- I needed a break from every story that I am working on,
- I was inspired to try "showing instead of telling" by a Go Teen Writer's contest that I am too old to enter, and
- I wanted to write about somebody who is exhausted from a long day of work only to find that she's got a long, exciting night ahead of her.
I might could give you a good reason for that last one.
Jemma shut the clinic door on the last patient of the day and sank into a chair. Everything ached -- her arms ached, her feet ached, even her head ached.
Carolyn poked her head into the office. "Hey, nurse Jemma -- are we done?"
Jemma rubbed her forehead. "Yep, Mrs. Greenclair was the last name on the schedule. I've never seen so many patients in one day. I don't know how you do this every week."
Carolyn disappeared down the hall, and a moment later Jemma heard the water running in the sink and the clink of dishes swimming in soapy water. Then Carolyn's voice came drifting down the hall. "Did you empty the trash and clean the tables for the night?"
"Not yet, but I will." Jemma pushed herself up and then sank back down again. Getting up was too much effort. Just two more minutes maybe...
Dr. Harincourt bustled into the office carrying a stack of charts. "Jemma, dear, do you remember the weight of the patient before Mrs. Greenclair?"
Jemma groaned and leaned forward, dropping her head onto the desk. "Nooooo...I don't remember anything," she moaned. "I don't even remember my own name anymore."
The phone rang in the background and Jemma heard Carolyn's crisp voice answering.
"Carolyn!" Jemma mock-sobbed under her breath even though the assistant was too far away to hear her. "Don't answer the phone! We're closed!"
"Poor girl!" Dr. Harincourt said sympathetically. "You look ready for your weekend off." He dropped the charts onto the desk. "Can you file these for me?"
"Hey, guys, there's been an emergency." Carolyn appeared in the doorway. She was white as a sheet, still clutching the phone receiver. The sight of her made Jemma's heart flip-flop.
"We don't handle emergencies here." Dr. Harincourt frowned and waved his hand. "Tell them to go to the hospital ER."
"That was the hospital ER." Carolyn clutched the doorframe. "They are full. They are sending people here. There's been a bombing..."
Carolyn's voice suddenly sounded far away. The room seemed to spin around Jemma. She reached for something to grasp, and then the world went black.