Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Judith Ann Sutherland, Ph.D., R.N. Novel Back Ward


"Oh, no!"

"It's all right. You're all right," Nurse Judith says, as I prop myself up on my arm, stiff sheets raking at the oozing abrasion on my elbow.

“What happened?” I ask.

"She gave you too much," she whispers as though Miss Bridges has ears that could hear through walls.

She smiles now, wiping my brow with the warm, wet cloth, heated by the love inside of her, I think. Her fingers brush my forehead with tenderness and a shot of energy enters the point of touch. I smile despite myself, feeling her vibrations course through me, making my body light as air.

"I'm going to try to get your medication reduced, Mrs. Land. I'll talk to the doctor." She reaches into her pocket, cleans the abrasion I have from the fall with an antiseptic, and places a band-aid on it.

"Who's my doctor now?" I ask weakly, trying to forget that I'm in this miserable place. How'd it happen? I didn't want to come back. I suppress a sob.

"They change so often," I say, steadying my voice.

"I know," Nurse Judith acknowledges, lowering her eyes, hiding her feelings. "They move on," she adds, lids still cloaking her large gray eyes that probe my heart, making it ache.

"You're assigned to the Medical Director here, Dr. Atwisk."

"At risk?" I squawk, voice weakened by the tonic – Tonic the Terrible, I call it.
Nurse Judith doesn't smile; her eyes meet mine and I see a shadow of fear pass through them. She looks away, aware that I've seen it.

"What is it? Isn’t he any good? You must tell me."

She takes my hand and rubs the top of it with her thumb. "He's in charge of research here." Her voice turns cold and I know that it’s not simply that she doesn't like him.

"I'll speak with him," she says, standing up quickly. But her voice sounds weaker than before. A cold spear pierces my heart, making my body tremble.

Ann Sutherland
Back Ward

Buy at: Amazon, Ladybug Press


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