The Strange Man

Doctor Russell Garamond fairly lept across the room (one he had finished leaping out of his skin) making a mad grasp for the swiftly departing man who had only seconds ago been lying prone on an operating table. Despite being a fairly rotund figure, this “other Doctor” moved surprisingly quick, bustling out of the OR with a great sense of purpose. Russell soon found himself chasing this strange man down the corridors of the hospital, finding it very difficult to keep up with the abrupt twists and turns this man was making. Russell was tall and lanky, with long legs, but still his portly quandary eluded him, short legs walking at a brisk gambol toward the hospital exit. As the strange man entered the reception area, several things happened in such rapid succession, and such pinpoint chance, that Russell did not have a chance to shout to an orderly or a coworker.
First, another patient was brought in for examination and the receptionist, seeing Russell apparently had time for a quick jog about the hospital, assigned him to it. As the patient’s wheelchair was being thrust into his stomach Russell saw the odd figure intercept an orderly and remove some of his personal artifacts that the orderly just happened to be carrying by: a tan overcoat with noticable hunter green stitching, an brown tweed windsor cap to match his jacket and a small satchel of personal belongings. With a flurry of hands and a prim and proper (if not a bit condescending) “Thank you, m’boy,” the man was out the door, his short legs propelling him like a brisk privateer.
Russell was furious. Shoving the wheelchaired patient uncerimoniously to one of his scrubs (who had recently come out of shock and had hurried after Russell) Doctor Garamond blustered his way to the front desk and prepared to have it out with the wry and dry night receptionist.
“Why in the blue hell did you let that man would out of here?!” he shouted, “didn’t you just see him brought in for surgery not ten minutes ago?!”
“Well he didn’t seem in much need of surgery to me, Mister Garamond,” the receptionist snapped back, “in fact he seemed fit enough to outrun your scrawny ass out of this building! Now please, get back to work and help those who actually need it!”
“Me leg does hurt me somefin awful,” The wheelchair man said, trying to be helpful.
Russell bristled and waved a callous hand at the scrub. “Fine! Fine. Take him in, let’s see what’s wrong,” He turned and glared at the receptionist in sadistic glee, “I’ll let you deal with all the paperwork.”
And with that he was off, back to work, but he still could not shake the imagine of that man who had gone from unconscious with two bullets in his abdomen to motoring out of the hospital doors. He came in so fast and left just as quick they probably didn’t get a single bit of paperwork on him, and the ambulance reports were no doubt whisked away during his calculated mad dash out of the ward. That also troubled him: the way the man seemed to know what was happening, and where, and how, and when, and who. It was surreal, as if he’d been there before… there was no way he was getting any sleep tonight, far too many thoughts to keep him awake. Suddenly everything in his room would start to trigger something. His bedside clock, his perfect timing. His tan curtains, the man’s tan overcoat. The shape outside his window, an old police box from the 1960s…wait, what? A police callbox? And a shadowy moving toward his window?
But he lives on the second floor!

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