Subscribers to my Friends of Aviario mailing list have already met the Townie to beat all Townies, Lieutenant Sam Weldyn. I thought it was about time you all did, too...
As much as he took pride in his ability to adapt, Sam couldn’t help an affinity for the little things which stood the test of time. The only exception to that rule, he decided, pulling up behind the ambulance at the back doors of Aviario Regional Hospital, was the way people tended to hover around incidents.
“Like seagulls outside a god damned Burger King,” he groused, killing the engine and climbing out of the cruiser.
The two EMTs in the wagon met him near the back doors. One, tall and thin with a sharp nose and a mop of curly black hair, stood by as a stocky brunette with a round chin and side-swept bangs glanced out at the knot of people milling on the sidewalk with open disapproval.
“Hey, Sam,” the brunette said. “You mind giving us a hand so that we can get this guy inside and downstairs?”
“On it.” Sam raised his voice to what Troy had dubbed Crowd Control Level and turned toward the small assembly of rubberneckers. “Scuse me, folks! If I could have your attention, plea-se.” He bit the last word into two syllables for emphasis, then waited until most of their eyes were on him before continuing, smooth and swift. “Mr. Phelps, Mr. Bartlett and myself would greatly appreciate it if you you’d all find yourselves an alternate form of afternoon entertainment. If, by any chance, you’re having trouble with the concept of respecting our passenger, here, just take a second and imagine if it was yourself, or a loved one. Thank you very much.”
Cowed, the onlookers shuffled away, and Sam stepped back to let the EMTs open the ambulance and ease the gurney out onto the pavement. The impact jostled the body under its covering, and Sam scowled as he watched one of its arms slide off its chest. “Mother’a God,” he breathed, shaking his head. “This is not how I wanted to find this man.”
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