Cold dead eyes stare up at the ceiling of the ambulance. They sink back into a skull that hangs loosely off the back of the gurney the patient was too tall for. Black, bloody vomit continues to flow out of the patient’s mouth, his retching now nothing but uncontrolled spasms in his limp body. The vomit is chunky, filled with pieces of the patient’s stomach lining. The vomiting spasms become so intense blood begins to leak from the dead eyes. Blood leaks from his nose. He is soaked in his own blood.
He cannot see. He cannot hear. He had fainted from the intensity of his retching spasms and the disturbing sight of his vomiting up his own stomach, as well as loss of blood. The patient was dying.
Paramedics were frantic, trying to save the boy. Yes, he was only a boy. Thirteen. Too young for this. He should have been playing basketball, doing homework, texting friends. This... this wasn’t right.
There was nothing the paramedics could do other than keep the patient from choking on his own blood and stomach lining. Until they could get him to the ER, they couldn’t remove the killer substance from his stomach.
In the ambulance with them was the boy’s mother. Despite her uncontrolled sobbing, they still questioned her on every aspect of what had happened.
“How did you find him?”
“He was in his room… throwing up… with a bottle of Drano in his hand.”
“How full was the bottle?”
“Do you have any idea how much was in the bottle to begin with?”
“It was brand new.”
The woman’s sobbing grew more violent, and she started begging them to save her son with uncontrolled screams. The paramedics had to try to calm her down, keeping her from making the process of keeping the boy alive any harder.
After what seemed like decades, they arrived at the Emergency Room. He was quickly rushed in on the gurney, and after a moment a doctor decided that he needed immediate surgery. He was taken away to have the Drano drained from his system before it could do any more damage, but his mother was stopped before she could follow.
“Ma’am, this area is off limits. You aren’t allowed-”
“‘Off limits’ my foot!” the woman shouted, hysterical. “Let me see him! Let me see my son!”
Her screaming grew louder and made less sense, she tried to push her way past security, but she was quickly restrained. They dragged her out into the waiting room, her screaming and thrashing growing more violent, and forced her to sit down. Other people in the room looked disturbed and afraid, and some even got up to move to the other side of the room.
“Ma’am, we need you to calm down.”
“My son is dying! How the hell do you expect me to be calm?”
“Screaming like this won’t do him any good. You’re just stressing yourself out more than you need to be.”
“Get off of me! Let me see him!”
The struggle continued for several minutes before the woman grew violent. She clawed at one of the faces of the security men, leaving a bloody scratch. She started kicking, hitting shins, knees, whatever she could reach. More guards came out, and they had to pin the woman down by all four limbs. She tried to bite one of the men, and a guard pulled out his radio.
“Code yellow. We have a code yellow in the waiting room. We need sedatives.”
The woman continued screaming and struggling. She cursed out the security guards for keeping her away from her son, and now trying to sedate her. Still, they had her held down. A doctor came out holding a syringe. As the woman screamed, they injected the sedatives into her arm. Life fading to darkness, her body went limp.
When the woman would wake, she would learn that her son’s stomach had been eaten alive by the drain unclogger, and he had not survived. The surgery had not been performed quick enough, and even the doctors began to cry.
A thirteen year old boy, soaked in his own blood, his eyes bloodshot and blood leaking from every orifice in his body: dead.
It went on to be reported as a suicide. It was a suicide. No one knew why.
No one, that is, except for his mother.
Weeping, a woman runs into a bathroom, locking the door behind her. A man’s screams can be heard from outside, and banging on the door shakes the room. Terrified, the woman looks over to see a bottle on top of the toilet.
Shaking and covered in bruises, the woman grabs the bottle.
Cold dead eyes stare up at the ceiling of the ambulance. They sink back into a skull that hangs loosely off the back of the gurney the patient was too tall for. Black, bloody vomit continues to flow out of the patient’s mouth, her retching now nothing but uncontrolled spasms in her limp body. The vomit is chunky, filled with pieces of the patient’s stomach lining. The vomiting spasms become so intense blood begins to leak from the dead eyes. Blood leaks from her nose. She is soaked in her own blood.
She cannot see. She cannot hear. She had fainted from the intensity of her retching spasms and the disturbing sight of her vomiting up her own stomach, as well as loss of blood. The patient was dying.
Sitting beside her in the ambulance is a man. He holds his head, not showing his tears. He refuses to answer the questions asked by the paramedics.
Soon enough, he knows, he will be burying his wife next to his son.
And later, maybe even himself.