Laying in the Bed in the Bay: A Questionable Tally

Without a doubt a lot of writing got done.  I finished my first recap for Fear the Walking Dead, and that was about fifteen hundred words total, and then I got into the next scene of the novel, the start of the new new Chapter Fourteen, and I plopped down about five hundred and forty words there.  This was after a long day of getting electrolysis from eight until ten AM, and then going into work from eleven to four.  Puffy face and all, I finished up like I said because, as Tina Fey and Amy Poehler once pointed out, bitches get shit done.

The last scene ended with Kerry blacking out.  Which means this scene is gonna start with . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Kerry returned slowly to conciseness and began to assess his situation. He was on his back, which meant a bed, which meant he was in the hospital. His head hurt and felt bandaged, and while his vision was blurry, he deduced it was from not wearing his glasses instead of having brain damage. His arms were slightly elevated and in casts. His chest was tight and sore. Below the waist he felt numb, like everything was asleep: he couldn’t move his left toes, but he could barely make out his right moving. He did notice his left knee was elevated under the cover, which meant his knee was being repaired.

He was messed up—Day of the Dead level messed up. He took a slight breath and felt the fire spread around his ribs. Kerry closed his eyes and moaned.

Annie looked from where she sat half dozing the moment she heard Kerry. She turned slightly to her left, toward the ward corridor. “He’s awake.” She laid her hand across Kerry’s left and gave it a slight squeeze. “Don’t move, my love. Remain still.”

He managed a tiny smile and shifted his eyes in her direction rather than turning his head. “Did I win?”

A hearty laugh erupted from Nurse Coraline, who’d just walked into the bay. “Spoken like a true racer.”

 

Now, a bit of racing lore.  Way back in 1992 there was an all-star stock car race with a top prize of two hundred thousand dollars, which was big money back then.  You had all the best drivers from NASCAR out on the track tearing things up, and on the last lap Kyle Petty spun out and wrecked the leader of the race, Dale Earnhardt, to move into first.  However, the line he’d taken meant he wasn’t going as fast as possible, and this allowed Davey Allison to take a better, faster line and beat Kyle to the finish line–where he was promptly spun out to crash, driver-side, into the outside wall at about 140 mph/225 kph.  He was knocked unconscious, and once he was cut out of the car–because the driver’s side was messed up so bad they couldn’t pull him out–he was put in a helicopter and airlifted to the nearest hospital.

On the way there he woke up and his first words were, “Did I win?”  Because of course you wanna know if you won right after you cheat death.  At least that time . . .

Now you kinda know where I got part of the inspiration for the race and accident, though his accident was more of a super speedway type flip down the front stretch.  This is where Kerry’s first words come from, words that get a reaction from Annie–

 

Annie rolled her eyes, but the smile on her face indicated she wasn’t angry. She scooted her chair closer to the head of Kerry’s bed. “Yes, you won. You were the first across the finish line—”

“Though not the first across on their broom.” Coraline waved the privacy curtain closed and stood on the right side of Kerry’s bed, across from Annie. “Alex was awarded that privilege.”

He started to nod and winced. “Ouch.”

“That thing you just did?” Coraline wagged a finger in his direction. “Don’t do it again.”

“Yes, Doctor.” He sighed slowly. “What’s the damage?”

“A lot more than the last time you were hurt like this.” She’d glance at the areas of his body as she ticked off his injuries. “You’ve a serious concussion, far worse than the one you had the last time you crashed like this. The good news is your skull is intact: the bad news is the damage is harsh enough that I’m not clearing you for flight until Wednesday afternoon at the earliest.

“If you hadn’t guessed already, both arms are broken, as is your right wrist. You also broke your collarbone and your right shoulder, and they are likely gonna hurt for a few days after you’re released. You broke seven ribs, and this time there was some internal damage, too: bruising to your liver and spleen.

“Your left leg is broken, and you tore up your left knee again—”

Kerry almost nodded. “I felt it go when I did that move in the Diamond Chicane.”

“You hit the ground?”

“Yeah, just for a second.”

Coraline nodded. “Given your speed, I’m not surprised. Anyway, leg and knee are being repaired. The right leg is good, but your hip is broken. Have you noticed everything from the waist down feels numb?”

This time Kerry nodded and immediately regretted the action. “Yeah.”

“I figured it was better for pain management that way. There was a level I didn’t want to take you over the limit on medication and pain enchantments, so I just numbed you up ‘cause that hip is a bitch to heal.”

 

Yes, those hips are a bitch to heal, Kerry–maybe you should take it easy in the future?  That’s also one of the first times Kerry’s called Coraline “Doctor”, which is really what she is even if she still likes to be addressed as Nurse.  But Kerry’s in bad shape.  At least magic will heal him up.  And Annie’s there, too, not looking quite as distressed this time.  Maybe she brought Kerry a present–

A teddy bear would be great, don't you think?

A teddy bear would be great, don’t you think?  Something he could keep on his bed.

Tonight I get into more details, because this is just the cream on top of the latte.  The real question is, how did everything else turn out?

Frankness in the Hospital Ward

I didn’t intend to write last night, no, really.  I finished up a scene early in the morning, then settled down into the afternoon to hand write a six page letter that ran about nine hundred words.  Yeah, even then I’m yappy.  Then Breaking Bad was on and I didn’t want to miss that–

Except I knew most of the episodes they were running last night, so in between the moments where the show wasn’t being completely awesome, I managed to set up the next scene of Annie sitting in the hospital ward while someone near her slept, and a certain ginger head nurse comes  along and and tries to talk her into doing something else.  Usually the results are hilarious:  tonight they’re a little more grim.

 

(All excerpts, this page, from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, by Cassidy Frazee)

20:45 to 21:00

“Why don’t we get something to eat?”

Annie didn’t bother looking at Nurse Coraline. She kept looking straight ahead, watching the unconscious Kerry breath slowly and untroubled. She watched his chest rise and drop, his face calm yet impassive, his body unmoving. Since they’d treated the last patient fifteen minutes ago, Annie was comfortable. She didn’t want to move; she didn’t want to leave.

She didn’t want Kerry out of her sight.

“Thank you.” She finally turned to look up at Nurse Coraline. “But I’m not hungry.”

Coraline smirked. “Bullshit.” The head nurse leaned against the foot of Kerry’s bed. “You’re had as much to eat today as me, and I know that’s not been a hell of a lot. You gotta be hungry ‘cause I’m hungry.” She softened her tone, hoping to get through to her young friend. “Come on, Annie: let’s get something to eat. They’re only going to keep the kitchen open for another ninety minutes.”

Annie’s face was as emotionless as Kerry’s. “I’m not hungry.”

“Oh, okay.” Coraline nodded slowly. “So you gonna sit here instead and stare at Kerry and think about how Emma is responsible for putting him in that bed?”

 

As noted, my instructors can get a little coarse with their language at times, particularly when they’re tired and hungry and not feeling sorry for little girls with mad death skills.  The thing is, she knows that’s exactly what’s going through Annie’s mind at the moment, and she won’t let her forget that she’s transparent right now:

 

“Um, huh.” Coraline took a step closer to Annie, sighing loudly. “I’m going to say something I know you’re not going to want to hear, but it’s true. You want to know who put Kerry in this bed?” She reached out and lightly touch his blanked-covered right leg. “This guy. Every decision he made led to this.” She gave him a light pat. “I can see it all over your face; you know it’s true.”

She wanted to argue, but Annie knew Coraline was right. I won’t ever tell you what to do or try either, Kerry. I can offer suggestions, or give advice, but you have to gain these experiences on your own. That’s what she’d told him that night, while he sat in this same bed, just over a week ago. He needed to do things he wanted to do and learn from the experience—thought Annie knew it wouldn’t always be easy. Learning about new experiences that way could be dangerous, and that was a lesson Kerry discovered today. “I know.”

 

I’ve spoken with people about this story, and one of the things I’ve always come back to his how quickly everyone here grows up.  The first two months at this school have been a real leaning experience for most people, and it’s continuing.  Three months ago Kerry was just another kid waiting for school to start in Cardiff, and probably moping about the house and playing on his computer.  Now he’s flying patrols, fighting monsters, and almost dying.  Not to mention the lying in the hospital unconscious and broken.

Coraline relates that one of her people and one of Isis’ people spoke with Emma–who’s now resting down in the Dining Room since she’s not as shook up any more–and she said Kerry saved her life long before she was attacked by a Lovecraftian monstrosity.  And she says–

 

“It happened when the breach occurred. They were between the points and got caught by one of the drain spells. Emma said Kerry yelled at her to land and then dropped straight down, and she followed him. She said if it hadn’t been for him doing that she’d have probably died, ‘cause she froze up.” Coraline cleared her voice. “They were a hundred and fifty meters up. That’s a long fall to your death.

“The point is, Kerry didn’t loose his head—probably because he’d heard that thing Helena says all the time—”

“A good sorceress keeps her wits about her—” Annie stared at Kerry with a slight smile affixed upon her face. “—while everything is going to hell around her.”

“Yep, that one. Kerry did just that. He’s smart and he knew how to keep his wits about him.” Coraline turned her head and looked at him as Annie was. “He was smart enough to know that Emma’s plan wasn’t that bad, and what to do when she was attacked. He figured out how to keep from being killed, and how to follow orders when he was probably scared to death.” She turned to Annie. “He put himself in that bed with those decisions, Annie. Someone not as smart would have put themselves in the morgue.” She waited for Annie to look at her. “You know that as well.” Coraline looked down the hall towards her office. “I’m being summoned; I’ll be right back.”

 

Yes, that’s what you want to hear when you’re a few weeks beyond 12:  your boyfriend was smart enough to end up in the hospital bed broken, instead of ending up dead.  It’s kind of a hard burn, but one that Coraline uses to put Annie in a different frame of mine.  “Yeah, your boyfriend did some stuff that screwed him up badly, but he might have really jacked himself and wound up dead.”  In a way it’s a nice way of telling her that she should stop feeling sad about what happened,

"Look on the bright side:  I don't have to learn Necromancy to call his ghost back so I can yell at him for being stupid."

“Look on the bright side: I don’t have to learn Necromancy so I can call his spirit back and yell at him for being stupid.”

Almost seven hundred words, and since I can see the end of this scene clearly now, I’m of the mind that another seven or eight hundred are gonna clear it up, because Nurse Coraline has something big to say–

You just have to wait to find out what.