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|The Patron Saint of San Luis Rey (standard:Creative non-fiction, 3009 words)|
|Author: Abaricia Garcia Santiago||Added: Aug 07 2006||Views/Reads: 2038/1443||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|Just when they needed a miracle, a healer arrived to change the people of San Luis Rey forever.|
The Patron Saint of San Luis Rey by SG Abaricia Miguel Olvido arrived at the town of San Luis Rey during the height of El Niño when wells dried up and townsfolk had to fetch their water in El Negros River. He had traveled far, past seven mountains on foot, where the roads had disappeared from pocket avalanches of rocks and mud from seventeen typhoons. No one knew who he was when he emerged from the dusty road at the edge of the town. His hair had collected the dust and mud that covered the leaves and tree branch. His face had written mournful years of longing that made him older than his twenty-five years. He emerges from the top of the road as wind swirled before him and carried up in the air the string of leaves and dried grass stems. Back then people were convinced that a stranger like him would come and emerges like a vision in the corner of their eyes. Miguel Olvido would spend the next several years in San Luis Rey as the new town doctor. People asked a lot of questions why he chose to render his service in a place most of the city people never heard of and or visited in their entire life. They never understand him since the first day he touched with his bare hands the throngs of patient that waited for him for decades or the words he mumbled on to himself as he put into writing the disease they never truly understand. All the people knew was that they are in the hands of a good man and that the pain and worries they carried for years were profoundly lessened by regular intake of medicines and daily injections. It only took a few months to spread the news that a miracle worker was available at the town of San Luis Rey. People from as far away as the remote barrio traveled for days just to reach the hospital. They brought children with dengue fever and elderly people with tell tale signs of Malaria. Sleep is what most sick people feared back then. They loathe going to deep sleep for fear they won't wake up anymore. Yet from the days these people spent inside the dingy ward of the hospital they woke up the morning after refreshed as if none of the symptoms had happened before. They no longer remember the nauseating spell and the painful dreams they cried for days and all they could do was thank the good doctor for it. It was at the height of rainy season when a group of bandits arrived in the dead of night at the hospital doorstep. The nurse cautioned Miguel Olvido that their guess wanted him and that he should make all the necessary precaution. Miguel found a wounded amazon inside the emergency room from gun battle that rages on in the slope of the mountain. “We heard about your miracles doctor, “ the leader of the bandit said to him. He was holding an armalite and his words were more of a plea rather than an intrusive order. “Who is she?” Miguel asked. “She is my wife, “ the bandit said. “ Can you take care of her wounds?” Miguel Olvido answered positively and ordered the nurse to unwrap the minor operative set. The young woman was no more than twenty years old and her leg wounds were inflamed with gangrene. “We need to debride them,” Miguel Olvido said.” Would it take longer?” the bandit asked. Miguel Olvido replied, “Yes...” The bandit seemed frustrated. “We don't have the luxury of staying here more than an hour.” Miguel Olvido put back the surgical knife in the sterile tray then politely answered, “She'll die if you take her with you.” The young woman was running a high fever and severe dehydration. “She needed a lot of antibiotics and fluids.” The bandit looked outside of the hospital window. He heard the loud noise from incoming government jeeps. He decided they have to leave immediately. Before leaving he made his promise to his wife that he would come back for her. But it was a promise the young woman barely heard due to her severe delirium. From days on end the young woman would shout in the dead of night screaming from the gun battle she barely survived. Two days later her fever subsided and the first word she uttered in her hospital bed was ‘a glass of water'. After regaining all the strength and nourishment she lost in her three months of camping in the mountain with the rest of the communist bandits she was able to recall the sad fate of her male comrades and female companions. On the second week of her hospital stay she sat on the doorway hoping her husband is still alive and ready to pick her up. The rest of the day she waited but no one came to take her away. The next morning a group of soldiers arrived to arrest her but Miguel Olvido intervened by saying he would like her to stay inside the hospital to do some work. The soldiers whose indebtedness to the good doctor is immeasurable told their superiors that the young amazon Click here to read the rest of this story (183 more lines)
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