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6.0 in Eureka


by Larry Strattner


Glass pipettes rattled atop the steel shuttle cart.

 

“Shit,” said the Charge Nurse. “Not again.”

 

The “standing on a wave in the ocean” feeling moved through quickly and was gone.

 

The quake shook the pen of a billing clerk as he placed a decimal point on an insurance form. A patient was charged a reasonable amount.

 

Nurses who had lived in the area for a while barely looked up from their work.

 

A screech came from Room 326 when the tremor activated an electric bed, folding its occupant into a V. Luckily, it was more a Copperplate Extended V and not Bodoni MT Condensed, which might have been painful.

 

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No bricks fell off the facades of any buildings in Old Town.

 

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A display pile of tomatoes, stacked too high, collapsed in Costco.

 

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A few dogs howled and a stoner proclaimed, “Whoa, Dude.”

 

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The Charge Nurse left work at five o'clock.  Arriving home she found the uniforms she had neatly folded and stacked still on top of the dryer.

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