Watkin's GeneralbyColleen Thomas©
"Dr. Norwood to Trauma One, Dr. Norwood to Trauma One, Stat,"
Natalie looked up with bleary eyes from her cup of burned coffee. The little break room seemed dreary, but it was a sanctuary from the pandemonium of Watkins General on a Friday night. She rose unsteadily to her feet and gulped down the bad coffee, tossing the cup into the garbage as she hurried out.
Dr. Natalie Norwood was a tall, striking woman of twenty - three. Angular features and long brown hair set off her arresting gray eyes. She was tall and slender with boyish hips and very small breasts that rode high on her chest. She had the body of a dancer and in fact, she attended dance classes on her off days. Her long, shapely legs and tiny feet were her best features in her opinion, but her admirers always seemed to be enchanted with her eyes. Tonight those eyes were bloodshot and felt twice as large as they should be.
Watkins General on a Friday night. Her first Friday night on the trauma team and she was not sure she could handle it. She had seen seventeen patients so far, mostly kids; gun shot wounds, stab wounds and the occasional OD. There was a gang war going on in the mostly Black and Hispanic neighborhoods around the inner city hospital.
I don't think I am going to be able to do this, she thought as they wheeled in another gunshot case. A child, she thought, no more than twelve. His chest was torn open and he had a sucking chest wound. For a fraction of a second Natalie felt faint, but then the steely professionalism that had allowed her to graduate in the top of her class at med school took over.
"Suction," she said in a firm voice.
* * * * *
Natalie had grown up in a small, racially homogenous mid- western town. In High School she had shown great aptitude for anatomy and dreamed of becoming a doctor. Her parents, who ran a small farm, could not afford college for her much less med school. She found out from her guidance counselor about a government program where the Federal Government would pay for your medical school, if you agreed to spend your first five years after graduation in an area that needed doctors. She had happily agreed, imagining herself the Florence Nightingale of an Indian reservation, or in some remote community out west.
Watkins had been a major shock to her. Not only was she dreadfully uncomfortable in such a big city, but being one of three whites on staff made her feel even more isolated. Natalie was a shy woman and did not like the club scene so she had met practically no one whom she didn't work with. This added to her sense of loneliness, as well as to her rising need. She missed Dawn, the sandy haired butch who had been her regular lover in med school. Dawn was a bit of a nympho, very nearly insatiable and Natalie was used to sex at least once a day. Sunday would mark a month in this strange city, and her vibrator was quickly losing its ability to get her off.
Natalie she sat in the break room with tears in her eyes. Her shift had ended five minutes ago, but she could not make herself move. Twenty kids had come across her operating table. She had lost eight of them on the table, and two more had died after the operation in recovery. They weren't using Saturday night specials anymore, now they used heavy artillery, guns that shredded flesh, splintered bone, tore open organs and left fist sized holes in people. The gangs had gone high tech, and there was only so much she could do. They didn't need doctors here, She thought, they needed army medics. The really depressing part was when she found out from the head resident that she had done better than himself and Dr. Coombs. She could not accept loosing half of those she treated as a success, but here the norm was closer to thirty percent.
She looked up as someone entered the break room laughing. It was Tasha, one of the trauma room nurses. She was a short black woman, about twenty-five years old, with a pretty face, ebony skin, a massive bust and what Natalie had heard the orderlies refer to as "junk in the trunk". Competent, efficient and unfailingly cheerful, she was a favorite of doctors and patients alike. She also had an intangible quality about her, one that left Natalie wondering what she would be like in bed.
She and Tasha had gotten off to a rough start. The black woman had been standoffish and defensive, sometimes even bordering on belligerent during Natalie's orientation period. Her parents would have classified the woman as "uppity". Natalie had shrugged it off, along with the rest of the staff's seeming dislike of her. She had always been shy, and the angry looks from under veiled lids simply made her want to become invisible. That had all changed her first night in the trauma ward, Tasha had gone from being her nemesis to being her most ardent supporter, seemingly by magic.
"You all right hunny?" Tasha said, concern replacing the laughter in her voice.
"I don't know,"
"Poor baby, this was your first Friday wasn't it?"
Tasha was standing close to her and before Natalie could move, or even think the short nurse wrapped her up in a big hug. Natalie's face was pressed tightly against the nurse's huge breasts, they were soft and yielding, and Natalie couldn't help but snuggle into the fleshy pillows. Tasha held her tightly, stoking her back.
"It'll be all right, hun. They shouldn't have left you alone on a Friday yet," she said in a voice that seemed as soothing to the exhausted Doctor as her mothers had been when she was a child. "What's this?" a heavily accented Spanish voice called out. Natalie started to pull away, but Tasha held her tight.
"Nothing, Doc Norwood just needed a hug," Tasha said easily.
"Looks like she wants a tit," the voice said sarcastically.
"Maria, you lay off. It was her first Friday in trauma, and I remember what you were like after yours,"
"Sorry, Mama T, I didn't know," the voice replied, suddenly very soft and sympathetic.
* * * * *
Saturday was set to make Friday look like a picnic. The radio blared warnings to everyone to stay out of the inner city and the Governor was about to call out the National Guard as Natalie made her way in to work. It was very early, but there were already angry people in the streets and she was happy it was still dark. When she arrived, she passed Maria in the locker room and received a curious look from the Hispanic woman. She had barely made it to her tiny office when the first cases started coming in.
"Dr. Norwood to Trauma One, Stat," the intercom blared. It's going to be a long night, She thought as she hurried towards the elevator.
Natalie sat in the break room again, so drained she could not even make herself move to refill her coffee cup. Maria Sanchez sat across from her looking just as drained as Natalie felt. Maria was a short, compact Puerto Rican woman, with beautiful olive skin and sharp features. She had soft, dark, expressive eyes that were all that kept her from looking fierce, unless she was mad. Her black hair was worn short, almost in a crew cut. Maria's chest and hips were full and gave her a figure that Natalie would have loved to possess.
They had gotten off to an even more rocky start than Natalie and Tasha had. The fiery Hispanic woman had seemed to resent her for her education and for her aloofness. After seeing Natalie in action, working to save the lives of people without any consideration of race Maria had backed off a bit. Now she seemed to want to apologize for her earlier attitude. Natalie knew it was the last patient that had brought this about, a two-year-old Hispanic girl, hit by stray gunfire.
The girl had flatlined before they even got her on the table. Natalie had refused to let her die and had used the paddles three times before she got a faint heartbeat. She spent almost 5 hours straight reconnecting blood vessels and muscles. Maria had stayed with her the whole time, wiping her brow, providing the needed instruments, and in the end, providing the support Natalie needed to keep trying when the small girl seemed destined to die.
The child was in recovery now, and the head doctor's prognosis was good. He had been very impressed with Natalie, but his congratulations had paled in comparison to Maria's warm smile when Natalie staggered into the break room after making her rounds.
Now they sat in silence, each trying to recover from the ordeal. Natalie's hands were cramped because she had been forced to work on such a fine scale with the small child. She flexed them carefully but she was so fatigued that they were shaking uncontrollably. Maria started to speak a few times, but seemed incapable of finding the words. Finally she licked her lips and spoke up.
"Look Doc, I gave you a hard time, and I'm sorry. I thought you were a racist, but I saw you tonight for what you are. I know the doctors here, and every one of them would have let that little girl go. You didn't, and I am sorry for treating you bad,"
"It's all right Maria, we didn't have any minorities in my town when I was growing up. I am sure I must have seemed like I was disdainful, but I just didn't want to say or do anything wrong,"
"You couldn't have said anything to make me change my mind. I would have told you to prove it. Well, you did,"
Tasha walked in before they could continue and as if by mutual ascent they let it drop right there.
"Whoooeee, it's a zoo out there tonight," Tasha said as she got herself a cup of coffee. She took Natalie's mug and filled it too, without even asking if she wanted more.
"Yeah, I can't wait for tomorrow night," Maria said.
Tasha chuckled. "Me either,"
Natalie was suddenly aware of both women looking at her. She blushed although she wasn't sure why.
"Think we should invite Doc?" Tasha said.
"Yeah, I think so," Maria said. Natalie felt a rush when imagined she saw a hungry look in the small woman's eyes. I must be going crazy, Natalie thought. I could swear she's sizing me up. I've got to find a girlfriend; before I start thinking every woman in town is a dyke.
"Me and Maria and Cindy are going out tomorrow night. It's a kinda tradition on Sunday nights cause we are all off. I saw on the schedule you are off too Doc, want to come with us?"
Natalie started to beg off. She was so tired, and all she could think of was getting home and sleeping Sunday away. Still, I might meet some people, or at least get to know a bit about this city, she thought.
"I'll take that as a yes," Tasha laughed.
* * * * *
Natalie climbed out of the shower and rummaged through her dresser. She had no idea of what to wear. Tasha had been mysterious on the phone, asking directions to her place and telling her she would pick her up at seven. All of Natalie's questions about where they were going were deflected, leaving her wondering what to wear.
She considered a nice dress and moderate heels, but not knowing anything about the area or what they were doing she discarded the idea. Maybe next time, she thought. Eventually she chose to go casual, tight black jeans that looked like they had been painted on and a green silk blouse with her ropers. She knew she looked like a small town cowgirl, but it was the way she felt most comfortable if she weren't in a dress. Underneath she wore a black garterbelt with black stockings and a matching black satin bra and panty set. Natalie might not be able to dress up on the outside tonight, but underneath she was determined to feel sexy, she was sick of scrubs. She put her hair back and used a little makeup, tasteful, but not over done. Finally she took the little black Stetson her father had given her and put it on. A quick spritz of perfume and she was ready. She smiled in the mirror, small town girl was written all over the reflection that greeted her.
The buzzer announced that Tasha had arrived and Natalie grabbed her small purse and hurried down to meet her. When she saw Tasha she felt her stomach knot and her breath catch. The short black woman wore red leather pants and a thin white t-shirt that left no doubt that she was braless. The large dark circles of her aureoles were clearly visible behind the thin material. She had on black biker boots and a black biker cap.
"Hey Doc," she said smiling broadly.
"Hi," was all Natalie could manage as her mouth was suddenly very dry.
"You look good enough to eat,"
Natalie felt herself blush and it deepened as the small black woman began to laugh. She stepped forward and hugged Natalie; the poor doctor was totally at a loss, but the hug felt delicious and sent ripples of pleasure through her.
"Not exactly what you expected?"
"No," Natalie stammered.
"Its all right. I play everybody's favorite Mom six days a week, on my one free night, I like to be myself,"
Natalie nodded, but she couldn't take her eyes off Tasha. The woman seemed totally transformed, sexy and dangerous.
"Sure, did you ride up on a big Harley?" Natalie said forcing a laugh.
"Sure did, hope you don't mind riding bitch,"
"Not at all," Natalie said quietly.
* * * * *
The club was a small place on a darkened street. Several tough looking black women loitered around the entrance and Natalie felt very self-conscious from all the stares she was getting. Tasha had taken the freeway and Natalie's body was still vibrating from the powerful machine. She stumbled on the curb and nearly fell. Tasha took her arm and steadied her, then led the way into the club. Inside it was dark and cool, a relief from the sweltering heat of the night outside.
The front of the club was open and filled with wooden tables and chairs. Two pool tables were set up in the front corner. Dark booths ran along each wall, all the way back to where the narrow front opened into a much wider space. The back of the club was one huge dance floor with wildly blinking lights, a fog machine and even three suspended cages. The music was hard, techno of some kind with a thrumming base line. The bar was on the very back wall, and you had to cross the dance floor to get to it, there were no waitresses.
The club was also filled with women. Black women, Latino women, even a few Oriental women, Natalie could feel herself getting excited just looking. There were women on the dance floor bumping and grinding, women in the booths in passionate embraces, several butches playing pool and women talking and drinking. She turned and looked at Tasha who had a wide grin on her face. "How did you know?"
"Doc, any dyke worth her salt would have spotted you coming a mile off. I read you before you even opened that pretty lil mouth to say hello and I am guessing you are quite a little fluff when not in your lab coat," Tasha's brown eyes bored into Natalie's and she could feel herself flush, not just with embarrassment, but arousal too. She could think of nothing to say and didn't trust her voice if she could. "Hey Tee, who's the bitch?" a deep voice called out. They both turned to see Maria and a very big woman Natalie guessed was Cindy. Maria wore ragged jeans with holes at the knees and crotch, a dark red cut off T-shirt and biker boots. Natalie could see she was wearing boxers through the ragged tears in the crotch of her jeans. Hot was the only word Natalie could think of to describe the Hispanic woman. The big woman was so impressive Natalie caught herself staring.. She had ebony skin with blunt features and an impressive figure. She wore black jeans with a huge belt buckle and a blue western shirt. Cowboy boots and a Stetson completed her outfit. She was very tall and heavily muscled and for the first time in many years Natalie had to look up to meet another woman's eyes. Cindy's eyes were brown and hard and Natalie felt her self tingle under the woman's appraising stare. "Hey Doc," Maria said with a smirk.
"Doc?" Cindy said. "Sin, this is Doc Norwood from trauma. Doc this is Cindy Langner from three south," The big woman extended her hand and Natalie took it, her own hand disappeared in the black woman's huge paw. Three south? Natalie thought. That made sense, then. Three South was the crisis ward, and Cindy must be one of the orderlies that kept the OD's and psychos in line. Natalie was really impressed with Cindy, she had met very few women in her life that were tall enough to make her have to look up to make eye contact and it thrilled her. "I got a bitch saving us a booth," Maria said. They all made their way through the press of bodies to a dark booth, the girl sitting there stood up as they approached and Maria swatted her ass. She giggled and disappeared into the crowd blowing the Hispanic woman a kiss. "I hate like shit she's taken," Maria said.
"With Donna isn't she?" Tasha asked.
"I'll get us some drinks," Cindy said and walked across the dance floor, Natalie watched her for a few moments then felt Tasha and Maria squeeze in on either side of her. "Not a good night," Maria said. She was scanning the crowd and Natalie realized most of the women there were butches. She felt like a child standing outside the candy store back home. All of those treats on display, but just out of reach unless you had a dime. "Nope, well it may be for some of us," Tasha replied and then laughed as Natalie colored. Sin returned with the drinks. She placed a large hurricane glass filled with a frothy pink liquid in front of Natalie. She, Tasha and Maria were all drinking from tumblers. Natalie took a sip, the drink was very sweet and very strong but she didn't taste the familiar burn of any alcohol.
"What is this?"
"It's a house special, called a Dj by they girl who makes em," Sin replied. "The butches call it liquid panty remover," Tasha added with a smirk. Natalie dropped her eyes and took another sip as the three women laughed. For the next two hours the booth seemed to have a revolving door. Natalie was introduced to so many women she lost count, as friends would sit, have a drink and move on. Maria and Sin both left to hit on some of the available femmes, but Tasha stayed with Natalie and fended off the attentions of the more aggressive butches. The nurse also blunted the hostility of many of those who sat down and Natalie was grateful for that. She was very tired of being the object of suspicion and hostility.
Back home she had developed the ability to be unobtrusive, but here there was no way to escape the notice of others. Natalie got the impression that white women were a rarity here. She felt like the attention she was getting from the patrons was more curiosity than appraisal. She was thankful that she was with Tasha, Maria and Sin. They were apparently regulars and she felt sure she was being tolerated because of them. She still felt awkward and drank more than she should have to deal with it. Sin returned and placed another Dj in front of Natalie. The first one had her buzzing and she wasn't mush of a drinker to begin with. She took a sip of this one but still tasted no alcohol at all, only a deep fruity flavor. "Strike out?" Tasha asked. "Fucking tease left with Mattie,"
"Mattie always scores,"
"I hate that cunt. Always coming in here with her fancy clothes and flashing her money around," Cindy said with a sullen frown. "Jealous?"
"Fuck no, any bitch that would go home with her I wouldn't want anyway," Natalie had some more of her drink as Tasha and Sin talked. Their conversation was a little out of her realm of experience, and so she remained quiet. After a while Sin looked at her and said, "You don't talk much do you?"
"Do you dance?"
"Good, lets dance, I'm bored," Cindy took her hand and dragged her out onto the dance floor. The music was wild and soon they were both covered in sweat, pressed close by the crowd. Natalie was buzzed enough to dance without being self-conscious, she could two-step and knew several country dances, but this was different. It was wild and uninhibited, the music thrumming through her head like a freight train. When her crotch bumped Sin's, the big woman pulled her close. "I bet you can polish a belt buckle," she breathed huskily. "With the best of em," Natalie giggled.