Coffee Break Read – Red Jumper

Sam scooped up child and oxygen cylinder.
“Okay Bill, we’re gonna run. Is that OK? I won’t drop you.”
William nodded, and Sam set off down the stairs as fast as he could safely go. Out of the door they went, and across the grass to the waiting helicopter. Sam ran as fast as he could, silently thanking God for all the hours he spent in the gym. As he reached the chopper, the door opened and he handed his burden into the arms of one of the waiting crewmen. He jumped into the machine, hearing gunfire behind him and felt something sting his shoulder.
“Bastards,” he said. “Anybody else hit?”
“Yeah. One.” Rod said.
“No. Shoulder. Flesh wound.”
“Okay. I’ll have a look after we’ve settled Bill. You come sit with him and hold him so he’s sitting up. And chat to him. I don’t want him going back to sleep yet.”
“Right. I will. But what about you? Are you hit?”
“Sort of. Just a scrape across the biceps. I’ll spray it and shove a plaster on it.”
He suited action to words, before turning his gaze towards the boss of the jumpsuit men.
“Is there any problem with them shooting at the chopper?”
“Nah. It’s armoured. Even the glass. And they don’t seem to have any serious shooters. Mostly sawn offs, a couple of two-twos and a few handguns.”
“Good. I’ll look at your bloke’s shoulder as soon as. Can you get him out of his jumpsuit?”
“Will do.”
Sam turned his attention to the child in Rod’s lap. He grinned down at him and carefully removed the oxygen mask.
“How you doing Billy Boy?”
“I feel awfully sick.”
“I can give you an injection to stop that.”
He saw William’s involuntarily wince.
“What is it little man? Did they hurt you when they injected you with their drugs?”
“Yes. They hurt me a lot.”
Sam stroked his head.
“Well we won’t give you an injection then. I have some pills, though they won’t work quite as well.”
William studied his face for a moment.
“Will you hurt me if you give me an injection?”
“No. I promise I won’t.”
The little boy held his sleeve.
“Then you can give me a shot. I feel so very sick.”
“That’s a boy.”
Sam took a local anaesthetic spray from his bag and lifted the sleeve of William’s T-shirt. What he saw there made him tighten his mouth.
“That arm looks a bit sore. Is the other one the same?”
Rod hugged the small figure very tightly and his face was stony. Sam managed a grin for William.
“Leg then?’
William nodded and Sam sprayed the small thigh liberally. Then he prepared the anti-nausea shot. Before William had a chance to flinch the injection was done.
The little boy was jubilant.
“I didn’t feel a thing.”
“Good. So will you trust me enough to let me give you a shot of antibiotics? You are very cold and you might have picked up a bug.”
“Yes. You won’t hurt me.”
Sam swallowed around a big lump in his throat then gave his small patient a shot of penicillin.
“Can somebody open my bag?” he said. “There’s a red jumper in the top, and I need it.”
A hand passed him the soft wool and he pulled it over William’s head.
“Arms through. It’s much too big but it will help to warm you. And now, stick your legs inside this sleeping bag. Better?”
William actually managed a little giggle before rubbing his face in the softness of the sweater.
“It smells like my Daddy and it’s as soft as clouds. Can I go sleep now?”
“You can. Cuddle into uncle Rod and keep nice and snuggly.”
William turned into his uncle’s huge chest and gave a small sigh before falling asleep.
“Sam,” Rod said “this jumper is cashmere.”
“And? That child is cold. No contest. Now I’m going to look at this gunshot wound before the boomer boys get back.”

From The Cracksman Code by Jane Jago You can also listen to this on YouTube.

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