Saturday, September 17, 2011

HOOKER SATURDAY~5

Welcome back to Hooker Saturday. Thought I would share with you my opening chapter from one of my wips.  A medical romance with a paranormal twist. I will definitely be pulling this wip out and be revising it because I love this story as it has a playful ghost who has some unfinished matchmaking business. I just need the help of the plot whisperer to help me figure out how to write myself out of the corner I've crammed myself into!! :)  Here is chapter one part of which I'd shared a Six in an SSS post a while back with you all. 

Sunshine After Showers~(Unedited)

Live!


Warm tears streamed down Rachel O’Dea’s face. She pumped on Seamus Jameson’s chest and tried to swallow the pain and helplessness that formed the lump in her throat. She couldn’t even verbally call out the concise compressions to the code team anymore. It was all she could do to maintain her composure and continue to assist.


Her gaze shot to the heart monitor displaying his oxygen level, blood pressure, heartbeat.

Life.

Come on, Seamus. I need something to work with here. Give me a sign. Beat, dammit!


Flatline.

“Rachel.” She ignored the compassion in her best friend and fellow nurse Laura Parker’s voice, that tone of finality, and continued her compressions. He couldn’t be dead. He was only Sixty-five. Now who was going to teach her how to ice fish this winter?


It’s okay Rachelgirl.

She hesitated, could almost hear his voice, the pet name he called her, the impression of him giving up.


“No!” You can’t leave me now!

She renewed her compression with more vigor, felt a rib crack. Bile rose in her throat. She swallowed, hard. ”What about another amp of epinephrine? Sodium bicarb? Have his blood gases come back?” She searched the room for answers, except for Laura, everyone else was gone.


Laura’s lips moved, but it was Seamus voice Rachel heard.

Let me go, Rachelgirl.


“What? Why?" She asked.

Laura laid a hand on her arm, placed her fingers over Rachel’s and stilled her compressions. “I said, it’s over, hon. He’s gone. Dr. Morris called it.”


Rachel stopped her useless efforts. She inhaled a ragged breath. The smell of death clung to the thick air. Her eyes were drawn to Seamus’ lifeless body, ravaged by the code. Blood spattered the sheets from the multiple lab draws.  Empty syringes from the cardiac meds given intravenously, littered the bed. His skin was gray with deep purplish hues around his ears and neck. While she'd pressed down on his chest, she remembered the sensation as one of his ribs crack. She fought back the urge to gag, unable to stop staring.



An endotracheal tube, used to give him oxygen during the team's resuscitation efforts, dangled from his mouth. His blue eyes--once so full of laughter and joy--now stared sightlessly.


Rachel’s chest knotted with guilt. How could this have happened? When she'd started her shift today, he'd felt so much better. Had she missed something? Some vital sign or subtle change in his physical assessment that would've clued her in to impending death? Sixty-five-year-old Seamus Jameson hadn't even begun to enjoy the beginning of what was supposed to be his golden years.
Unable to stand the sight of him like this, she gathered fresh linens and a pink bath basin.

“Why don’t you take a break, or better yet, the day off.” Laura rubbed Rachel on the back. “We’ll cover your patients.”

“I can’t let you guys do that.  We’re short-staffed as it is.  I appreciate the offer, though.  But I need to do this myself.”

Rachel took a deep breath, and shook her head. Blinking back the tears, she shed her latex gloves, dumping them in the hazardous waste trash and walked to the sink to wash her hands. She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth. What had she missed?

“Stop chewing on your bottom lip,” Laura said.


Rachel popped her lip from her teeth. ”I’m not.”


“Yeah, right. You’ve done it since the first time we met. You remember?” Laura said lightly.

Rachel shook her head.

“When we were in kindergarten, Mitch Caine pulled on your pigtails and you punched him in the stomach. Then we both shoved him into the sand box.” Laura laughed.


“Oh yeah. He was so mad. The neighborhood cats had been using it for a sandbox. I’d forgotten. How do you remember that stuff?”


“He blimped my creep radar, kind of like our administrator. God that guy gives me the willies.” All mirth vanished and she rubbed her arms.


"Your creep radar was always spot on," Rachel agreed.  She should have listened to Laura's creep-o-meter when the alarm tripped when she'd started dating her ex husband, Jason.  Since she seemed to attract the wrong type of men, she paid close attention to it now.  Especially when the new hospital administrator tripped the alarm from his first day.  His pursuit of Rachel was extremely unnerving.  

She noticed Laura starting Seamus' bath.  Rachel rested a hand on Laura's arm, stopping her.  "I can do this, Laura.  I need to do this. I owe him that much.”



Rachel took several deep breaths and shed her latex gloves. Walking over to the sink, she washed her hands. “I just don’t understand it, he was fine. Today was one of his good days.”


"Well, you know how patients sometimes get better before they crash. We see it all the time. There’s nothing to explain, it was just his time," Laura reached for the box of tissues on the bedside table.


“I know you're right. This is just so hard for me.” Rachel dried her hands and took the tissues Laura offered. After wiping her tears away and blowing her nose loudly.
Her vision blurred. Covering her eyes with her hands, she fought the grief that threatened to pull her beneath a strong under toe, where everything was cold and dark.


He’s in a better place now.


He doesn’t have to suffer any more.


Rachel tried to console herself with the same words she spoke to family members who’d had loved ones pass away. The words seemed so hollow and empty. She’d never, ever speak them again. A sob escaped her and she felt Laura’s arms pull her into a hug.


“God, sometimes our job sucks. I know how much you cared for Seamus. Hell, there isn’t a nurse here who isn’t going to miss him. He was one of our favorites.” Laura gently released Rachel and peered at her closely. “Are you sure you can do this?”


Rachel nodded, and grabbed more tissues to wipe her tears away.


“Well, if you’re sure.” Laura walked to the doorway and turned back. “Do you want to contact Seamus’ son? Or do you want me to call for you?”


Rachel dragged in a calming breath and pulled on a fresh pair of latex gloves. “I’ll call him. I appreciate the offer, though. And thanks for the hug. I needed it.”


“Any time. Let me know if you need anything else. And, while you’re in here, I’ll keep an eye on your other patient.”  She glanced at Seamus.  "We'll all miss him."


****
Rachel groaned. It was a good thing Seamus couldn’t see what a mess she’d made of things. He'd surely scold her about ruining his reputation with the ladies. She pushed his dentures into his mouth for the third time. They slowly slid down, protruding farther from his gums than before. She groaned again. “That looks awful.”


She tugged on her bottom lip. Maybe she could get some super adhesive and glue his dentures into place?


A familiar voice whispered in her left ear. “At least your not thinking about using duct tape.”

She whirled, swinging her arm through a flash of light and staggered into the night stand, knocking the pink basin filled with bath water to the floor. Her gaze shot around the room. It was empty. She let out a breath. She must be losing her mind. For a brief second, she thought she'd heard . . . she shook her head. It couldn’t be. She’d always had a fertile imagination as a kid. But those were fantasy. She didn’t believe in ghosts.


She reached down to pick up the bowl and slipped on the floor, her butt landing in the soapy water.  She staggered to her feet.  “Damn.”


“Tsk, Tsk. Rachelgirl, do be careful. You might break a hip. Then whose going to help me?”


Her mouth dropped open. Seamus glowed, bathed in golden light. She blinked. He was still there, his blue eyes twinkling. She rubbed her eyes. Then looked again. This time he flashed her a smile. His teeth were. . . perfect. Slapping her hands over her face, she repeated her mantra. “I don’t believe in ghosts. I don’t believe in ghosts. You’re a figment of my imagination. An image I dreamed up brought about by denial. On the count of three, I’m going to pull my hands away from my eyes and you’ll be gone. One. . ., two. . . ”


“BOO!”


Rachel shrieked and back up against the side table, bumping her spine.


“I’m so sorry, my dear.” He flashed that perfect smile. “I couldn’t resist. Tricks of the trade, you know. I just had to try it out.”


She shook her head. “This isn’t happening.”


“Oh, I assure you my dear Rachelgirl, it is.” He looked over at his still body on the bed and frowned. “You really need to fix those dentures. I look. .. . unkept.” He peered down at his face. “I never thought I looked so old. You know, when you go through life, your body gets older, but in your mind you still have the age of a teenager.”

He turned his attention to what he wore, grasping the thin material between thumb and forefinger that draped his vibrant, glowing body. “You’d think if they were going to keep me here on earth, they could at least give me something more dashing than this open hospital gown to haunt around in.” He snapped his fingers and the hospital gown was replaced in a flash of blinding light.

She’d been so focused on his teeth, his eyes, the youthful look of his skin, the change in the color of his hair, well, his just plain being there, she hadn’t even notice what he wore. She stared for the first time. He now wore a light lavender. . . Leisure suit?

“Evie and I used to cut quite a rug in our day.” He put a finger to his chin. “Or is boogie down the correct terminology?” He cocked his head “Or is it get down?” He waved his hand.


“No matter.”


“Listen. As much as I’d like to indulge my fantasy and believe you’re here, I have work to do and you're. Not. Real.”Rachel turned back to the bed and started to straighten up. She felt the cool breath of his sigh on her neck and shivered.

“I don’t know how it’s possible, but you and I are stuck with each other." he said. "And, whether you believe it or not, I think we’re supposed to help each other."


She squeezed her eyes against the pain, the fresh tears that threatened to fall. “I didn’t think you’d. . . I mean, I knew your heart was deteriorating, but I didn’t expect you to leave so soon.” Oh God. She was actually, talking to a ghost, thinking he was real. She shook her head. “Your dead. D-E-A-D.”


She whirled around. He was gone. Relief flashed mixed with disappointment and a little bit of guilt. She hadn’t meant to be mean, but he’d deserve it. Just to be sure he was gone, she checked under the bed.


“Rachel, what are you doing under there? And what happened to your butt? You're soaking wet.” Laura asked.

Rachel jerked, banging her head on the bed rail. “Ouch.” She rubbed the sore spot. “You could have knocked you know.”

“I did, but you must not have heard me. Are you all right?” Laura looked around the room spied the spilled water. “I know you’re a perfectionist, but housekeeping will mop the floor.”


‘Funny.” Rachel walked to the cupboard and yanked clean towels to dry up the mess on the floor. “I had a little accident, no biggie.”


Laura bent to help her soak up the water. “Are you alright, you look a little. . . pale and . . .weird.”


“I’m just a little upset, that’s all.” Rachel cringed at the asperity in her tone.


“I know honey. He was one of the special ones. I’m sure he’s up in heaven having a wonderful time.” Laura said.


“If only that were true." Rachel muttered under her breath.

“What?”

“Nothing.” Rachel gathered the towels, threw them into the hamper and turned back to Seamus. His dentures hung from his mouth askew, mocking her. Maybe if she finished this grisly task, and they wheeled him down to the . . . morgue, she could mourn him properly.


Closure. That’s what she needed. “I’m having a little trouble with his dentures. They keep sliding out.”


“Hmm, I see that. He’s got that slack-jaw thing going.” She crinkled her nose. “I hate that. I’ve never figured out how to fix it, other than duct tape. Seamus wouldn’t like that.”

You have no idea.

Rachel kept that thought to herself.

Laura put a loving hand on Rachel’s back and rubbed. “Listen hon, take that break. No ifs, ands, or buts.  Out with you.  I’ll finish up here.”

Rachel could definitely use a break. And she needed to let Seamus’ son Devon know his father had passed. “Okay.”


At the door, she grasped the knob and turned back.  Rachel pointed a finger at Laura. “No duct tape.”


That's all for now!
Enjoy your weekend!
Kathleen

4 comments:

Adonis Devereux said...

Wow! Right out the gates there with that intense opening scene. Nice!

Kathleen Grieve said...

Thank you!

Theresa Sallach said...

YES! I loved Shamus! And I love ghosts that stick their nose in where it doesn't belong, or maybe his does! lol!

Kathleen Grieve said...

Thanks, T! Still need to fix my plot problems! LOL But it will get there!