Author : Ron Riekki

“A Curious Knot God made”
–Edward Taylor

We got the call for a girl hit by a drone.

My partner drove.

He hates patients, so he prefers to be behind the console. He leaves me in back to treat the patients. Although there’s not really much we have to do nowadays. Just swap.

We arrived at the scene and the girl had two broken femurs. We scanned her I.D. and it showed she had medical insurance. Otherwise, the rule is that we treat you for the injuries, but there’s no swap. She was all clear. Her I.D. info even showed we didn’t need parental approval. So we loaded her into the time ambulance. We asked her how long ago she was hit. She said about ten minutes. We set it for twenty minutes before the accident.

The blood loss was about a liter. We just let it happen. We’d clean it up later. Her blue sweat pants were now magenta. It was simple color mixing. Jogging blue and arterial red make a perfect magenta. Our floor was white in spots, but now mostly red. They make the floors white so that you can easily find any blood. You don’t want to leave dried blood on a floor. Diseases in dried blood can last for weeks. We had violence janitors for that.

We arrived twenty minutes in the past and waited.

It was a good intersection. A Friday. The streets looked made for femoral breaks. Some roads, you can almost see the blood about to happen in the future.

We looked around at this world. A strange one. A human junkyard of sorts. This other universe is where we drop the bodies. We take what’s healthy. We leave what’s not. It’s a world of wheelchairs and limping, of scars and missing arms. Medicine hasn’t advanced much since the invention of the time ambulance. They say it’s a crutch, that we rely on it too much now.

The girl of her past jogged up. We grabbed her, flashing our badges, the onlookers having seen it before. Her bleeding self in the ambulance looked at the pristine body, how she was only moments before. We explained who were we, but she shouted for her mom. We said her mother was in the future, healthy and perfect. We picked the version of her with the broken bones and placed her on the side of the road. We locked the door before her healthy self could jump out and break an ankle, and we’d have to go back even further in time.

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