Thank you, Lord!
When I was a young girl my parents used to take us “up north” to stay in a cabin on Fish Lake. I always remember those trips fondly, learning how to swim and water ski on the lake. So when it came time to write a mini-series I wanted to create a setting that reminded me of the fun times I had as a young girl.
I created this fictional town of Crystal Lake a few years ago and the town and its characters drew me back to tell more stories about it. This Novella is to introduce my new Crystal Lake series. If you enjoyed this story I hope you consider reading A Soldier’s Promise which is Julie Crain’s story. The first chapter is after this letter if you want to give it a try.
I love to hear from my readers and you can find me on Facebook under LauraScottBooks, on Twitter @laurascottbooks or my website www.laurascottbooks.com.
Yours in faith,
A Soldier’s Promise
“Hey, Jules—we have two trauma patients on the way, ETA less than five minutes.”
ER nurse Julie Crain stifled a groan. She’d just returned from taking her previous patient down to the morgue, and she was emotionally drained from dealing with his grieving family. She forced her exhaustion aside. “Okay, what’s the story?” she asked, glancing up at Merry Haines, the ER charge nurse at Hope County Hospital.
“A two-vehicle crash, T-bone on the driver side. From what I hear, the drunk driver who ran a red light and caused the crash wasn’t hurt-but the guy in the SUV and his young daughter are being brought in.”
Julie caught her breath as her heart thumped painfully in her chest. Oh, no. Not a young child. She couldn’t handle an injured child. She closed her eyes and prayed.
Please God, keep the little girl safe. And her father, too.
“I hope they lock up the drunk driver and throw away the key,” Merry muttered.
She understood where Merry was coming from. Working in the ER, they’d both seen more than their fair share of alcohol- or drug-related injuries and deaths.
Dr. Gabe Allen came into the room in time to catch the last part of their conversation. “The driver was Tommy Hinkle,” he said with a dark scowl. “So yeah, I think that scenario is highly likely.”
Not a tourist then, but one of their own. Tommy Hinkle was the Crystal Lake troublemaker, picking up where his father had left off. At nineteen, he wasn’t even legal to drink at all, much less drink and drive.
Tommy would end up in jail this time, for sure. Just like his father. The only good thing was that his mother, Annie Hinkle was still recovering in a Madison rehab center from a terrible car crash and wasn’t here to see her son behind bars.
Before she could check over their supplies, the doors from the ambulance bay burst open, and a bevy of paramedics wheeled in two gurneys.
Julie was relieved to be in position to take the first patient, which happened to be the father.
“Thirty-year-old Derek Ryerson, suffered loss of consciousness at the scene,” the paramedic announced. “We placed two eighteen-gauge PIV’s and gave a liter of fluid so far. His vitals remained stable throughout transfer.”
She quickly connected the heart monitor leads to his chest, reassured by the steady beat of his heart. She leaned over to perform a neurological assessment, noting an abrasion on the side of Derek Ryerson’s left temple that was easily seen, considering his military-short dark hair. Concerned about a possible head injury, she carefully lifted his eyelids and peered at his pupils. She flashed her penlight, grateful to note they were both equal and reactive.
She continued her assessment, listening to his heart and his lungs. The right side of his lungs didn’t sound as clear as his left side, and there was an angry red band across his chest from where the seatbelt had held him in place, likely preventing additional and more serious injuries. When she brushed a hand over the right side of his ribcage, he let out a low groan.
Bruised or broken ribs? Or something worse? She glanced up again at the heart monitor, but his vitals continued to be stable.
Before she could call over to Dr. Allen, a large hand reached out to grab her wrist. She gasped, her gaze clashing with his as he stared at her intently. His hard, blue, uncompromising gaze caused a spurt of fear.