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Destiny has a silent call, one follows without hearing.

From the Histories of House Ki





Chapter 1


Kathy stared at her notes on the patient with the sprained ankle that she’d treated at midnight. Her coffee was cold and the clock was ticking away at her ability to concentrate in the silence of the small Newport Oregon ER. The long secondhand hypnotically wound its way around the clock on the sterile white wall counting the forever seconds of her shift. It was three o’clock in the morning. She dropped her pen and rubbed the sleep from her eyes. Why was she here? Oh, yeah, her brother. You have to come home and help mom . . . you can get a temporary job at Newport Hospital . . . mom needs you . . . you can take that job at the Center for Disease Control later. Four years later and where was she?

The outside doors to the ER swished open and closed. Kathy sighed. No siren, no panicked phone call, no matter the receptionist and nurse were on break --- it was probably another bruised body part from Surfside Bar’s Saturday night arm-wrestling contest. She slipped off of the barstool behind the nurses’ desk and headed out the ER door.

Two scraggly men dumped a third into one of the waiting room chairs. “Hey, you guys, if you need a place to sleep it off, go to Bay House or the police station. This is a hospital ER,” she ordered. The two men backed toward the pneumatic doors, fear in their sea worn leather faces as they glanced down at the man in the chair and then without saying a word they bolted out of the building before she was through the door to the waiting room.

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