In Ward 61 – Part 1 of 2

Robert pressed the call button and craned his neck to see if the nurse was coming. Two minutes later he could feel his blood pressure rising. Why the hell couldn’t they get anything right in this damn hospital? He pressed the button again knowing it wouldn’t help matters.

He picked up a magazine and tried to read an article in the hopes of taking his mind off the wait. He could hear the constant beeping at the nurse’s station that indicated a patient was calling for assistance. His agitation increased and he threw the magazine down in disgust. Three minutes later the nurse breezed in with her usual exasperated look.

“What can I do for you sir?”

He had to bite his lip to keep from saying what he wanted to. “Look, are they going to take me to surgery or not? I haven’t eaten in two days because they keep saying I’m going. What’s the story?”

“I’ll ring the doctor again sir.”

She turned on her heel and left quick smart. He was no dunce when it came to body language. What right did she have to be exasperated with him? She wasn’t the one laying in an uncomfortable bed waiting for surgery that kept getting delayed. He stared out the window and willed himself to calm down.

Half and hour later she returned. “They said one o’clock.”

She took his blood pressure and temperature without making eye contact. That suited him just fine. He forgot to ask her what time it was and his watch was out of reach. He didn’t feel like dealing with walking the i.v. holder around the room with him so he lay back and reached for the magazine again.

After what seemed like hours an orderly came in the room and began raising his bed. So it was going to happen at last. Miracles do happen he decided. They took him up to surgery and fifteen minutes later he felt the drowsiness descend and he went under.

His eyes opened slowly and he could see he was back in his room. Something seemed amiss but he couldn’t put his finger on it. It came to him that the light was wrong. The room was enveloped in strange sort of yellow filmy light wherein everything in the room appeared as if he were viewing it through gauze. He reached up and touched his face. There was nothing covering it.

He glanced around the room and received a shock when his eyes fell on a small gnome-like man sitting on the floor in a corner. He had an unpleasant grin on his face. Tufts of hair protruded from each ear and his nose was long and pointed, curving downward. He regarded Robert without making a sound.

Robert for his part wondered if this was a side effect of the anaesthesia. He looked away and then back. His visitor was still there and still looking at him. He decided this couldn’t be a good thing but he was damned if he was going to speak first. He glanced at the door to see if anyone had noticed what was going on, only there was no door. Where it should have been was only blackness. He reached for the call button but couldn’t find it anywhere. He could feel panic rising in his chest.

“You won’t be needing that.”

The voice was raspy and somewhat harsh to the ears. He turned to face the source of the voice and saw that the grin had widened.

Part 2 Tomorrow – The End

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