Let’s move on, in Storytime, to November 2, 2011, which some people will realize is the last of the Day of the Dead celebrations. Things are trying to get back to normal, but all of that will come out slowly. Right now the order of the day is getting into a routine–though, in some cases, that routine is being pushed by unseen forces . . .
All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)
It was just after six when Coraline entered the hospital. She headed directly for her office, where she found Gretchen sitting behind the desk. The night nurse looked up as she cleared the door frame. “Surprised to see you in this early.”
Coraline sighed as she leaned against the frame. “Was told late last night the Headmistress wanted to address the students this morning at breakfast.” She brushed some hair from her face. “I heard she was going to check up on our patients so she could give everyone an update.” She looked up at the ceiling. “How’s Maddie?”
“Doing well.” Gretchen got up and came around the desk. “Here vitals remained stable through the night; about three they began coming up slowly. When I left her twenty minutes ago she was stable and still rising.”
“She wake up at any point?”
“No. She’s been out all right, and I have her on a monitor to alert me if she woke up.” Gretchen shook her head. “Nothing.”
“Still good.” Coraline pointed towards the door leading outside. “Any word from the Dining Hall?”
“Bianca came in about two to get something, but that was it. I don’t think they had a problem—” She shrugged. “If they did they kept it self-contained.”
Most of the patients look good: Maddie’s getting better, and there doesn’t seem to have been too many freakouts among the kids sleeping in the Dining Hall. That leaves . . .
“Okay.” She nodded back over her right shoulder. “And those two?”
“Never heard a sound out of them.” Gretchen moved a step or two closer and lowered her voice. The enchantment prevented sound from emanating from the bay, but one could hear people in the corridor—or, as close as it was, Coraline’s office. “Annie didn’t call up for assistance, and I didn’t check up on them as per your orders.”
Coraline nodded then stepped backwards out of her office; Gretchen followed. “Why don’t you head up and start getting Maddy ready for when the Headmistress gets here.” She turned and headed into the main ward, stopping before Bay #1. “I’ll check up on Kerry, then I’ll bring Mathilde up when she’s done speaking with him.”
“Okay, Coraline. I’ll see you in a bit.”
The chief medical officer watched her night nurse walk the length of the ward and vanish into the lift. Only once she was certain Gretchen wasn’t around did Coraline unseal the enchantment locking the bay curtain in place. “Well, now . . .” She raised her left hand. “Shall we see what’s behind the curtain?” She waved it away, stepped inside, and waved it closed.
Yeah, what’s behind that curtain. I’m sure that what happened in the last scene has self-corrected itself, right?
Since the bay was against the east wall of the hospital, it didn’t receive light from the outside. “Lights, dim.” The illumination level went from a few pinpoint lights here and there to enough illumination that Coraline was able to make out the figures in their beds—
Correction: make it their bed.
Kerry was still in the same position Coraline had left him nine hours before. Annie was sleeping next to him, pressed against his right side, under the covers and curled up with her hand on his chest and her head resting against his arm and shoulder. Both were sound asleep and showed no reactions when the lights came up.
She shook her head a couple of times and muttered softly. “Son of a bitch. How does she know these things?” As the Headmistress would probably arrive in the next ten or fifteen minutes, the last thing she needed to see was two of her A Levels sleeping soundly in the same hospital bed . . .
Wait a minute: who is “she”? Coraline isn’t talking about Annie, because Annie probably, never, more than likely said anything about hopping into the sack with Kerry; it’s not like she’d know they were going to share an old dream together. Don’t worry: next scene you’ll find out who “she” is, because she’ll appear.
Meanwhile . . .
She moved next to the bed and began to gently shake Annie. “Hey, Annie—” She kept her voice soft and low. “Come on, wake up. Come on . . .”
Annie groaned and didn’t open her eyes. She did, however, mumble while still seemingly half asleep. “Vŭrvi si. Ostavi me.”
Coraline rolled her eyes. Of course she’s going to respond in Bulgarian; why would you expect English? “Wake up, sleepy head.” This time she gave Annie a slightly harder shake.
It didn’t phase the girl. She rolled her right shoulder so as to shake off Coraline’s hand and spoke in the same half-asleep voice, only much louder. “Az ne iskam da stavam. Iskam da ostana s moya dzhindzhifil kosa momche.”
“Uh.” Coraline’s sigh same out as a long, low hiss. “I don’t have time for this bullshit.” She grabbed onto Annie’s shoulder and gave her a couple of hard shakes. “Come on, Annie; wake up. Come on—come on . . .”
To paraphrase Vic Mackie: “The Bulgarian girl speaks . . . Bulgarian.” So much so that it’s getting our Head Nurse into cursing. If only she had my notes:
Chances are Annie’s going to wait up–well, it’s a given, considering the title of the scene. As tonight is “Dine and Write Evening” I’ll for sure get to that, and probably finish this scene. Which sets up Kerry’s release and a visit from “she”, and then a trip to the garden and . . . well, the final scene in the penultimate chapter. And a trip into the last part of Act Two.
It does seem likely that I may just have Part Eight to work on for NaNo and that I can finish it up by the end of November.
Hey, two-thirds of a novel completed in one year, that ain’t bad–is it?