Sandy Wasn’t Dumb

Featuring B. 417

“Tobin! Is that cocaine?”


“But there’s so much of it. What! what?”

“So I stole it from Sandy, that’s what.”

Fawn was overwhelmed. Her stomach took a drop towards the floor and her hands tingled. This was way different than smoking  some weed in the park across the street from the school.


“I’ve got plans.”

Indeed he had. With the money he was going to buy a Cadillac SUV, get it armored, hire a bodyguard, and drive to Mexico. Things were cheap in Mexico. Maybe he would buy guns in Mexico or maybe he would buy them here in the US. In Mexico, he would buy a fancy house and hire maids. Some of the maids would know someone in a local cartel. The money to be made was bigger the closer you were to the source. After that he would be set for life.

Sandy wasn’t dumb. She had one her friends/buyers in high school ask Fawn something.

DM: ” hey I heard Tobin has rail to sell”

DM: “yeah a lot but you didn’t hear it from me”


Fawn came home from school to a mother who had lost her mind. 

“He’s………..dead!” she screamed.

“who’s dead?


“What.” Fawn realized she wasn’t going to get more from Mom. Mom had always been ’emotional’ and sometimes dialog with her was impossible. This was the maximum. But was Tobin really dead?

Fawn couldn’t make any headway with Mom. Fawn couldn’t even get her to sit or lie down. She was too agitated to do anything but rock back and forth on her feet and scream. Fawn called her father at work. She wasn’t supposed to do that.


“You’re not supp…”

“Mom’s out of her mind. Is Tobin okay?”

“I see,” He’d been dealing with Mom for longer than Fawn had.

“Do your best with her. I’ll see what I can find out and be home as soon as I can.”


When he got home he told Fawn that Tobin had been shot in front of the SevenEleven. Driveby. He taken enough shots that he was dead before anyone could get to him. At the emergency room, Mom got a heavy dose from the doc and was either asleep or comatose. At that point Fawn and Dad were grateful for the silence.


A year later Mom was not much better and Dad was gone. Of course Mom had lost her job. Fawn hoped she knew enough to get Mom on disability. Uncle Harry was trying to help but he lived in another state far away.


Fawn was on her third shift. She was lucky that it was a front desk job at a hotel. Fawn could swear she was able to sleep with her eyes open.


Dr. Dobson knew what she was doing. She’d only seen the various scans of the patient. Black and white but mostly hazy gray. She knew how to read them and also what they wouldn’t be able to tell her.

Fawn was going after a bullet close to the spine. If she made the slightest mistake it meant the patient might be a paraplegic or dead.

“Is he under?” Fawn asked the anesthesiologist.

“Yep. Go ahead doctor.”

The respiratory team was prepared to keep him alive if something went awry. 

Would she need to do a vertebra fusion? She’d only know once she was in. A 9-mm bullet was in with its head facing the incision, completely encased in scar tissue, blocking the flow of cerebral spinal fluid. There was a special tool for grabbing bullets. Huh this is America.

Fawn was as cautious as she had learned to be while performing the dissection. No damage to the nerve roots if she could help it. She put on the surgical microscope headset. She had two grips to move the light in tiny increments.  She needed to be incredibly exact to release the bullet from the scar tissue. If she pulled too hard it was over for the patient, but if she didn’t pull enough the bullet was going to stay stuck. Got it. Bullet free from from the surrounding tissue.

There was no applause but a huge release of tension in the room.

As team was finishing up Fawn got to see the boy, Tobias. He had gunshot scars in many places. Tobias/Tobin. Fawn broke down and cried. Really sobbed for the first time in decades. The rest of the operating room did not know why. She’d just been phenomenal.

This is what Mom saw and it never went away.




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