gregg had been very lucky. No one had
died on her watch.

 

Until
tonight.

 

With red rimmed
and tear-filled eyes Nurse Gregg hustled from patient to patient.
Tales of vehicular accidents. Lightning strikes. Severely burned
flesh. Fires breaking out in apartment complexes. Chaotic assaults
prompted by booze filled hooligans believing the storm was a sign
of the Apocalypse.

 

By one-thirty
in the morning Nurse Gregg had witnessed doctors pronounce over a
dozen people dead with many more barely hanging on.

 

There was no
break. Just when things began to stabilize another accident would
occur. Power would shut down in another area of the city. Another
fire would break out. One more brawl.

 

It was too
much.

 

Unable to
stomach anymore Nurse Gregg forced her way out of the hospital and
into the open air. Electricity streaked across the sky in an epic
ballet while rain pounded the earth as she broke down and wept. Her
chest heaved with sobs and tears spilled from her clenched eyelids
lost in the rainwater. Her fingers pressed to her mouth as she
bawled. Her free arm wrapped reflexively around her shuddering
torso as what was left of her mascara streaked down her face in
long dark tracks.

 

Moments before
she had assisted Dr. Stevens. Involved in a three way collision,
the man’s left leg had broken at the femur. One lung was on the
verge of collapse likely from the two foot shard of glass
protruding from just beneath his ribcage after the windshield of
his car had imploded on impact.

 

Gruesome cannot
describe the task of applying firm pressure to the belly wound.
Nurse Gregg watched Dr. Stevens feverishly attempt to reset the
bone in the man's leg while a burly orderly pressed firmly on the
patient’s shoulders to hold him in place. Supplies of morphine and
codeine were in preciously short supply and were to be saved for
patients in recovery, but somehow Dr. Stevens had the man's heart
rate and blood pressure close to stable levels.

 

Dr. Stevens
took a firm grip on the left ankle and inner calf. He paused to
take a deep breath. Then a second. On the third, he gave a smooth
but firm yank on the leg.

 

There was a wet
and squishy pop as the leg righted itself and slipped into
place.

 

Agonized, the
patient started up with a horrific yell.

 

"Hold him!" Dr.
Stevens bellowed while trying to keep the leg in position. The
orderly leaned heavily onto the man's shoulders, pressing him back
to the gurney.

 

Nurse Gregg
felt her hands grow warm and slick. She looked down.

 

In the
commotion, the patient had twisted his torso, altering Nurse
Gregg's position on the open wound. The wound had opened wider, and
she was now pressing gauze into the very gash it was meant to
staunch.

 

Abruptly
shouldering her out of the way, Dr. Stevens applied another bandage
to the wound all the while hollering for more help with this
man.

 

There was no
more help.

 

The patient
bled out in minutes.

 

She wiped at
her eyes mechanically and without conscious thought. Nurse Gregg
believed she might never get the taste of bile off her tongue
again. Or the iron tang of blood out of her nostrils. Her tears had
finally stopped as the rain continued to pour down washing at her
face. Sluicing the blood of her hands. Soaking her scrubs to her
body.

 

Her grief
remained.

 

She thought it
might always remain.

 

“Please,” an
exhausted man’s voice called from a distance. “Please, help
me!”

 

Blinking her
eyes and focusing through the rain, Nurse Gregg watched a heavyset
man trying to support an incredibly pregnant woman up the ramp from
the parking lot.

 

She froze for a
long moment. It was too much. Her brain did not immediately
register what it was seeing.

 

The woman’s
knees suddenly collapsed as she cried out in pain. With a Herculean
effort the heavyset man managed to get his arms under her in time
to keep her from hitting the pavement. The strain showed on his
face, the knuckles on his hands clenched to the whites as he
levered the woman back up to her feet. His eyes swung forward again
locking in on Nurse Gregg.

 

“Please.”

 

She shook her
head once and stepped forward to take the woman’s arm.

 

Despite
everything the sight of a very pregnant woman being carried through
the E.R. lobby provided some startling reactions. People with
obvious injuries pulled back out of the way. A man with blood on
his face and an obviously dislocated shoulder stepped aside
allowing his spot in line to be taken. Two thugs involved in a
violent pub brawl helped clear a path through the crowd.

 

Sadly, not
everyone’s a saint.

 

“I have been
waiting two hours to see a doctor,” cried one man plaintively
holding one wrist delicately. His black leather jacket glistening
wetly in the dim, flickering light. “I ain’t letting this broad in
until you look after me!”

 

There’s an
asshole in every crowd.

 

The two thugs
stepped towards the leather clad complainant as the rest of the
E.R. seemed to swell menacingly.

 

To avoid
another violent incident Nurse Gregg took the initiative and found
an empty gurney in the hallway. It was in this inglorious and
inappropriate location that the lady in question began to really
cry out as her labor overtook her.

 

“My God,” the
man panted holding his wife’s hand and trying to smooth back her
hair. Sweat and rain water soaked them all from head to toe. His
wife began to rock back and forth on the gurney, her legs
spasming.

 

“How far along
is she?” Nurse Gregg asked.

 

“Linda’s weeks
overdue.” A pitiful cry of agony erupted from her lips. He made
appropriate shushing noises while looking at Nurse Gregg
frantically. “Is there a doctor available? Any doctor?”

 

“I’ll find
one.”

 

It took nearly
twenty minutes, but Nurse Gregg finally grabbed Dr. Stevens away
from setting bones and suturing open wounds. He took one look at
the pregnant woman and ran to the nearest intercom, hammering on
the command key. “Clear a ready room immediately. I’ve got a woman
crowning and a baby minutes away from birth. Do it now!”

 

They wheeled
Linda towards the ready room, her husband still gripping her hand
fiercely. Nurse Gregg met the doctor’s eyes. No words were spoken.
Nothing needed to be said.

 

This baby was
going to make it.

 

Inside the
ready room, Nurse Berry was preparing an IV drip. An EKG and heart
rate monitor were also prepped and ready to go. Quickly the two
nurses managed to get the woman hooked into all of the equipment as
Dr. Stevens clinically cut away the billowing, floral skirt she was
wearing while he rapid fired questions at the husband.

 

“Who’s your
family doctor?”

 

“Dr. Robert
Besant … He works out of the Medical Arts Building.”

 

“Did you call
him?”

 

“He’s stuck
with another patient. His wife wasn’t …”

 

“Fine.” Dr.
Stevens eyed the man askance, taking in the bell bottom jeans and
the tye-dyed shirts under his sodden denim coat. Gesturing with his
head at the man’s shaggy and unkempt hair. “Am I going to have to
worry about hallucinogens in her system?”

 

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