The paediatrics ward of the hospital was strangely quiet. A rare moment of peace unpunctuated by a scream or a moan or a sob. Angela walked slowly down the corridors, looking through the perspex windows at the patients. The rooms were dark, the children asleep. Mostly.

  In the corner bed of the eastern room a child’s face was illuminated by a display he held between his palms. Every now and then he would turn from the device and cough hoarsely into the crick of his elbow, muffling the sound so that his roommates did not stir. Angela smiled before making her way quietly into the room.

  He looked up as she approached and quickly flipped the lid shut on his Nintendo handheld, snuffing out the light and plunging the room into relative darkness, the only light emanating softly from the corridor outside.

  “I’ll go to bed, miss,” the child said quickly, lying back.

  “I was just coming to see what you were playing, actually,” Angela whispered.

  “Oh-” the child said, surprised, “it’s uhm- it’s Pokémon, my brother brought it for me”

  “That was nice of him,” Angela said, smiling again. Bedside manner came easily to her. It was the rest of the job that took it’s daily toll. She was tired now, exhausted as she approached the end of her extended nineteen hour shift. She looked at the empty bed next to the child wistfully. Soon, she promised herself, soon Beth Mayer would arrive to relieve her and she would be able to head home to the warmth of her duck feather duvet that had proven to be totally worth the money.

  She was stirred minutes later by the child, “Miss,” he said, “Miss, my leg- my leg is asleep.”

  “Hmm?” Angela asked, rousing from a doze she hadn’t even realized she had slipped into, bent over uncomfortably –half seated upright, half across the foot of the bed. She blinked hard and shook the haze from her head and apologized.

  “Rough day, huh?” the child said, – one of those strange sayings children pick up and for an inexplicable reason, hold on to – as he set his games machine on his bedside table and rubbed his legs.

  “You don’t know the half of it,” she said with a wink, before turning and walking back to her desk.

I was given the theme ‘Hospital’ to write about today by my brother. I didn’t do much with it, all things considered, but I was wary not to travel down the familiar hospital drama route that seems so popular these days. I wouldn’t say I’m satisfied with the results as such, but, as an old farmer once said to a pig – “That’ll do.”


~ by Joseph Blame on October 18, 2010.

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