Quiet Concern 

By:  Vanessa Sgroi



“Cap, do you think they’re going to be okay?”


“I don’t know, Mike.  I hope so.  I pray so.”


“They were all in there an awfully long time before 36s men were able to get to them.”


“I know.  Too long.  I blame myself.”




“I should never have let John and Roy go into that building after Marco and Chet.”


“Cap, that’s what they do.  They’re rescuemen.  They bring injured men out.  You didn’t know there was going to be a second explosion.”


“I should have known.”


“How?  Are you psychic?”


“No.  But, I am a Captain.  I know the right way to run an incident.”


“You DID everything right.  We all did.”


“And yet most of my crew is laying here in the emergency room, injured or worse.”


“They all have a chance, Hank.  They were all alive when they were brought out.  And they’re fighters.”


“But if they’re not okay?  Today of all days, Mother’s Day, how do I go to Mrs. Lopez or Mrs. Kelly and tell them their sons are dead?  Or, Joanne DeSoto, what do I say to her this Mother’s Day if her husband doesn’t make it?”


“If it comes to that, you’ll find the right words.”


“There are no right words for news like that.  Just empty ones.  Where the hell are the doctors?  What’s going on in those rooms?  I need to know how my men are, damn it!”


“I’m sure they’ll tell us something soon.  Do you want a refill on your coffee?”


“I guess.  At least it’s something to do.”


“It beats all that pacing.”


“I hate sitting here just waiting—not knowing.  I’m going to have to make some phone calls soon.”


At that moment, the door opened, and Dr. Kelly Brackett wearily entered the lounge.


The two occupants tensed, ready to receive unbearable news.  But, the doctor wore a smile on his face.


“Hank.  Mike.  It’s good news.  They’re going to be okay.  Marco and Johnny were hurt the worst and they’ll probably be with us for a good week or so.  Joe tells me that Roy and Chet will go home in a few days.  They each face some lengthy recovery time, but you can expect to have your whole crew back.”


A huge grin lit Captain Stanley’s face.  He glanced at Mike Stoker and noticed an equally big smile on the engineer’s face.  He reached out to shake the doctor’s hand.


“Thank you, Dr. Brackett.  Thank you.  Mike, I’m going to go make those phone calls now.  It looks like our prayers have been answered.”


* * *  The End  * * *



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Stories by Vanessa      Mother's Day Stories