William Doonan

I write books and stories.

MedicineLand: Chapter Forty-One

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Karen’s hair had been brushed and she had some color to her face that was not blue, which was a good thing.

“How long has she been like that?” Julia asked.

“For about half an hour,” Alice said.  “She just got up and walked down here.”

Julia walked over and stroked the girl’s hair.  “Hello Karen.”

Adam shuffled nervously.  “I think I need to sit down,” he said.

Carson chuckled.  “Boner?”

Adam nodded.  “No metal forged by man has ever…”

“It happens to everyone,” Carson assured him.

“Her heart is racing,” Julia said.  “Alice, she’s at about 130.  Let’s get her back upstairs.”

“She wants to stay here,” Alice said.

“Does she, now?”  Julia looked back at the girl, whose eyes were locked on Alice’s.  “Did she say why?”

Alice shook her head.

Karen Sorrows opened her mouth wide.  She pulled her arm away from Julia and grabbed a pillow from the couch.

“OK,” said Julia.  “OK, I guess you’re staying here.”

“What’s going on?” Adam asked.

“Rocky,” Julia called out, “can you please take Mr. LaPorte somewhere please?  Carson, would you go keep an eye on something?”

“Let’s go sit by the pool,” Rocky suggested.

“I forgot my trunks,” said Carson.

“Me too,” said Adam, “but I’m a nudist.”

“We need to sedate her,” Alice suggested when the men had left.

Julia nodded. “Pulse is at 160.  Maybe too much stress, too many new people.  Let’s start with ten milligrams of tea.”

“What?” Alice asked.

“Ten milligrams of diazepam.”

“You said tea.”

“I said diazepam.  Prep it now.”

“You said tea.”  Alice filled the syringe.  “We should start with five milligrams.  If she goes back to her resting rate, we’ll need to put her back on the ventilator.”

“Ten,” Julia said.  “Our first worry is keeping her heart from blowing up.”

“Ten is a lot,” said Alice but she held up the needle.

Julia gave Karen the shot, and watched as Karen’s muscles slowly relaxed.  Her body slumped back into the sofa.

“Who is this guy you brought?” Alice asked tiredly.

“I’m not really sure.”  She told her about Adam.  “He might be able to add something.”

“So you’ll just about bring anyone home now?”

“Listen, I have slept maybe four hours out of the last 72.  I would have brought home the garbage man if he asked me to.  Stay here with her, OK?  I want to talk with Mr. Adam LaPorte.  Maybe find out if he knows anything about tea.”

“One thing though,” Alice said.  “One thing.  She looks different, doesn’t she?  Healthier?”

Julia nodded.

“What’s more, she looks attractive.  Seductive even?”

“She’s fourteen and dying.”  Julia frowned.

“Even so.”

Rocky intercepted her in the hall and pulled her into the kitchen.  “You haven’t slept in almost two days.”

Julia rested her head on his shoulders.  “I’m scared.  I don’t know how to help this girl.  I think maybe this new guy can help.”

Rocky steered her to the counter, sat her down, and began opening a bottle of wine.

“I can’t,” she said.  “And besides, we have guests.”

“They can wait.”  He pulled two glasses from the rack.  “Your new friend, Mr. LaPorte is currently drinking beer by the pool. Carson is begging him to make him some kind of cologne.  I’m not sure what that’s about.”

Julia nodded.  “Does he check out OK?”

“Yes.  He does, yes.  He’s got some minor traffic in his past, but he’s clean.”

“He was some kind of cook at a meth lab, Rocky.  He was something big in that business but I’m not afraid of him.  I think he might have put it behind him.”

Rocky shook his head.  “Why do you want him?”

“I’m not sure I do.”  She told him about the zombie mice.

“Zombie mice,” Rocky repeated.  “Interesting.  Did you see the news bulletin on the CNN page about this guy who almost got buried alive?”

Julia looked up.  “No, when was this?”

“Yesterday, I think.  The guy was literally in the morgue freezer when he woke up.  He scared the shit out of the staff.”

“Can you print this for me, please?  This could be really important.”

“I will,” he promised.  “But first we’re going to talk about when you are going to sleep.  You’re about to drop, and Alice is in no better shape than you.”

“Karen needs constant monitoring.”

“I know.  If you tell me what to watch out for, I can keep an eye on her and think of very fat old women and try not to be aroused.”

“You’re the greatest,” she said.  “I might call my mom and see if she can help.  I don’t think we can do this much longer, Rocky.”

“Me neither.  If you don’t go lie down within the next half hour, I’m going to give you a sedative whether you like it or not.”

“OK.  I’ll ask Carson to watch her.  Maybe I can give this Mr. LaPorte a rain check, maybe ask if he can shut up and come back tomorrow.”

“You think you can trust him?”

Julia looked up.

“Because if not, he can be made very comfortable here as well, whether he likes it or not.”

“I’ll go talk to him,” she said.  “If you go print that article, I’ll go talk to him.  Will that work?”

Rocky nodded.

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Written by williamdoonan

June 17, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Posted in Fiction, MedicineLand

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