The Paramedic’s Witch
Extreme Medical Services Book 5
Series: Extreme Medical Services
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The baby werewolf tried to bite him while he worked on his assessment. “How long has she been like this?” Paramedic Dean Flynn asked the concerned parents standing in the doorway of the baby’s bedroom.
“We heard the growls coming from her room about 15 minutes ago,” the mother said. “When we saw her we called 911 right away.”
Dean was glad to be back on the job at Station U after the events of the past few weeks. He had rescued his kidnapped girlfriend Ashley, an actual angel from heaven, only to have her slip away as a result of her injuries during the ordeal. She wasn’t dead, but it would be years before she could manifest again in person on earth. Along the way to rescuing Ashley, he had teamed up with a female demon hunter named Jaz Errington and a witch named Joanna. The surprises and complications continued when he and Jaz found out that Jo was their daughter, returned from the future to assist in their quest to rescue the angel.
So managing the snarling werewolf baby in the crib in front of him was a welcome change of pace back to his normal life of treating his special type of emergency patients. Those patients were the creatures of myth and legend, called Unusuals, who lived alongside their unknowing human neighbors. Dean, his partner Barry, and the other paramedics of Elk City’s Station U were tasked with helping these underserved members of the city’s community.
“I thought that Lycans didn’t start changing until they reached adolescence?” Barry asked, trying to hold the baby without getting bitten by the were-child. “What do you think is going on, Dean?”
“My guess is that the baby is having a seizure of some kind that is causing it to shift and change sooner than expected,” Dean surmised. He turned to look at the concerned parents standing nearby. “Has she been sick lately, had a cold or flu bug, or anything?”
The mother answered. “She has not been sleeping well and had a fever last night when I put her to bed. I didn’t think anything of it. Did I let this happen? Is it my fault? I’ve never heard of one of us shifting form so young before. Is she going to be alright?”
“I think she is going to be fine,” Dean reassured her. He wasn’t sure, but he thought the baby was having a febrile seizure. It was a common enough occurrence in some infants when they spiked a high fever suddenly. It kind of caused the brain to reset. That might be what happened here. The seizure must have triggered the change to werewolf.
“You’re thinking febrile seizure?” Barry asked.
Dean nodded. “So what do we do?” The paramedic asked his probationary partner, testing him.
“Actively seizing infant, we give Midazolam IM or IN,” Barry replied. He meant give the drug commonly known as Versed by injection or aerosolized spray up the nose. It was a sedative that would break the seizure and hopefully, the baby would return to human form. Hopefully.
Dean nodded in the affirmative and took over securing the snarling infant, avoiding the snapping teeth. Barry crouched down to draw up the medication in a syringe while his partner secured the patient. The new guy was coming along alright, Dean thought. He wasn’t a new paramedic, which helped. He was just new to the knowledge that some of his patients were creatures like werewolves, even werewolf babies.
Barry stood back up with his syringe and supplies and Dean turned the baby on her side so Barry could give the injection. Barry used an alcohol prep to swab the little hairy butt and then gave the intramuscular injection. It would take a few moments to begin to work so Barry took over holding the struggling and snarling infant from his partner after putting the needle and syringe in the sharps box in the side of their med bag.
“Now we just need to wait and see if the drug we just gave her does the trick,” Dean told the concerned parents. “In the meantime, while a febrile seizure is usually an isolated incident, given the startling change that occurred, we should probably take her in to the hospital to get checked out. Okay?”
“Are you sure she’ll be alright?” the mother asked.
“Look,” Barry said. He had let go of the child. The snarling had stopped and as Dean and parents leaned over the crib to look at the baby, they saw the tiny werewolf shift back into a normal baby girl. Her clothes were a little shredded from the previous struggles, but she was sleeping comfortably and looked none-the-worse for the experience.
“See,” Dean said. “She seems to be just fine. Like I said, it’s probably an isolated incident but I’d like to have you come with us while we take her into the hospital and get checked out. It may never happen again. Still, it’s better to be safe.”
“We can go to the hospital if that’s what you recommend,” the father said. “Thank you so much for helping us. I come from a long line of Lycans and I have never heard of that happening before.”
“It’s new to me, too,” Dean said. “Still, this job is all about new and exciting experiences.” He chuckled and started helping Barry pack up the gear. He would head out to the ambulance and get the car seat for the baby set up in the back of the ambulance while Barry got the baby ready to transport and brought her and the parents out to the ambulance behind him.
When they got there, mom climbed in the back with Barry and the baby while Dean pointed to the front passenger seat for the father. Dean got in behind the wheel and waited while the dad buckled his seat belt. He checked the rearview mirror to see the thumbs-up from Barry in the back that signaled him it was time to go and he pulled the ambulance out from the residential driveway, onto the street. Then they were on the way to Elk City Medical Center.
By the time they got back to their station after dropping the baby off at the ECMC ER with the nurses and doctors there, Dean was ready for the end of a long night’s work. It was nearly dawn, and he and Barry worked together back at the station to get the ambulance restocked and make sure everything was done for the end-of-shift checks. The next crew of paramedics came in at six in the morning to relieve them, and another emergency call could come in at any time so the ambulance and gear needed to be ready.
The restocking didn’t take long and the two paramedic partners walked into the squad room to the smell of a delicious breakfast in the air. A gravelly voice across the room in the small kitchenette area of the station called to them.
“I’ve got steak and eggs with home fries for you guys to round out your shift,” the shambling chef said. That was Freddy, their live-in chef. He was a zombie who had been a premier chef on the national restaurant scene until his voodoo priestess girlfriend had caught him cheating with one of his waitresses. One spell later and he was one of the undead, forcing him to leave the profession he loved. Dean and the other paramedics had adopted him after his house trailer was burned out in a hate crime. Now he lived in the station and made the paramedic teams five-star, restaurant quality meals in gratitude. The food was great as long as Freddy checked to make sure he hadn’t lost any body parts during the cooking process.
“Man, I’m starved,” Barry said. “Keep it warm for me, Freddy. I have to finish up my paperwork from the last call. It’ll only take a few minutes.”
“Will do,” Freddy croaked.
“Well, I’m not waiting,” Dean said. He took the plate offered by the zombie chef and grabbed himself a bottle of water from the fridge before sitting down to eat in the Station U squad room. The room served as an office between ambulance calls, as well as a lounge during their downtime. There were two recliner lounge chairs and a sofa, as well as a large flat screen TV mounted on one wall.
The best part of the station, in Dean’s estimation, was the extensive library on myths and legends in a bookshelf on the wall. The volumes were annotated with notes from various Station U paramedics over the years to help teach later crews the lessons learned about their special patients. Dean made a note in his smartphone to remind himself to make an annotation on one of the werewolf stories about his encounter with the werewolf baby, the first he had ever heard of.
Once he set up the reminder for later, he dug into the plate of delicious food. Savoring every bite, Dean took his time with his breakfast. That was unusual in itself. He knew that most paramedics ate their meals as fast as possible to make sure they finished before another ambulance call came in. Dean used to be that way, too. He had changed in the last few months, though. There had been a lot going on. Racist hate crime attacks on his Unusual patients, a take-over attempt of the whole city by a rogue vampire lord, and the kidnapping of his girlfriend by demons had all left him with a new perspective on life. He was determined to enjoy and savor these quiet, peaceful moments whenever he could. He knew all too well how quickly they could shift into chaos and loss.
His phone buzzed on the table next to his plate and he checked to see that a text message had come in. It was from Joanna, his recently revealed fifteen-year-old daughter. He was still getting used to that fact himself. He was too young at twenty-three to have a daughter that age under normal circumstances, but she had traveled back in time via a powerful spell to come here and help rescue Ashley. She was from twenty years in his future and only knew him as her dad. He was still struggling with thinking of her as his daughter, let alone that he was somehow responsible for her while she was here in this time and place.
He checked the text message and saw that she was up early and wanted a ride over to her mother’s apartment. Jo was staying with him because he had a spare room in his place, though he knew nothing of raising a teenaged girl. Now she wanted to go over to her mother’s place. She probably wanted to help her mother continue the job of sorting through the few remaining items left after her own parents and much of the rest of the extended family had been killed in a suspicious gas explosion and fire just a few weeks before. Dean sighed. He supposed he could take her across town to Jaz’s apartment after he got off work. This was his final night shift in the rotation and he had a few days off, so he had plenty of time to give her a ride over before he got some sleep after working all night. He could use his tiredness as an excuse not to stick around too long.
Dean didn’t relish running into his parenting counterpart. She had been as surprised as he was by the revelation they had a child together at some time in the future. It was doubly awkward because the two of them had not hit it off well when they first encountered each other. Jaz was a strong-willed individual and took umbrage whenever anyone tried to tell her what to do, or worse – didn’t immediately listen to her commands when she was in charge. Dean was willing to stand up for himself when he or someone he knew was being wronged. This dichotomy led to the two of them arguing over who had the right to reprimand Dean’s probationary paramedic Barry when he was late to a class Jaz had been teaching.
It had not gotten much better when Dean and Jaz had evaded a demon attack aimed at him and had to leave town, picking up a stray witch on the roadside who turned out to be their future daughter. The daughter who wasn’t to become a hunter like her mother, but was already committed by her father to becoming a member of a witch coven. Dean saw nothing wrong with joining the coven at its most basic level. He had made a difficult decision that affected not only him, but two other people as well. He had been the one who made the deal with the coven for his firstborn daughter to someday join them in exchange for a spell they cast on his behalf. ‘Someday’ had seemed so far away at the time.
This was the root of the awkwardness that lay between he and Jaz Errington. Then there was the problem that existed because of their opposing careers. She was a member of a hunter clan, committed to hunting down demons as well as those Unusuals she perceived as evil. She drew that line at anyone taking advantage of humans or perpetrating crimes against humans with evil intentions. He, on the other hand, was a healer and a paramedic committed to saving many of those same individuals when they needed medical care. They said opposites attracted, but he thought this was not what the proverbial “they” meant when it was said.
Dean picked up his phone and texted his daughter. He told Jo that he was fine running her over to her mother’s place. He told her to be ready when he showed up after work. She texted back a thumbs-up emoji. He finished his excellent breakfast and prepared to welcome the next shift. Bill and Lynne, the next shift’s paramedics, both showed up soon after he was finished eating. Grabbing his gear as six o’clock rolled around, Dean said goodbye to Bill, Lynne, and Barry, and headed out to his pickup truck to drive home and pick up Joanna.