Johnny looked at the clock and realized that in ten hours, there would be the devil to pay. How could he have forgotten? Absentmindedly, he twirled the bloody scalpel in his hand; this surgery would last another fifteen.
"Stop showboating, John" Melanie said, mopping up the blood welling deep in the sedated man's open chest. "Focus."
Yeah. Focus. In ten hours - long before we can stitch this poor bastard back up - I'm going either going to die standing here, or I'm going to forget everything I know about surgery. Focus. Sure. Beat the clock.
Thirty minutes and nine hours later, John blinked back the sweat from his eyes. He thought he had it done - completed the complicated procedure in record time - when the heart monitor suddenly stopped its rhythmic beeping."SHIT!" he and Melanie said at the same time. "Adrenalin!"
The heart restarted with a visible shudder, like a person freezing to death. Johnny looked up at the clock and saw that he had fifteen minutes left. "Melanie, can you fin -" The monitor cut him off midsentence with a long eerie wailing. "Not again."
Johnny grabbed the heart and began squeezing it to keep it pumping. Suddenly, he could hear nothing but the pounding of the blood in his ears, keeping time with the un-dead heart in his hands, and the loud ticking of the clock. "C'mon, damnit! Where's my defib?" But they were already there; long thin rods with flattened ends.
"Get outta the way, John!" Melanie again, holding the defibrillator. He barely heard her, reacting more to the sight of the metal rods, pulling out his hands, watching the heart lying limp once again. "Clear!"
John staggered backwards, out of the operating table light and into the shadows. Exhausted. "Clear!"
He looked at the man on the table, sleeping peacefully, blissfully unaware of the battle being fought for the possibility of eventually waking him up again. That's not such a bad way to go, John thought. "Clear!"
At least he won't know what hit him.
The man's eyes flew open. John knocked over a tray of bloodied instruments. The man's head snapped to the side and speared John with those cold blue eyes. John felt a moist warmth seeping down his legs. In his head, a voice thundered: "He knows, John."
"Call it." Melanie again. Resignation in her voice. Defeat. "Time of death, 3:00 am."