I followed the mysterious man to an unmarked black van a block and a half away. I noticed the van had no windows in the back, the type they used for kidnapping in all of those movies.
Another, slightly older man stood nearby, waiting expectantly. He was dressed similarly in a suit and tie and held my bag under an arm.
“I need to call the hospital.”
Neither man acknowledged my statement.
Damn it. I reached into a pants pocket for my cell phone and started to dial, bloody hands and all. At least the blood was dried now. Maybe I could clean the phone sufficiently later with some alcohol wipes…
The first man snatched the phone out of my hands just as I was hearing the ringing on the other end. He shut it off and put it into his own pocket.
“You will not be working today, Dr. Benton.”
My heart was racing. Simply not showing up to a shift in the ER was an egregious act, not easily forgiven. In fact, it could cost me this job and many future jobs. There is nothing more pathetic than an out of work doctor, fired for not showing up to work. That one event would haunt me for the rest of my career. A good Samaritan could be forgiven for late but not for failing to show up at all.
A door opened on the van and two more suits got out. One was tall, the other short. Both had dark brown hair. Clean shaven. I caught a whiff of after shave.
“Who are you people?” I reached for my bag but the fellow holding it pulled it away. I needed that bag. Not having my work computer could also get me fired. HIPAA laws and all of that.
“Come with us,” he responded, motioning to the van.
“Are you fucking crazy? I’m not going anywhere in an unmarked black van with a bunch of strange men even if they are dressed in suits.”
They were nice suits, though. Well made. They showed off all of those bulky arm and chest muscles….
I stopped and tried to clear my head. What was wrong with me? I was possibly in mortal danger and here I was lusting.
“We can do this the easy way, where you get into the van, or we can do this the hard way, where you still end up in the van…”
“Who are you?”
All four eyes glowered at me.
The older one spoke up first. “We could tell you but then we’d have to kill you.” There was silence as we all regarded each other.
I looked around. Should I scream for help? The street was strangely deserted. Where were all the people? This was downtown Chicago for crying out loud. There were always people about.
Screw the computer, I decided, I was going to run.
Then they all laughed. Not a sinister laugh. No. Full on mirth-filled belly laughs. The guy with my bag slapped the taller man standing next to him on the back, smiling.
What the fuck?