“Pull over man, I think that person might need some help,” said Ghoul.
“I don’t really want to do that. No thank you,” I returned.
I guessed that the midsize car was roughly two-hundred or so feet ahead on the shoulder. The sun was bright mostly above the treeline, and in my face.
“What if they’re broken down or lost?”
“That’s life, man.”
“You’re quite the negative prick, huh?” he said.”With your Debbie-Downer existential observations that cling closer to rude than cool. It should be common practice to help those whom appear to be in need. I mean, yeah, there is a chance this could be staged and a raucous band of highwaymen await in the ditch, brandishing hungry blades and murderous intent, but that’s the risk you take to help others.”
We were closing in on the car, fifty-feet maybe, when the back door burst opened.
“Someone is getting out, look.”
A man stumbled from the backseat, into the road. He appeared frantic, alarmed. I slowed to a crawl and noticed a mortified grimace upon his pale face. Ghoul saw it too. He rolled his window and stuck his head out. I couldn’t hear the conversation, didn’t really care to be honest. I wanted to continue down the road, forget this minor detour and carry on. But Ghoul’s announcement suggested otherwise.
“Holy shit! The dude’s wife’s having a baby in the back seat and he doesn’t know what to do.”
“Holy shit!” I said.
I rushed just ahead of the car and slammed the car into park. There was a sense of urgency built within that I couldn’t ignore; all systems were go when someone needed help.
The man turned his direction towards us, continuing to yell with hysterical gratitude. He was a lanky sort with round glasses covering a jutting brow.
“Don’t worry sir: my friend works in a hospital,” said Ghoul.
I ignored Ghoul’s vague description of my employment, knowing full well that he was only attempting to reassure the man’s anxieties.
“Sir, have you called 911 yet?” he shook his head through muffled tears. “Okay, we need to do that.”
“He is going to do his best, sir. Take us to your wife,” said Ghoul.
He took us to the car. The windows were fog covered and his wife’s screams cut through the cars metal like a hot knife through butter. Then those cries transformed into a thunderous roar of agony; I will never repeat such foul abominations, but know this, they were of the damned. I had a sudden urge to run but Ghoul must have sensed this. He grasped onto my sweater with his decaying hands, holding me firm.
“Look at me,” he was silent until I matched his gaze. “You’re gonna do great, kid. Now get in there.”
Ghoul stepped around my side and shoved me in the backseat, where I fell face-first into a wet spot.
“Are you going to help or what?” asked a low voice, deep with pain and sorrow.
My head jolted up and I smashed into the ceiling in my desperate attempt to gain appropriate space with a strange woman naked from the waist down.
“Ma’am you just need to breathe, or something like that. Everything is going to be fine. My buddy has called the hospital and they’re on the way, so keep doing what you’re doing.”
I turned to Ghoul with the hope that he understood what I was getting at.
Ghoul was with the soon-to-be father. They were embraced, with Ghoul’s head resting on the man’s chest. There was a gentle sway between them and I could hear Ghoul reassured with gentle hushes. “It’s going to be okay,” he sung. “You’re doing awesome.” A rough pair of hands suddenly stole me away from this tender moment.
“Get. This. Baby. Out of me!”
Frothy saliva spat from the woman’s lips. She seemed feral, mad with rage and I knew to tread lightly. An of inch of baby crown was poking out, or at least that’s what I guessed it to be. I had no idea, really. I worked in the morgue, not newborn delivery.
“Okay ma’am, I think I see your child’s head. Just let me know when you need to push,” I said.
“Of course the baby’s head is sticking out–Oh shit oh shit oh shittttt.”
“Did you push? Was that it?” I asked.
“Just get ready to catch it,” she ordered.
The backseat offered no suitable replacement for a receiving blanket replacement, so I yanked my sweater over my head, and held it down by her crotch. The baby’s crown expanded and I acted quickly, reaching underneath the slimy baby in an effort to support the head. With a final burst of energy, the child was pushed from the darkness of the women’s exasperated vagina and into the world. The
The father rushed forward and I handed him the newborn. I was covered in birth fluids, sweaty, and exhausted. Ghoul squeezed forward to catch a peek and congratulate them.
“Never called 911,” he admitted. “Thought you would want to tell them the good news.”
Two ambulances arrived along with a local cop. The officer applauded my bravery while the paramedics loaded up the family for their trip to the hospital. One of the EMT’s stopped to talk with us before departing.
“What happened to the placenta?” he asked.
“A coyote ran up and snatched it up while we were calling you guys. I tried to stop it, but the damn thing got away so fast,” answered Ghoul.
The EMT left satisfied with that answer while Ghoul went home with a snack.
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017