I knew I’d just stumbled upon something—what, I had no idea. I did a quick scan of our nearby surroundings, but couldn’t see anything out of place.
I quickly raced over to the young woman on her knees in the dirt. She was bruised and dirty and moaning as if in labor, and the moment I got to her I knew her shoulder was dislocated. My first thought was that she had been thrown from a car.
I crouched in front of her.
“It’s okay, honey, I’m a doctor.”
At the sound of my voice, she looked at me. Her face was grazed and bruised, and drool was dripping from her mouth as she continued to moan in agony. I knew I wasn’t going to get any coherent details from her until I stopped that excruciating shoulder pain.
When I reached for her arm, she flinched.
“Your shoulder is dislocated. I can fix that, okay. I can make it stop hurting. But first, I need you to tell me if you’re hurt anywhere else.”
She looked at me with large, mascara-smudged eyes, and finally shook her head. As another spasm of pain washed over her, she moaned again.
“What’s your name, sweetheart?” I asked, guiding her upward so she wasn’t so bent over. I needed her to try and relax a little.
She flinched and gritted her teeth. “Michelle. My… name… is Michelle.”
I nodded. “Michelle. That’s nice. I have a cousin called Michelle.” I didn’t. But I was trying to build trust. I spoke quickly because time was ticking by and I had a feeling she wasn’t going to be the only surprise I found on the side of the road. How she got here and who was involved was probably nearby. But I had to get her fixed before I worried about anything else. “Now, I’m about to get real up close and personal with your shoulder, okay, Michelle, and I need you to be real brave for me… can you do that?”
She winced and started to cry again.
“Look at me,” I said as I put her arm in the neutral position and slowly began to rotate it outwards until I felt resistance. She winced again as I moved her upper arm exteriorly. “I promise you, it’s only going to take a few moments and you’ll feel—”
The relocation of her shoulder back into its joint was swift and the pain that had rendered her almost incapable of talking seconds earlier eased almost immediately. She looked at me with startled eyes and her panting slowly turned into deep, relieved breaths.
That was when her panic turned up and she started screaming.
And holy hell! This woman did it well.
“Caveman! You have to help, Caveman!” She stumbled to her feet and pointed to the embankment a few yards away. Tire marks ground up the dirt and disappeared over the edge.
That second surprise I mentioned earlier? Yeah. It was at the base of that embankment lying beside the twisted remains of a Harley. A man. A very bloody and broken man.
I turned to Michelle. “There’s a travel first aid kit in the glove compartment of my rental. I need you to run and get it.” I thought about my handbag and the bottle of vodka I’d brought for my mom. “And my handbag. I’ll need that, too.” When she didn’t move, I yelled at her in some attempt to get her moving. “Hurry!” I needed that first aid kit. Not that I had any confidence in it having anything too useful to aid a broken biker who was quite possibly already dead.
Michelle took off while I was already calling 911 on my phone. As I scooted down the embankment, I hurried out words to the operator, then dropped my phone to the ground when I reached the body. Straight away I noticed the cut he was wearing and the familiar MC insignia on the front. Kings of Mayhem. But I didn’t recognize him.
Dropping to my knees, I checked his vitals. He was alive. But he was in a bad way. Clearly both his legs were broken and he was covered in grazes and cuts, but it was the damage to his face and mouth that concerned me the most. It looked like someone had taken to him with a baseball bat. His head and face were covered in blood, and I could tell by the extreme trauma to his mouth that he would be missing teeth.
Just as Michelle slid down the embankment to me, the broken biker began to convulse. He couldn’t breathe. Either he had vomited and was choking on it, or his facial trauma had filled his trachea with teeth and other tissue matter, stopping his airflow.
I swung back to Michelle.
“Give me that first aid kit.” She handed it to me and I quickly checked the contents. Inside were the usual suspects you would expect to see in a small travel kit. Bandages. Tweezers. Saline solution. Band-Aids. Medical tape. Small scalpel. Gloves.