Guest Author Spotlight

February 2019

In the Spotlight:  Jodi Elderton

Jodi is a Nano-Mom, ER Nurse, teacher & runner. In her precious extra hours she strives to overcome the paralysis of perfectionism and actually write! Her life is chaotic but never boring, and her work bears the evidence of her gift and her passion.

Visit Jodi Elderton at


I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead

Sometimes I wish I was dead. No, I’m not suicidal.  I just want to sleep. Figure that’s the only way I’m ever going to get some rest.  I work night shift and every cell in my body is screaming for sleep.  There’s not enough caffeine in the entire world to wake me.  As I drag out of bed, it’s as if someone tied 2-ton weights to my limbs.

“Oh crap! I should have set two alarms!”  I said to no one.  I quickly dress and bolt to my car, hoping the traffic wouldn’t be too bad.  I wipe the sleep from my eyes and chug some more coffee.

“Today, buddy!”  The joker in front of me is oblivious to the green light.  I bet he’s texting, the menace.

The glare of oncoming traffic hurts my eyes.  I hope we’re well staffed tonight.  I don’t feel like running around like a crazy person.  I haven’t recovered from last night.  It was especially brutal.  I hadn’t been on the floor for more than 5 minutes when my first patient died.  His blue face contorted in a pained grimace fills my waking moments and haunts my dreams.

His wife was in the next room screaming, “Oh God, I killed him!  I killed him!”  I had to deal with her, too.  What could I really say to comfort her?  She had been driving.  I can still hear her cries.    Then I have to suck it up for everyone else that needed me for the next 11 hours. Some days, I don’t feel like I have anything left.  If there’s such a thing as ER PTSD, I’m sure I have it.

Up ahead, blue and red overheads flash.  Things at a standstill…again.  Damn!  I’m going to be late for sure.  I call work to let them know.  That was met by a big sigh from my Charge.  What am I supposed to do?  Sprout wings and fly there?

Getting closer, there are two mangled cars on the side of the road.  SUV verses PT Cruiser.  Looks like the PT lost since it was on its side in the ditch. I don’t see an ambulance on scene.  Only a cop directing traffic.

“Are you a doctor?” He asks.  I wasn’t sure if he were talking to me or the tall guy in the truck next to me.   This must be because we’re wearing scrubs.  Geez, they’re not the only ones who do health care!

“No, ER nurse and medic.  Here are my certs.”

He ignores me as he waves on the pickup truck.  “Pull over there please. “A tall man gets out and commands the officer’s attention.  Probably, a doctor.  Nurses are always overlooked.

“We do have a possible fatality in the car and two outside.  EMS is en route.  Taking longer than usual.”

“Guess I’m going to be later now,” I mumble as I get out of my car. I try calling work again, but no luck.  My battery must be dead. That’s odd, because I just charged it.

I decide to go to the car with the possible fatality first to make sure.  The two bodies outside the car have injuries incompatible with life.  Enough said.  I’ll spare the gory details as they were probably not wearing their seat belts and ejected from the vehicle.

The woman in the car, is still wearing her seat belt and slumped over the steering wheel.  The car looks familiar.   Ironically, it’s the same make and model as mine.  I like to call the color, “Arrest Me Red.”  Still, seeing it gave me the shivers.  I’m hoping she’s still alive. I could use a win for our team.  Death has been a frequent visitor far too often.

I reach out to feel her pulse and the tall man pushes in front of me without a word.  “Excuse me.  I’m here to help too!”  What’s up with this guy?  Must have an ego the size of Texas.  By then, EMS was approaching with the stretcher.

“Hey guys over here!”  I can’t feel a pulse, but she’s still warm.  Let’s get her out of the car.  There might be a chance, “said the tall egomaniac.

It was hard to see the woman’s face for the matted tangle of hair and blood.  EMS struggles to open the jammed door. “Fire should be here any minute now.  We need the Jaws to open it,” said a solemn baby-faced medic.

The least I can do is talk to her, just in case.  I put a hand on her shoulder.  Looks like she’s wearing scrubs. Poor thing. Probably going to or from work.  I brushed the hair away from her face, hoping I didn’t know her.  Firefighters are hurrying to the car with their equipment.

My world goes dark and my eyelids flutter open to the concerned face of the tall man surrounded by the medics, as the Jaws of Life vibrate and rumble my car.  “Ma’am, Ma’am can you hear me?”  I want to answer, but my breaths come in short, painful gasps.  I am unable to draw another.

Looks like I’m going to get that rest, after all.



Previous Authors in the Spotlight:

January 2019

Karin Weiss:

The Raven Watched



December 2018

Terry Chase:

Blessed Mother Blue Sky






November, 2018

Izzy Richards:







October, 2018

Stephanie Colbert:

Darkness in the Amazon