I got out last night: it was warm enough when it started that I put on a skirt and my sandals and grabbed my computer to dine and write. Probably not as much as I could have, but it was still a good deal–over eight hundred words, all of them original, all of them–well, good is always a relative term, isn’t it?
The important thing is I finished the penultimate scene of the chapter and managed just under two hundred words into the final scene, the one that’s gonna open things up and probably raise more questions than answers. But that’s always a problem with this kind of tale; there’s unanswered questions, and sometimes those questions lead to more questions.
Now, the last time we checked Annie was told she was going to spend the night in Bed #1, in Bay #1. The next word out of her mouth is probably the same as that of most readers . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
Annie sat staring dumbfounded at Coraline. When the head nurse mentioned her tower Annie was certain she would be forcibly put to bed. This was, however one looked at the statement, unexpected. “Why?”
“It’s actually pretty simple. One, I’ve got Bianca and Thebe spending the night down in the Dining Hall. Since we’re going to have fifty or sixty students sleeping down there tonight, I thought it might be a good idea to have them handy in case some of the students are still bothered by the events of the day.” Ten minutes earlier the Headmistress had stepped into the hospital and explained that a number of students wanted to know if they could spend the night in the Dining Hall; they cited the fact they’d been locked up in the towers all day, and most were feeling a little anxious from the experience.
“Then there’s Maddie.” Coraline looked up to the ceiling, beyond which was the Second Floor and the ICU. “Her vitals are stables but low. I asked Gretchen to keep an eye on her tonight, so she’ll be up there all night.
“I’m off to the Instructor’s Residence after this because I am not an AP and I’m pretty much dead on my feet and I feel like I’m gonna drop in another couple of hours. I can be here inside of a couple of minutes if there’s an emergency, but I need to crawl into bed and get some rest tonight.
“That means everything on the hospital side is accounted for—save . . .” She pointed at Kerry once more. “Our sleeping lad here.
There you have it: not enough people to keep an eye on everyone. Coraline’s got everything covered with explanations, too:
“The stuff we used to put him under should wear off in another couple of hours, but the pain meds should do a good job of keeping him under. However, that’s no guarantee that he won’t wake up in the middle of the night, and between the meds and the concussion, if he does come to he’s likely to be a little disoriented. If that’s the case, it might not be a bad idea—” She slowly turned to Annie. “—if he had a friendly face to help get him back to sleep.”
Though Annie was excited to hear this, she also worried that there was a catch. “Won’t someone say something?”
“Like what? That I let you spend the night here? Remember, you’re part of the triage team now: you did a great job—save for one moment that we won’t discuss . . .” Coraline stared off into space for a moment before returning to the conversation. “That makes you part of my medical team, and that gives you certain . . . privileges when it comes to being here. That means you can sleep in Bed #1, and you’ll both have the bay to yourselves. Should Kerry waked up you can help calm him and get him back to sleep—and if you run into a problem you can’t handle, you’ll know to contact Gretchen and she’ll have Bianca or Thebe come up and help you.” Coraline snapped her fingers. “Simple as that.”
Annie stood slowly and smoothed out her uniform skirt before going over and hugged Coraline. “Thank you. Thank you so much.”
Coraline put her arms around the pleased little sorceress and hugged her back. “You’re welcome.” She released Annie and patted her on the shoulder. “Grab your jacket and let’s get something to eat. I’m starving.”
I guess this means we can start calling her “Nurse Annie,” though that’s stretching it a bit. But then I’m good at stretching–just don’t ask me to wear yoga pants when I do.
Finally I started the final scene of Chapter Twenty-three. What’s going on during Dreams on the Ward? Take a look:
Annie opened her eyes and lay still under the covers of her bed. She listened for unusual sounds, but heard nothing save the slow breathing from the bed next to hers. She cast a glance towards the ends of their beds looking for movement, but there wasn’t anyone inside the curtained-off ward bay except for Kerry and her.
Whatever had aroused her from her slumber hadn’t come from outside. That left only one possibility . . .
Annie carefully slid the covers back enough to uncover her upper torso and propped herself up on her left elbow. She checked the time on the clock on the night stand between their beds: 00:38. A little after midnight. The attack day is finally over. She spied Kerry’s glasses in front of the clock where she set them when she took them off to clean his face. Annie stared at them for close on to thirty seconds, resisting the urge to reach over, pick them up, and try them on as she done two months ago on their flight out of Amsterdam.
There you have it. Annie’s awake, looking for whatever it is that woke her up, and thinking about trying on Kerry’s glasses. What happens next?
Just you wait and see.