The Wrong Side of Midnight is a short story about a fateful Friday night shift in a Los Angeles area emergency room. It became the basis of my first novel, The Bleed.
A short story
There was blood on the floor, mostly dried but still tacky enough in spots to stick to the bottom of a shoe. The worn linoleum bore evidence to this fact, decorated as it now was in swirled, geometric, and cobbled patterns, representing the shoe preferences of the various individuals who had walked through the area since the mess was made.
There was blood on the stool, on the gurney, and on the privacy curtain separating treatment bay number one from treatment bay number two. Most annoyingly, there was blood on the white lab coat and blue scrubs of Dr. G. B. ‘Fish’ Hooks, M.D., FACEP, ER doctor.
“Fucking mess,” he mumbled to himself. Then, out loud, “Has housekeeping been called?”
The question was directed toward anyone in the department close enough to hear, but Fish realized it was rhetorical. It was 0640 on a Saturday morning. The night shift was over in 20 minutes. The blood would have to wait a little longer.
Gilbert Bass Hooks had been born in Alabama nearly thirty-six years earlier. His was an old Southern family with deep roots. But then the war happened. By the time Gilbert senior returned from his tour of duty, lucky to have survived and thrilled to meet his by then five-month-old son, his vision of the future had changed. As soon as his honorable discharge was processed he said goodbye to the family, and the family textile business, packed up the wife and son, and drove off to California… [Download the full story]