06
Aug
08

Foodie, Chapter 11

written by Dana

Malorie saw white.

She stared for sometime before realizing the objects that she had been subconsciously counting were ceiling tiles.

Slowly, sounds permeated her foggy brain. Beeps, ticks and whooshes that would have panicked her had she any available energy.

Malorie sluggishly took in her surroundings. Cheap drapes enveloped her. The beeps, ticks and whooshes did not appear to be for her. A blood pressure cuff was attached to her left arm and an oximetry device to her index finger. An IV was feeding electrolytes and intermittent analgesics into the back of her hand. Her supine body was artlessly draped over a hospital bed. The sedation had obviously started to wear off some time ago: her hospital gown and bedsheets were twisted, as though she had been wrestling with something. No peace, even in unconsciousness.

The events preceding her current situation rushed in without warning. Jack. Evan.

She quickly resurveyed the vicinity for visitors. She was alone.

She exhaled in relief. She hadn’t realized that she had been holding her breath.

I need to get out of here! Before Jack or Evan find out where I am and decide to confront me. I can’t face either of them right now. I can’t deal with the mess that is my life right now…

A little panicky now, Malorie took stock of her physical condition. Hands and feet: present. Head: unfortunately, present. Despite pain meds, the headache was both stabbing and throbbing, but it was tolerable. Carefully, she skimmed her abraded fingers over her face. They came into contact with gauze wrapped around her head. Perversely, she prodded it to see how badly it hurt. She winced. Not too bad.

Cautiously, she pulled herself into a sitting position. Slight vertigo assailed her for only a moment. She edged her leg off the bed. Ouch! Her knee was sore. The next leg joined the first. The sharp intake of breath announced that that knee hurt, too.

She sighed. Who the heck hit me, anyway?

Malorie put out an arm to steady herself as she inched her way into a standing position. Pleased with herself, her dry lips pulled into an uncomfortable, stupid grin.

She wearily divested herself of all medical paraphernalia. Even the IV, though it nearly caused her to gag. She did not do well with blood.

After fortifying herself with an indulgent mouthful of water from the cup at her bedside, she started hunting for her clothes. They weren’t far but they were barely usable. The concrete had nearly shredded her slacks. Her dressy knit top had gaping, bloody holes at every pressure point.

Terrific.

She found a hospital robe hanging in the bedside closet and clumsily slipped her shoes on. It would have to do.

Attempting stealth, she awkwardly peeked around the curtain. The other occupant of the room was in much worse shape than Malorie.

This must be the trauma unit, she thought, absently, while scouting the exit for intruders. Looking across to the bathroom mirror, she tried to assume a look of perfect health and confidence.

She exited the room.

Nurses and orderlies buzzed around busily. All overcapacity beds appeared to be filled. Several medical personnel were debating treatments and potentially transferable patients. Unit clerks were speaking urgently on telephones or running charts to physicians. No one seemed to spare her a second glance. Why should they when most of their patients were immobile?

Malorie headed down the corridor and genuinely smiled, sensing the ease of her escape.

“Hey!” a female voice called out.

Malorie walked faster, though the pulling and stretching of her flesh exacerbated the soreness of her muscles.

“Hey!!”

The voice was closer this time. Malorie plunged carelessly into a waiting room on her right and closed the door.

The inhabitants of the room stopped all conversation and peered at her in surprise. The silence emphasized Malorie’s heavy breathing. Recognition set in.

Evan sat on one side of the room with his casted leg propped up. His pallor testified of fatigue. The picture on the opposite side of the room was much more astonishing.

Jack’s hand rested on that of none other than Celine Richelieu.

The door opened behind Malorie before anyone could react to her entrance.

“Ms. Shawe!” the nurse exclaimed. “I was just coming to check on you! What do you think you’re doing?!”

The first name on the ID tag read “Esmerelda.” Malorie opened her mouth, but nothing came out.

Evan stood as Esmerelda fussed about and continued.

“The CT scan was negative but the quality left something to be desired so they want another one to be sure. This place is a madhouse tonight and your condition was stable so we…”

“Why doesn’t she wait with us while you arrange things, Esmerelda?” Evan interrupted, charmingly. All eyes went to him. “I’ll watch out for her,” he murmured, vehemently.

Esmerelda’s mouth turned up at the corners and her eyes twinkled. She winked at Evan and left the room.

The silence descended again. No one seemed to know what to say.

“I hit you with my car.”

Malorie followed the voice to Celine, her face incredulous.

“What?!” Celine continued, defensively, “You ran out from between a row of parked cars! I couldn’t stop in time!”

Evan hobbled towards Malorie. Celine’s self-important tirade was halted by Jack’s hand on her arm.

Something struck Malorie at that moment. Jack was being “familiar” with Celine and Malorie didn’t care! Evan’s evident exhaustion was far more consequential to her than any budding romance between her bête noire and ex-boyfriend, regardless of the fact that he had professed a wish to renew their relationship. She was ashamed that she’d let Jack get to her head.

Malorie’s face was beatific, as she turned toward Evan, eager to share her revelation.

A wave of nausea doubled her over just as Evan reached her. He grabbed her and gently eased her onto to a bank of chairs.

“What’s wrong?!” his alarmed voice reached her through a barrier of mental peanut butter. Malorie’s vision was rapidly going tunnel on her.

“Jack, grab that nurse!” she heard Evan demand frantically.

Her last thought as the lights went out and she melted bonelessly into Evan’s arms was that she was in love with him.

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13 Responses to “Foodie, Chapter 11”


  1. August 6, 2008 at 3:44 am

    this rocked. Hard.

    and this? ” barrier of mental peanut butter.” is fantastic.

  2. August 6, 2008 at 4:17 am

    oh my gosh.. it just keeps getting better and better…

  3. August 6, 2008 at 1:50 pm

    Oh man, I am forcing my way through a “barrier of mental peanut butter” this morning! This was great! I knew Celine was a crappy driver, right from the start…

  4. August 6, 2008 at 11:26 pm

    Dude. Celine seriously bugs. She’s so unlikeable :}

  5. August 8, 2008 at 1:45 am

    I wouldn’t really have thought of including Celine except she seemed the logical person to be around the parking lot, having just left the building before Malorie. (I was actually quite confused as to the timing. After supper, Malorie left the restaurant quite late (it was mentioned that most of the other guests had left), drove around for some time, and then went to the culinary school. I would’ve estimated the time to be in the middle of the night, but the school was still open for Malorie to speak with her instructor.)

  6. August 8, 2008 at 2:03 am

    This is great! “Barrier of mental peanut butter” is brilliant. You let us off the hook with some things but ramped the drama right back up again. Very, very, very nicely done. Bring on the next chapter!

  7. August 10, 2008 at 4:27 am

    Great job Dana! I was so excited to see what the next person was going to do with the story how I left it! 🙂 I LOVE it!!!!
    Btw, sorry about the timing thing. I was hoping someone would catch that it was late, and maybe tie it in later?
    you did an awesome job!

  8. August 11, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    It was difficult to know what to do. I thought about the amnesia card, the possessive males card, the new potential love interest card, but didn’t want to be cheesy. They’ve all been used so much in the romance genre! Not that I won’t be excited if those types of things develop later on in the story. I love amnesia stuff!

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