FIND ME !!
A Civil War time travel romance
Dr. Carolyn Summersby was tired, no, more than tired. It was near midnight and she'd been
in the ER of Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital more hours than her mind could focus on.
The pile up on 285 had been horrendous, one vehicle after another slamming into each other in the dense fog. Grady, as the premiere level 1 trauma center within 100 miles of metro Atlanta,
had received the largest number of victims.
The last of the ones she'd treated had just been transported back to ICU and she sat heavily
in the small chair, her stethoscope draped over her left shoulder, burying her face in her hands.
After several minutes she let out a long sigh and reached back, pulling out the band that held
her long, dark blonde ponytail, the soft waves of her hair tumbling loose. Her scalp felt odd
where the band had been tight and she rubbed the fingers of her right hand there, her gaze
across the room on the empty gurney but totally not seeing it. Pinching the bridge of her nose,
she squeezed her eyes tightly shut.
"Home, Carolyn," she sighed to herself and started to stand but something suddenly seemed
to be there on the gurney and she dropped back into the seat, blinking rapidly.
A man's form lay on the table. Well, it did and it didn't. It sort of wavered there and she
shook her head almost violently. Was she that tired? Opening her mouth a little, she began
sucking in little puffs of air, watching, staring, blinking. He was dressed in gray, what she
could see of him anyway. A large portion of the gray seemed to be covered in fresh blood.
The form faded in and out several times, then solidified.
"Good Lord!" she bit out then did stand, taking the five steps to cross the small room. From
there she could look straight down on him. He was unconscious, blood matted on the right side
of his head, but there was also blood across the front of his...was that a uniform?...and down
his right leg.
She touched his cheek and he groaned, half-opening green eyes that looked up at her, their
depths filled with agony. It was evident he wanted to say something but the effort was very
"It's all right," she said. "You're in the hospital now. We've got you."
He shook his head, his eyes now misting with tears. "N...no," he moaned. "No."
"Yes. Yes, you are in the hospital now. We'll take care of you."
The tip of his tongue came out, licking across his lower lip, and he locked his eyes with hers,
an expression in them that utterly shocked her.
"Car...Carolyn," he managed, his voice breaking. "Oh, God, Carolyn...find me!"
She took a step backwards, her hand flying to her mouth. "Wha...what?"
His form began to waver again and, horrified, she could see through him to the gurney. Seconds
more and he was completely gone.
"Wait!" she cried, lunging for the gurney, her hands closing on nothingness. Then for a long
moment she stared at her empty hands, almost gasping for breath. Finally she staggered
backwards, almost missing the chair in her blind need to sit before she fell. Again she squeezed
her eyes tightly closed, so tightly it made her face hurt.
This wasn't real, couldn't be real. She began scrubbing at her face with both hands then
dropped them into her lap and stared at the gurney. What was that? Going back to it, she
looked down at what had been a clean white sheet. There was a smear of blood where his
leg had rested. Her hand shaking, she reached down, touching it with a fingertip that came
away wet and red. She just stared at it dumbly, unable to think.
Just then, her best friend, Angie, also an ER doctor, poked her head in. "Hey, Carolyn, I'm
finished now, too. You wanna go for a beer or somethin'?"
"What?" She turned, still holding her finger up.
"Hey, woman, you cut yourself?" Angie asked, taking hold of Carolyn's wrist.
"Yeah, you're bleedin'."
"As in blood. You know, that red stuff."
"Ah, it's not mine."
"Then where the heck are your gloves? You know better than to touch a patient's blood."
"Ok, what's up, Carolyn? Aliens abduct your brain?"
Carolyn nodded. "Yes, um hm."
"Yes, your brain was abducted?"
"I, ah, thanks, Angie. No beer. I think...I think I just want to go home." She blinked several
times then looked back at the blood-stained sheet.
"Ok, gal. Somethin's sproinged in you. I can't have you drivin' home. No arguments. I'm
goin' to drop you off an' I'll pick you up tomorrow afternoon."
"What? Oh, ok. Um hm. Yeah."
"Maybe you'd like to wash your finger first, you think?"
"Wash? Oh, yeah." She started to follow Angie out into the hall but turned back and began to
pull the sheet loose from the gurney.
"What in the name of all that's holy are you doin', Carolyn?"
Carolyn kept on folding the sheet. "I need this."
"You need a bloody sheet? Are you crazy?"
"It...it's all I've got."
"All you've got of what?"
"I...never mind...can we go now?"
Carolyn washed her hands, keeping the sheet tucked under her arm, then went to the doctors'
lounge, took off her white coat, got her purse, and still holding the sheet followed Angie out
to her car.
"You're worrying me, you know," Angie remarked as they headed toward Carolyn's condo.
"Don't," she sighed. "I'm fine. Just tired."
"What does tired have to do with needin' that sheet you're guardin' so closely? It got the
Queen's blood on it or somethin'?"
"I don't know."
"You don't know whose blood's on it? Carolyn, you're gettin' strangerer an' strangerer."
Angie sighed dramatically loudly. "You're not goin' to tell me, are you?"
"I...I don't know what to tell." She closed her eyes. "I really don't."
"I know! I know! Don't pry, Angie! It's none of your business, Angie! It's just you've got me
worried, Carolyn. I've never seen you like this before. Did one of the crash victims kinda
get to you or somethin'?"
"Or something," Carolyn repeated. "I don't know."
Angie pulled up near the front door of Carolyn's townhouse condo. "Look, I'm only ten
minutes away. You call me if you need me in the night. You got that? No matter what time."
"Got it." Carolyn managed a small smile. "Uh, thanks, Angie."
Inside, Carolyn turned on a lamp, toed off her shoes, dropped her purse on the floor and sat
on her couch, the folded sheet on her lap. The way she'd folded it, you couldn't see the blood,
so she pulled it open somewhat, looking at it, her lips pursed. It was still there and it was
blood, real honest-to-God blood. His blood.
"Who are you?" she whispered? "How are you? Where did you go?"
He'd said her name. Twice...two times...yes, he'd clearly said her name. "This is just not
possible," she reminded herself. "Not at all possible." He hadn't been there, then there he
was, and then he was gone again. It was true, the blood was all she had. Maybe that meant
she wasn't crazy...at least not entirely crazy.
What did he mean Find me!! ? He'd said it desperately and with the strangest look in his eyes.
He was terribly injured. That much had been clear. But why the gray uniform? Getting
quickly up, she powered on her laptop, bringing up a search engine, running through color
pictures of all sorts of American uniforms. Gray...it was gray. She began looking at Civil
War uniforms then, Confederate ones. She remembered the markings it had had and finally
sat back, staring at the screen. He'd had on a Confederate captain's uniform. She checked
carefully. Yes, that was definitely it.
ON TO PART 2
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