Thursday June 16th, 2016

The exercise:

It's the middle of the month (already?) so, as promised in (very) late May, it's time to return to the House of Mercy.

Bakery was annoyingly steady this morning. There were no huge rushes, it was just that every time I went in the back to get something done (dishes, get more stock, etc) a new customer would come in within a minute or two. It was very hard to get anything done that way.

Back to picking raspberries tomorrow morning. Apparently Adam is going to have one last go at the strawberries. I will not be joining him.


"How are you feeling this morning, dear?"

Julie continued to stare at the ceiling, thinking happy thoughts. Babs leaned over to put her face into Julie's line of sight. An ache appeared in Julie's temples as the image of a gorilla briefly appeared in Babs' stead, but then the vision passed. As did the pain.

"A little spacier than usual? Are you getting enough sleep at night, dear?"

Julie's lips parted slightly and she allowed her tongue to loll to one side.

"Hmm." Babs made a few notes in the chart in her clipboard. The sound of her pen scritching across the page reminded Julie of a chicken looking for food in a barnyard. "Perhaps it's time to review your medicine routine with one of the doctors."

"As long as it's not Dr. Lizard," Julie said with a giggle that went on just a little too long.

"So Dr. Richards still looks like a lizard to you?" Babs eyed her closely before making an additional note. Then, so quietly that Julie almost didn't hear her, she muttered, "That's good."

Good? Julie thought. Why was that good?

"Have a good rest, dear. I'll check in on you around lunch time and we'll have another chat then. See if these nice little pills of yours have helped you get back on track. Bye for now, dear girl."

"Bye bye, monkey lady," Julie said, waving enthusiastically. Babs frowned slightly before ducking out of the room.

The moment the door closed behind her Julie stopped waving. She hopped out of bed and managed to get to the toilet just in time. She was getting better at holding the pills in but that had been a close call.

"Am I overdoing it?" she asked her reflection in the small mirror above the sink, wiping the sick from her chin. "She seems to be getting suspicious. But how am I supposed to know how I was acting with all those drugs in my system?"

Well, she suddenly realized, the answer to that was fairly simple. In fact, she wasn't sure why she hadn't thought of it before then. Perhaps her head had cleared a little more overnight.

She needed to get a hold of her chart.


Greg said...

I know, I'm getting worse at keeping up with these. I think it's because it requires extra time to check where we are and what's going on because I can't just add at random!
OK, so Julie's starting to get normal, and that's a good thing; Babs is slightly suspicious but currently thinks everything's ok -- that's probably also a good thing. And Julie's starting to make plans, which I like too. I think this month I'll stay with Anne again, but I have been enjoying when we all write from Julie's POV so I will come back to it!
I really like Julie's way of handling Babs that you have here as well. It's keeping Babs on the edge and makes Julie seem slightly unbalanced, but not in a bad way. Skillful writing!

The door was closed and Anne had to lean against it with her ear pressed hard to the old wood to hear anything at all. It was a risk -- if they opened the door while she was there she'd fall over, and if anyone came round the corner she could hardly claim to be looking for a contact lens, but it was worth it. She was starting to get an idea of what this place was.
"fgumph-mwll burble," said a voice on the other side of the door. Anne pressed her ear harder still, feeling the pain as a hot fire.
"If she thinks I'm a lizard then she's fine," said a voice. It was a little indistinct but it was deeper than the first voice and so Anne decided that it was either Dr. Richards or Dr. Morrow. "Keep the medication as it is and offer her a little test if you're still worried. Leave some keys in her door and see if she takes them. Fwstygk-mula brabba-labba and rub it in all the way."
"Yes, doctor." Ah, that was Babs, sounding impatient. "Does this need to go in the report. Cecilie wurgle-fuzzle mwll mwll baa by the 3rd of July."
"Really? Tiresome."
There was laughter, and Anne realised it was getting clearer. With a definite feeling of regret she stood up and ran nimbly to the medication cart and wheeled it away to the sealed wards. Her ankle flared with hot pain as she ran, but she'd found already she could ignore that, and the ankle never hurt when she poked or prodded it. She had an idea that Babs's antibiotics might be more than they seemed, but she didn't dare risk any infection or she might never get away. With Julie, whether Julie liked it or not.
The sealed wards were rooms with eight to ten beds in, all occupied usually, that were kept darkened and locked. All the rooms held women, sometimes girls, none over the age of 32. There were nurses at each ward who had all the keys and a face like the grim reaper. They never spoke to Anne, but they checked her trolley and the charts over twice before they'd let her go in, and they watched her through the windows of the door the whole time. She found herself worrying that one day they wouldn't unlock the door and she'd be forced to join the sealed ward herself.
Today was different though. The nurse checked the chart three times and handed it back with a face like a hen stuck out in the rain. "Fine," she said. Her voice was soft and gentle, a complete contrast to the face and demeanour. "Keep this this good. Cecilie is coming and she will check."

Marc said...

Greg - agreed about the extra time, I feel that way as well whenever it's getting time to revisit the yearlong prompt. Speaking of which...

Thank you for your kind words on mine! I was pretty pleased with how this entry ended up :)

Fascinating entry from you. I like how you handled the overheard conversation and this introduction of Cecilie opens up some interesting possibilities. Great stuff!