What starts always has an ending, and getting Kerry into bed and mended has reached that point. I thought about all the stuff I could have added to the scene, but the reality is you keep the story stripped down too what is needed, and not what you want to show. Even so, it took almost another eight hundred words to get to that point.
Here we are, then: Annie and Nurse Thebe discovering that, yes, Kerry had the crap scared out of him. And it’s time to do some clean up . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
After handing over the clean wipes Annie opened one of the bio-bags and held it while Thebe opened one of the sterile wipes and began cleaning Kerry’s groin. As she would use up the wipe, Thebe would drop it in the open bag and unseal another package. As she was opening the fourth package the nurse cast a sideways glance at her young assistant. “You may not want to mention that you were here while we cleaned feces from his nether regions.” She chuckled. “Or that you saw him naked.”
Annie calmly regarded Nurse Thebe and her comments. She had been right about one thing: seeing Kerry now, with parts of his body broken and twisted, and large sections of his skin discolored from sickening yellows to horrifying reds to deep purplish-blacks, was heart rendering. She wanted to use his injuries to further fuel her anger towards Emma, but instead she found it driving her to help him, to make him whole and healthy again. Hurting her won’t help him him get better—but working on his like this will.
As for Thebe’s last comment . . . Annie raised an eyebrow and kept an unwavering gaze upon her face. “Yes, well . . .” The right corner of her mouth curled upward for three second before settling back to something normal.
A slight grin played across Thebes. “Yes well—” She tossed the wipe into Annie’s bag. I’m done here. Seal that and throw it into the container.” She grabbed the catheter off the cart and began unwinding it. “Then you can give me hand with this.”
First off, Annie’s getting out of her murder mindset. That’s good, because there was never any option open where Annie was gonna go off all Natural Born Sorceress on Emma and torture her for what happened. She’s starting to understand that revenge isn’t going to work, no matter how much she wants to let the Dark Witch inside run free.
And two: what’s with the raising of the eyebrow when asked about not saying anything to Kerry about seeing him in the all together? Of course the idea is to leave the reader guessing about what that means–and that’s what I’m doing. I mean, I know what she means, but that’s because I’m Annie. And Kerry. And Nurse Thebe. It’s a little crowded in here, let me tell you . . .
Thebe slowly made her way to the foot of the bed and faced Annie. “First, we’re going to reset his dislocations; I can do the shoulder on my own, but you’ll need to help me with the hip. Then we’re going to wipe him down and get him as clean as possible without scrubbing him down—you’ll take the right side and I’ll take the left, because I need to reset his broken limbs and I know how to work around them before I put on the nanobindings.”
She looked down Kerry’s body. “I’ll place those on and immobilize his left side so the shoulder and collarbone will heal. I’ll clean his face and hair and get the skull cap on. All I’ll need to do after that is get him into a gown—”
“What will I do?”
Thebe laid a hand lightly upon Annie’s shoulder. “You’ll be back in the triage center helping out. I can do all those thing in about fifteen minutes.” She gave the shoulder a slight squeeze. “He’ll be in good hands, Annie. You’ve no need to worry.”
Annie slowly turned to her left and saw her love and soul mate still out, broken and bruised—and knew what Nurse Thebe was telling her was the absolute truth. I can’t help with the bindings, but I can help those who come into triage. Once I’ve helped clean you, my duties are elsewhere—
“—My love.” The sigh that escaped was slow and low, as were her words.
Thebe didn’t ask need to ask Annie what she’d said because her hearing was better than those of a natural person. And she could imagine what this girl was feeling. But she’d allowed Annie to see her boyfriend’s condition, and she’d allow her to help him as much as was possible—
After that, she needed to seed her back where she could help others while Kerry slept and began mending.
She tapped Annie on the shoulder. “Come on; we’ll do his hip first, and then you can start cleaning while I do the shoulder.”
Annie turned back and smiled. “Yes, Nurse Thebe.”
Back to triage with you, Annie, where things are . . . well, we don’t know. But there’s been a little adjustment to the time line, and that might give Annie something to do. I know there is something in the next scene that should be pretty clear based upon the scene name. And then after that we move on to other things . . .
Really, the end for Act Two is in sight. I can see it–
Pretty much like Annie can see something coming her way . . .