Well, it’s been a quiet morning here at the house, but now it’s time to get to the blog post. In getting to the blog post means getting to the next excerpt, which means getting to the end of the last chapter. And it’s about time on that, too, because I’m continuing to move ahead to the next chapter even though I didn’t write much last night. Lazy time at the beginning of the year, I know.
So now we’re headed off to the hospital and it probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out why they’re going there–
Yeah, Kerry. It’s all about your diet.
So let’s see what’s going down in the hospital–or as Kerry calls it, “My second home away from home.”
The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)
Nurse Bianca Gaillard heard the main doors for the entrance to Salem’s hospital open just as she was about to step out of the first floor ward. Since she was aware of both appointments this early Saturday morning, and the first appointment had arrived thirty minutes earlier, it only reason that the second appointment of the morning it arrived.
She stopped in the passage between the ward in the doctor’s office and looked into the waiting room. She was correct: the other appointments for this morning it arrived. She glided into the waiting room and put on her best friendly nurse’s smile. “Punctual as always, I see.”
Kerry returned the smile while his arm remained wrapped around Annie’s waist. “We always do our best, Nurse Bianca.”
Annie didn’t attempt to move where she was leaning into Kerry shoulder. “How are you doing, Nurse Bianca?”
“I’m doing quite well. It’s good to see you both again. Did you have a nice holiday?”
Kerry glanced down at the floor though the smile remained on his face. “It was—eventful.”
Annie nodded. “Mine was somewhat eventful as well.” She finally slipped out of Kerry’s grasp and took hold of his hand. “Is Doctor Gallagher around?”
“She’s in ICU but she left instructions for you to come right up as soon as you arrived.” Nurse Bianca took a half step backwards and pointed toward the south end of the ward.
“You know how to operate the lift, don’t you, Annie?”
“I believe so.” She turned on Kerry’s arm. “Come along, my love.”
So here we have Kerry standing around with his arm wrapped around Annie like he’s an octopus and she’s some tasty morsel. This is happened a couple of times already in this novel, and it’s a growing indication that there moving beyond the hand holding. I mean, if you going to do public displays of affection, don’t hide it. Not that these two ever did. But when you got your arm locked around the waist of your girlfriend, it truly says, “This one is mine.”
Now that were passed the Gatekeeper, what does the Keymaster have to say?
Kerry chuckled as they walked past Nurse Bianca. “Nurse Annie’s got this.” They quickly left behind the smiling AP nurse and were soon at the far end of the regular ward and entering the Commons area. It was here that the bathrooms as well as a large table and chairs for eating were located, but beyond these was the simple levitation lift that went from the lower level morgue to the large private area occupying the third floor.
Annie saw the open area shimmer as the lift enchantment detected their approach. The air seems to solidify for second as they stepped on what appeared to be a simple gray floor. She turned to her left as a control panel materialized. “Second floor, please: activate.” The moment later they began rising slowly.
Kerry had only been on the lift a couple of times but this was the first time he’d taken it without either a nurse or Coraline with him. He glanced over at Annie. “I take it this thing is keyed to your voice?”
“I was given access last year.”
“So why did Bianca make show of asking if you knew how to operate it?”
Annie gave Kerry’s hand a squeeze as she leaned her head against his shoulder. “We have to keep up appearances in case other students had walked in, my love. Coraline would like for people to not know I have this sort of access to the hospital, least they find something else to complain about.” The list stopped in the second floor Commons area. She gave Kerry’s hand a gentle tug. “Let’s go find the good doctor.”
“The good Doctor is down here.” Coraline leaned out of a bay at the far end of the ICU. “Come on down, I’m just finishing up here.”
They made their way to the far end of the ICU: Kerry decided to make their presence known before they stepped into sight. “I hope were not—”
The ICU bay was much like the bays on the first floor ward: there were two beds with a space between them, with equipment fastened to the wall above each bed. The big difference here lay in the equipment, which was designed to monitor patient more closely as well as deal with life-threatening injuries.
There was another difference as well: Coraline wasn’t alone. She stood near a bank of equipment on the right side of the bay as she ran her sensor spell over a prosthetic leg. And on the right bed sat the owner of the prosthetic leg: Head Sorceress Helena Lovecraft, dressed in a hospital gown in seeming completely unconcerned that she was being seen with only her right prosthetic leg attached.
She looked up into the concerned faces of two of her favorite students. “We shouldn’t be much longer; maybe another five minutes, max.”
Though by now both Annie and Kerry were aware that Helena possessed prosthetic legs, this was the first time they had seen her without one or both attached. There was something, however, that Annie remembered right away… “I thought you had your legs regrown over the summer?”
We heard that Helena was going in to get her legs back. We also heard that there were some issues about it over the summer. And now it appears that she didn’t get them back–or did she? Either way, as stated in the above excerpt, this is the first time the kids have ever seen Helena with one of her prosthetics removed. Though neither one of them seemed that shocked, since they know that she lost her legs some years before. I’m sure they both realize this is something that could also happen to them: after all, a Guardian’s life isn’t going to always be a pleasant one.
Must be why they get paid the big bucks…