Lethal Injection

By Jerry Leake

Lethal Injection Divided into five distinct parts, Lethal Injection revolves around the life of a third year intern named Diane Saunders - a twenty eight year old doctor of internal medicine who, during her residency at Boston County General, inadvertently uncovers a series of unexplained deaths which have been taking place over a ten year period. The discoveries she makes during her informal investigation of these deaths nearly cost Diane her career and her life.

Spiral: 225 pages
Edition: GBC Bound
ISBN: 0-927855-17-8
Price: $10.00
Shipping: $2.50

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    The morning after Charles Smith had died, Diane descended the stairwell one flight to the basement, walking to a large steel door at the far end of the corridor. She read the single word painted on the glass - Pathology. She entered the long, narrow room and noticed the cinderblock walls painted bright white. The room smelled sterile to her and looked in disarray with empty Starbucks cups laying about and microscope slides scattered across a long black counter. She saw stacks of books on the counter, one nearly ready to topple over from being out of balance. Toward the back of the room an older man was gazing intensely into a microscope, as if in a trance. She let a few seconds pass, wondering if he had even heard her enter.
    "Excuse me." She waited a moment, repeated herself.
    Gazing into the microscope, the man finally said, "Yes?"
    "I was wondering if the results were in on Charles Smith?"
    Without looking her way, he pointed haphazardly to a disorganized pile of files on his desk. Diane searched through several layers of manila folders and located Charles Smith's file. She noticed that there was no indication of any bloodwork having been performed.
    "I'm sorry to bother you," she said.
    The man pulled back from the microscope, rubbing his eyes with both hands while stretching his back. "Sometimes I feel like I'm turning into a statue," he muttered, finally looking at her. He sprouted a smile, having noticed how attractive she was. "I don't receive too many visitors down here, Doctor..."
    "Saunders," she said, instinctively raising the file to cover over her shirt. "I don't see any toxicology report. I know you're busy, but I wanted to ask you a few questions."
    "No problem." He adjusted his position in a tall, swivel chair. "I'm head of the department here, Ben Phillips," he said, extending his hand to Diane. "Although, that's not saying much. I only have one other person working with me down here in the dungeon."
    Diane glanced again at the file. "According to your report, Charles Smith's internal organs were fine, no myocardial infarction, or explanation for the sudden death. Can you run some toxicology tests?"     "Yes, well, that would be the next step," Ben said, rubbing his neck. "I need authorization; I guess you could order it. Are you a resident doctor here?"
"Yes. Where should I sign?" she asked, flipping one page over.     That's it," he said, motioning to the bottom. "Also check the box indicating toxicology and I can have it for you by this time tomorrow. So,..." he casually said, "how's life on the ground floor?"
    "Busy - what with the Pilot Program in full swing, I barely have time to catch my breath."
    He laughed. "It's funny how things can become so intense up there in the ER and OR, and yet I find myself drifting in nothing but peace and quiet down here in the lab. I don't know how you doctors handle the pressure and chaos."
    Diane thought to herself that she would probably go crazy here in pathology with no one to talk to, and minimal spontaneity or variety to the work. "To each their own, I guess, Doctor Phillips."
    "Please, call me Ben," he said, but she decided against that.
    She checked her beeper, hoping it would go off. "Well, thanks very much, doctor."