This week’s scene and Aeron is up and about but her freaky side is too…
It’s very strange looking back at this scene which I wrote in 2017 long before I found myself in a similar position with very similar symptoms (not folding sheets but the sick part.) Aeron finds herself in that irritating place which anyone who has recovered from serious illness or operations often feels but I do hope less people have problems folding sheets…
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I started feeling better after a couple of days on the shots the doctor prescribed and could move around——well, limp about and clatter into things——but my throat was still all kinds of raw. I even remembered that I had a breadcrumb I got on Black Ridge Mountain stashed in the reception area for new arrivals but I wasn’t fit enough to leave the ward yet. It’d have to wait and I’d have to just hope that nobody dug into the wooden bench too much.
The doctor was a nice guy to all the patients and his nurses were too but most of the folks in with me were from the main prison and unconscious. Some looked pretty messed up with wounds of all kinds and monitors that beeped and hissed then crackled and groaned when I walked by. If the doctor had doubted my admission about the electrics, he’d soon had plenty of evidence to back that up and two broken heart monitors, one broken blood pressure machine, and a finger pulse monitor that was embedded in the ceiling.
He’d taken to counting my pulse while reading his analogue watch and pumping the blood pressure monitor himself.
“Aeron, do you need anything?” the nurse said, poking her head out of a side room. The staff might have been friendly but I was still an inmate so I couldn’t blame them for keeping an eye while I was limping around.
I shook my head. What I wanted to do was get a message to Renee or Frei just to let them know I was doing okay but then I’d have to explain who they were and why I needed to give them an update… and… yeah… even the nice doctor might find it hard to believe.
I wanted to let my mom and dad know, my Aunt Bess, but then I didn’t know if I’d get my dad in more trouble if I contacted him or if whoever sent the mean nurse into hurt me would hurt him if I contacted them. I thought about trying to do things the freaky way but Nan would shoot a breeze hard enough to rattle my insides. Guess I’d just have to wait.
“Are you hungry?” The nurse wandered out and peered up at me. “Thirsty?”
I shook my head.
“You want something to do?” She smiled at me like I was a kid. Guess I kinda looked like one. I was used to being in a cell or gym, or you know dangling from heights and trying not to get shot. I weren’t used to being too sick to do anything and not sick enough to be out cold.
The nurse led me to a cupboard which had a load of sheets in a laundry bin and empty shelves. “Do you want to help put these away?”
I smiled. When I’d been locked up the first time, me, Aimee, Tiz and Nora had all worked the laundry. Yasmin had too before she got killed. We’d had a system. I weren’t the folder, that was Tiz, but hey, I’d been through bootcamp, I could make it work.
The nurse gave me one of them wheelie chairs and I crunched down onto it and started my task.
“I told you not to trust them.”
I frowned, wiggled my finger in my ear and carried on folding the sheet in my hands. I weren’t allowed to be freaky. I was sick.
“But I love him.” She said chewing on her chapped bottom lip. “Don’t you understand that?”
“Love? Don’t be so pathetic. He wants you for one thing. Don’t you get enough torture?” Silly girl. Should never trust them. They are like the others. “He just wants to play with your brain.”
I dropped the sheet and gripped my head.
“Shorty, why you going pale?” Nan whooshed in next to me like I didn’t know she was keeping a closer eye than the nurses.
I poked my head into the corridor but it was empty. “I can hear something… someone… can’t tell if it’s a memory or a flash.”
Nan pressed her hand to my forehead. “You ain’t got the juice to hear things.”
“I know.” I sighed and picked the sheet back up and started again. “I can’t block it when I’m this sick.”
Nan eyed the sheets. “You fold like your grandpa.”
By the tone, my grandpa didn’t fold all that well.
Mustn’t trust them. They want to hurt, to meddle. Love, how could she believe such a stupid lie?
I caught myself before I headbutted the shelf. Was it the room? Who had conversations with folks in a cupboard?
“Shorty, you’re going all kinds of pale.” Nan glanced at the door, held up a pinky, and whistled.
I stared up at her.
The nurse hurried in and took one look at me. “Right, back to bed.” She wheeled me, the chair, and the sheet I was holding to my bed. “In, lie down. I’ll give you a shot and some water.” She hurried off.
I folded up the sheet on my lap. “I was happy doing somethin’ useful.”
Nan appeared next to me and urged me to lie back. “You do plenty useful but maybe it’s best you do it on your bed.”
I sighed. “I kinda want to tell folks I’m okay. I can’t do that if I need to lie down.”
Nan averted her gaze. Yeah, she didn’t need to say that everybody was worried about me. I didn’t know how long I’d been out or in the ward, not really. I did know it was getting sunnier outside and fields and wood outside the prison boundary were getting lush and green.
“There any way I can let them know?” I searched Nan’s eyes, hoping she’d give me something, even if it was one of her puzzles. “Just that I’m awake and okay?”
Nan sighed. “I ain’t allowed to interfere. Shorty, it hurts me watching but I can’t.”
I eyed her. “But——”
“I can’t.” Nan placed her finger over my lips as the nurse hurried my way with water and a shot. “But I guess giving them a pointer or two ain’t cheating.”
I smiled up at her. “Thank you.”
Nan tutted, tapped me on the nose and faded.
“You don’t have to keep folding them.” The nurse smiled and took the sheet from my hands. “Roll up your sleeve, please.”
I sighed and did as told. It felt good to know Nan would try and guide Renee and everybody else looking for me. I closed my eyes as the dose hit my system. Made me sleepy and I was kinda glad to snooze and forget the odd voice in the cupboard.