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Indie Author’s 20 Questions: Laura Yirak

17 Aug

We’re gonna play another round of 20 questions! This weeks lucky hot seat warmer is Laura
Yirak and we’re about to get to know her better! Ready? Let’s Start!

1.) Tell me a little bit about yourself.

Hey!!! I’m Laura Yirak, I’m an author. And I like to write and sip on my tea!

2.) How long have you been writing?

I have been officially writing since college, but I started with poetry and started a novel after I stopped my 7-7 job.

3.) Do you have a preferred genre that you read? Is it the same as what you write?

I like to The Week and keep up on my current events!

4.) What is the title of your book and where can it be found?

Delivered to Eternity and it’s on Amazon and  Smashwords!

5.) Describe your novel in 15 words or less.

Here’s my blurb:  Alesta is a nurse with a secret. When babies start disappearing from her hospital, the police investigation implicates her. The police, however, are the least of her problems, as her past comes back alive. Such is the way with vampires.

Alexandria, Scotland has no idea what’s coming!

6.) Where did the inspiration for your story come from?

My inspiration came from my experiences in the ICU.  I saw many people die in this place of beginnings and endings and I took with me the concrete idea of what the ‘soul’ is!

7.) How long did it take you to complete this novel from concept to published?

It took me a year and a half, but I had many interruptions due to LIFE.  I have a new children’s series that will be out on Amazon soon!

8.) When you sit down to write, how does that process go? Do you outline or just let it evolve?

I outline a couple chapters at a time and then let my ideas evolve as I write.

9.) Are there any aspects of writing you struggle with?

I wish I had more time to do it as I have seven books lined up to do.

10.) Are there any aspects that you simply glide through?

The making of the novel to me is the easy part.

11.) What sets your book apart from others in the same genre?

My book is written in a Scottish brogue!

12.) What is the location of your story setting and why did you choose that place/time?

It’s set in Alexandria, Scotland.  I used to live in the town next to it and it’s set in current times with flashbacks to Alesta’s dark past.

13.) Your main characters, tell me about them. What is their back story? How did they find themselves where they are now?

Alesta is a 400 year old vampire.  She works as a nurse by night and also lives in a Bed & Breakfast Manor house.  She struggles with being a vampire as it was not her choice to be one.

In the early chapters of the book it flashes back to her violent past with her evil husband Alexander!

The story unfolds with this and her love interests!

14.) I’d like to know more about your book. Tell me all about it.

Patrick works at the Manor House.  He has a secret crush on Alesta, but Alesta’s best friend, Monica likes Patrick.  How will it all turn out?

15.) What do you want readers to take from your writings?

I go into great depths on the ‘soul’ and a new type of vampire I have created.  I want them to be entertained!

16.) Are more books to follow or is this a stand alone?

The next Alesta book is in the making!!!

17.) Where can readers find you?

http://dreamsofdiamondsauthor.blogspot.com/

18.) What are 3 random things about yourself that readers might like to know.

I love cockatiels, I love ghost shows and I am 5’ 10”.

19.) What do you do in your down time? For fun.

I like to have friends over for dinner, see 3D flicks and hit the gym!

20.) How about letting me have a sneak peak at chapter one?







Chapter 1

“Dr. Mooney, come to room 38 STAT!  Dr. Mooney, come to room 38 STAT!”

The man’s heart rate was 42 and
dropping, his blood pressure read 50/20.
Alesta ran over to the bedside cart and broke open a clear plastic container
labeled emergency drugs.  She pulled out
a bright yellow cartridge labeled atropine and ripped open the box; she went
over to Mr. Hastings’s IV, injected the drug quickly and cranked up his
oxygen.  His heart rate bounced back up
to 155, blood pressure 95/57.  The noise
of clamoring footsteps echoed up the hall.
Mary, the Matron Nurse appeared at the door.

“What happened?” Mary asked as she
turned on the bright hospital room fluorescent lights.

Alesta squinted while looking up at
the vital signs monitor, “I had to push atropine, his heart rate dropped.  It’s picked up again though.”

Dr. Mooney entered, looking at Mr.
Hastings, and then at Alesta “You called?”

“Yes, doctor, I pushed 1mg of
atropine, for a dropping heart rate in the low 30’s, his blood pressure was
unstable as well, in the 50’s.”

Dr. Mooney pulled out a pocket book
from his white doctor’s coat.  He was a
tall thin older man with rectangular silver specs and silver hair, “I will call
his wife and notify her of his change in condition.  What’s his CVP?”

“When I calibrated it, it was 12,”
Alesta replied.

“I’ll write the order for atropine
to cover you.  Otherwise, I’ll be out at
the computer station for a bit.  Also I’d
like an ECG on him and a set of cardiac enzymes.”  Dr. Mooney left, and Alesta dipped the window
blinds to the hallway, too many Nosey Nellys.

Mary walked over to Mr. Hastings
and grabbed his wrist, “His pulse is bounding now,” she said.  “I am going to give that OR admit to another
nurse Alesta just in case you are too busy in here.  I’ll leave your admit spot open, but if
another one comes or we get a code on the floors you will get it.”  Mary got supplies together to send the labs;
she drew up the blood from his IV, injected it into the tubes and filled out a
lab slip.  “I will send these off for
you.  By the way, what’s his code status?”
Mary asked as she washed her hands over the big metal sink.

“He’s treat all, no CPR.”

“Right!  For some reason I thought he was full code.”

Mr. Hastings opened his eyes, “What’s
going… on?”  His voice was weak, his face
red.

“Your heart rate dropped and you
received medication to bring it back up.
You may have had a heart attack; we are going to do an ECG to look at
your heart.  Are you having chest pain?”
Alesta asked.

Mr. Hastings sighed, “No, I feel
brilliant from the morphine you gave me earlier.  But I was in a deep, deep sleep.  I was having a horrid dream.  I was walking in the forest and it was dark,
very, very dark and I was lost.  I couldn’t
get out and there were branches in my face, scratching my face and I felt like
I couldn’t breath.  I am sooooo thirsty;
can I have some water please?”

“Sure, with ice?”

“Yes please, thanks.”

Alesta left the room and asked Dr.
Mooney if Hastings could have some water.
He agreed.  Alesta then called the
ECG tech to come do a read out.  They
would be up in five minutes.  She entered
the code to the medication room and got some water and ice out of the ice
machine.  Monica was back from break and
sitting next to Dr. Mooney at the station.
She was chatting away with him as she always did.  She was such a flirt sometimes, Alesta
thought.  Those red heads!  She could hear everything they were
saying.  She was asking him about his
next big vacation.  Cypress, a nice
island, but filled with Ukrainians.
Alesta passed by them.

“Alesta, how were my two when I was
gone?”

“Not a peep out of them, very
stable.”

“Great.  I heard you are not getting that admit after
all.  Lucky lass.”

The tech was already in the room,
he handed Alesta the results and she handed Mr. Hastings his water.  It read first degree heart block.  She went back out and gave the reading to Dr.
Mooney.

“As I suspected,” he said.  “His wife will be here in an hour with a
Priest.  I’m definitely not going to
transfer him out of the unit, too unstable, floors can’t handle this.”

The monitor began to alarm, red
lights flashing.  Dr. Mooney looked up;
Mr. Hastings was in asystole, his cardiac rhythm line flat.  They all ran into the room bumping into each
other.  Alesta could hear nothing, no
cracklings of breath, no pulsing of blood through his body, just the red alarm;
his fresh ice water had spilled all over the linens.

“Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.”

Dr.
Mooney walked over to Mr. Hastings and checked his pulse.

“Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding.”

“He is gone……”

Everyone was silent.

“Time of death 2:30 AM.  I will get the paperwork together.  Poor Cindy.
She has just missed him.  I will
inform her when she arrives.  We don’t
want her driving upset.”  The doctor
stood for a minute quietly, gave Alesta a long glance, closed his eyes, and
then left the room.

Alesta waited, and shut off the
lights, her hair even blacker in the dark.
She turned the monitor off and waited.

The air became thick, tangible.  The soul began to stir.

“Help me!  Help me!”
It moaned and turned on its side reaching out to her, a transparent
shadowed version of the body with hollow eyes.

“Help me!  Help me!”
It wailed in fear.  “I don’t want
to die.  Help me, help me.”

Alesta stepped back.

“You are not dead, just the
physical remnants of your old self.”
Alesta looked at it and smiled.  “You
must go to the light, or you will be trapped.
Don’t look at me, I am nothing but death.  Do not come near me.”

Alesta transformed herself; normal
teeth slowly became fangs, sharp and bright ready to eat.

“FEAR THE DAMNED!”

She opened her mouth wide and let
out a quick hissing noise.  It echoed
through the room.  Her skin paled and her
deep blue eyes shined an even brighter blue, cold and fierce.  Her hair fell and moved as if a strong wind
swirled around her.
“Fear me…..  Stay away.”  Her voice pierced through the dark entity.

It sat
up and stared at her, its empty eyes, squinted closed a little as if it
understood and with a light breeze, it passed through the window to the
outside.  Alesta did not know what choice
it had made, just that it was gone.  It
had not selected her.  She would never
see the light, even if it had come.  This
was the price she had to pay for eternity.
She felt relieved that the soul had not come to her; such a choice would
provide an unimaginable power surge for her and a trapped soul.  Blood was sustaining but it was just the
essence, the soul gave her real power.
She had vowed never to take another human soul again after the last
time.

“Do it!”

“I can’t.”

“You
must.”

“No.  Please.
I get it.  I’ve seen you do
it.  It must be amazing.  It’s just the one thing I can’t do.”

“It’s
like nothing you have ever experienced.”

William
shoved Alesta off the young naked brunette, frail, thin.

“Don’t,
please, we don’t have to kill her.  You’re
fed, I’m fed.  Let’s just put her back
where we found her.  Have you not already
done enough to her father?  I think he’s
learned the lesson.”

“Stealing!  Never have I had any servants steal from
me.  Never will they do it again.”

He bent
over the girl and sunk his sharp long fangs into her soft white neck.

Alesta
walked over to the empty shell and closed Mr. Hastings’s eyes and mouth.  She disconnected the IVs and turned off the
pump.  She picked up the phone and called
admitting, informed them of time of death and ordered a death packet.  She would do nothing with the body until Cindy
was finished.  Alesta left the room to
complete her charting at the computer desk.

Monica
came out of the next room.  “I saw what
happened on the monitors.  That’s a
shame.  He was a nice man.  I worked with him a couple of weeks ago.  I will help you wrap him up later just let me
know.  How are you doing?”

“I am
doing okay.  It’s the wife I am concerned
about.  She’ll be here soon.”  Alesta typed away.  She signed her work and logged out of the
computer.

“So you were late again Alesta?”
Monica teased.  “What crisis at the
B&B before you left, or did Mitsy scare one of the guests again?”

“No my little kitty would do no
such thing.  Patrick has a handle on
everything.  I woke up late that’s
all.  You know how it is after a long
shift, it was hell last night.”

Monica distracted, thought of only
one thing, “Patrick…..Yes, we will all have to go out a night soon.  I’m off Friday.  Are you?” asked Monica, eagerly.

“Yes I am actually; tonight is my
last of three.  We could get together
just give me a ring tomorrow.  Anyways, I
have to get back in there.  I have to
tidy him up before Cindy arrives.  He
spilled water all over, he is completely soaked.”

Alesta went to the linen closet
across the hall.  She pulled out a fresh
green gown and fresh white top blankets.
She proceeded into the room and began to take off his wet gown.  She wiped up the excess water on his body
with some towels and tucked a pad under is bottom to hide the fecal matter that
leaked when he died.  She placed some
baby powder to cover the smell.  She
placed the new gown and applied the sheets over him, her phone rang.

“Hello, this is Alesta.”

“Yes, this is Mary, visitors for
Mr. Hastings?”

“No, not yet, can you tell them to
wait in the waiting room please.  Let
them know that the Doctor will be out to see them.”

“Yes, of course.”

Alesta paged Dr. Mooney to her
phone.  It rang a minute later.

“Hello.”

“This is Dr. Mooney, you paged me.”

“Yes, Cindy is here with the
Priest, they are out in the waiting room.
I had the Matron tell them that you would see them shortly.”

“Right then.  I will break the news and bring them back to
the room.”

“Yes, Dr. Mooney.”  Alesta looked around the room and cleaned up
a bit.  She hated this part.  Watching the family come back after their
loved one had died.  It was the pain of
it all.  Their eyes always looked as if
the world had ended and a deep suffering took the place of eyes that had once
been normal.  She sat by the window and
looked out.  It was still windy.  The trees moved gracefully in the wind,
intertwined, dancing.  She could hear
them through the glass.  Moonlit clouds
were building again.  The rain would
start up again soon.  She listened to the
footsteps approaching.

A small framed woman, with short
curly grey hair stood at the door.  Her
mascara was smeared and she held a cloth handkerchief with blue lace around the
edges.  Alesta could hear her rapid
breathing and pounding heart.  She could
smell the salt of her tears.  Cindy had
collected herself.  She approached the
bedside and felt her dead husband’s cool hand.
She fell to her knees and sobbed.
Her heart broke.  Alesta stood
beside her and placed her hand on Cindy’s shoulder, lightly squeezing.

“Mrs.  Hastings, I am so sorry for your loss.  Can I get you anything?”

“I would just like some time alone
with him.  If you would leave us please.”  Cindy swallowed hard and painfully.  Her throat was swollen with the immense pain
of it all.

“Yes, I will be outside if you need
me.”  Alesta left them alone.

The Priest was waiting in the
hall.  He was a tall healthy young man,
clean cut dark brown hair, blue eyes.  He
looked at Alesta and quickly looked away.
He felt a chill.  Alesta watched
him shudder.  Priests, she thought, good
people but were always uneasy around her.

“Hello Father Mac Namara.”  Alesta looked at him, but did not smile.  His white collar was bright against his black
garments.  He had a tan and was due a
shave, but who shaved in the middle of the night.  He gripped his red rosary beads tightly and
carried a brown leather bound bible.

“Hello, what is your name, may I
ask?”  He flashed a glance towards her
but couldn’t make eye contact.

“My name is Alesta.  I am Mr. Hastings’s nurse.  Cindy wants some time alone with him.”

“Yes, when she asks for me I will
go in.”  He awkwardly sat down at the
computer station and flipped through the pages of his book.

Alesta went to see if the death
packet had arrived.  She could see Dr.
Mooney up at the front desk.

“Dr. Mooney, How did it go?”

“As it
always does, such hard times for the loved ones.  It ills me every time I have to tell them.”

Cindy stood at the bedside, her
handkerchief was saturated.  She couldn’t
stop the tears.  Her sweet John was
gone.  She looked at his face, it was
pale, and she touched it, his skin felt like rubber.  My sweet, sweet John, she thought.

Her voice trembled softly, “I’m
sorry I left you.  I should have stayed
by your side.”

She walked over to the window and
looked out, it was raining lightly.  She
could see her John’s reflection, and the dim lit room behind her.  How could this be happening she thought?  Just a few months ago they were enjoying
afternoon tea together every day.  Cindy
would walk down to the High Street every morning and get fresh strawberry
tarts, and meringues with fresh cream for the two of them.  A flash of their wedding came to her mind,
the old chapel, the stain glass windows, and his young handsome face.  They got married immediately after his return
from the war.  They were young and happy,
filled with hope for the future.  They
had enjoyed many years together.  She
turned around and padded over to the door.
The Priest was sitting there reading his bible.

“Father, I am ready for you now.”

“Yes, it is time.”  Father Mac Namara got up and entered the room
and dimmed the lights.

Cindy stood by John’s head facing
the rain and the Father stood at the foot of the bed.  He opened his book and respectfully addressed
the dead.

“In the name of the Father, the
Son, and the Holy Spirit.”  They both
motioned the sign of the cross over themselves and the Father began Viaticum.

After chatting with the doctor
Alesta stood outside the door of room 38 and listened, they were almost
finished with the ceremony.

“Through the holy mysteries of our
redemption, may almighty God release you from all punishment in this life and
in the life to come.”  The Priest spoke
solemnly, Cindy began to sob.  “May he
open to you the gates of paradise and welcome you to everlasting joy.”

“Amen,” said Cindy.

“May the Lord Jesus Christ protect you and
lead you to eternal life.”

“Amen,” wept Cindy.

“May the blessing of the almighty
God the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit come upon you and remain with
you forever.”

“Amen.”  Cindy lifted her eyes and glanced at Father
Mac Namara.  He pulled a small silver
bell from his pocket and rang it once.

“All who hear this pray for the
departed soul.”  The Priest placed a
wooden crucifix upon John’s chest.  He
pulled out a crystal vile from his pocket and carefully sprinkled holy water
over the body.  He handed Cindy a small
white candle.  She placed it at the foot
of his bed after pulling out his foot table.
She struck a match and lit it.
The smell of sulfur eased through the air.  The candle flickered, shadows scattered along
the walls.  There was peace.

Alesta let out a breath.  She had been holding it.  The damned could not pray, nor ever
pray.  They did not know she was out
there listening.  Would anyone say those
kind words for her if she was ever released?
Could they even be said for her?
It was not her choice to become a vampire, daughter of the night.

The Count flashed into her mind,
those hazel eyes, male lips, his locks of soft brown hair, and whisperings of
an everlasting love.  She wondered where
her master was and what he was doing.  It
had been his choice to deliver her and Alesta would do what she could to help
others, maybe then and only then, she would be redeemed.

Hands gripped her neck.

“S…..t…..o….p,” she choked out.

“You will finish her off.  Do as I tell you.”

He eased the grip a little, the
power surged through him.

“Never!”

He tightened up again, “You’ll
drink of her, but not the rest.  How can
you even begin to consider yourself a vampire?”

He spewed hot blood into her face,
her eyes covered, red blindness.

“You will!!!  If not today another!  I’ll see to it.  YOU WILL!”

Cindy and Father Mac Namara exited
room 38, Cindy came up to Alesta and took her hand, and she looked up into her
eyes.

“Thank
you for all of your help Alesta.  John
and I appreciated everything.  I don’t
see Monica around but tell her thanks as well.
I must go now.”  Cindy let go and
looked at the Priest.  “Father, thank you
for your kind words, I know that John is happy wherever he is.  I will see you at the funeral?  I would like it if you gave the sermon.”

“Yes,
of course, come by and see me tomorrow and I will help you with the
arrangements.”  He gave her a warm smile
and touched her shoulder.  She was so
very thin he thought.

Cindy left but Father Mac Namara
remained for a while.  He sat down at the
desk and wrote in his little notebook.
Alesta stood by wondering what it was he was writing.  He looked so focused and intent.  He was handsome for a Priest.  Not the type she pictured to be in the Priesthood.  She stood beside him and laid the death
packet on the counter.  She ripped open
the top and pulled out the paperwork.  It
had general questions, such as time of death, patient belongings, was the
family present, and minor details.  She
began to fill it out.  She could feel the
Priest watching her.  She looked over at
him and he quickly looked away.  The chill
came again.

“Is it cold in here or is it just
me?” he continued to write.

“Father, I think it’s just
you.  I feel warm.”  He smelled good too, she thought.

“Alesta, did Mr. Hastings say
anything before he died?”

“Well he spoke of a dream.  He was in the woods; there were branches in
his face.  He sounded scared.  Why?”

“I am just curious.  Working here, do you think people know when
they are going to die?”  He looked at
her, this time he held eye contact.

“I think some do and some do not.”  Alesta stared; she could seduce him very
easily.  She could feel it.  She had never tasted a Priest before.  She wondered if anything bad would happen.  She quickly put the thought away.  What was she thinking?  She was due for her top-up very soon.  Don’t let hunger get the best of you.  She disconnected from him.  He looked away, and abruptly stood up
brushing her arm with his.

“I must go now.”  He scurried away like a little mouse.

Alesta peeked into Monica’s room
and whispered.  “Monica are you in here?”  She got no reply.  She peeked into the next room down, “Monica,
where are you?”

There was still no reply.
Alesta stood quietly and tuned out the beeping and bongs of the monitors
she sifted through the voices in the rooms and around the critical care
ward.  AH HA!  I hear you, Alesta thought.

Alesta
headed towards the break room.  She could
hear Monica giggling.  She opened the
door.  The break room was small, with a
big round table in the middle of the room and an old refrigerator.  There was a view outside to the back of the
hospital.  The walls were scattered with
news bulletins and hospital announcements.
Monica was standing with an apple in her hand and smiling at Dr. Mooney
who was sitting with an open newspaper in his hands.

Monica freckles and all turned towards
her. “Alesta, there you are, I was a wee bit hungry.”

“Come
here.”  Alesta tugged on Monica’s arm.

“Would
you excuse me Dr. Mooney?” Monica said.

They exited the small break room
and Alesta pulled Monica into the corner.

“Monica!
What are you thinking, he’s married and isn’t he a bit old anyways.”  Alesta laughed.

“Oh come on you!  I saw you looking at the Priest.  You’re worse than I am.”  Monica giggled.

“Bloody hell then.  What will we do?”  Alesta shook her head.  “Come on now.
I’m off to break if anyone’s looking for me.  Right!”

“Yes, I better get back then.”  Monica took her last juicy bite.

“Trouble maker!!!!!”  Alesta teased just wishing to enjoy that
apple.

“Okay, enjoy your break.  I’ll help you when you get back.”

Alesta walked down the hall towards
the double doors.  Mary was planted at
her desk as usual.  She had short brown
hair in a bob cut, pink skin, lightly wrinkled.
She never took holidays.  She didn’t
walk around much unless there was an emergency of some kind.  Alesta gave Mary a nod and pressed the silver
button to open the automatic doors out.
The elevators were ahead but she took the stairs instead.  Alesta descended down to the morgue and
through the underground maze.  The lights
on nightshift were dimmed to save electricity.
There was only the glow of the green exit signs pointing the way
out.  The dungeons of St. Michaels
Hospital held the morgue, the lab and the blood bank, a perfect place.

Rule number one she often reminded
herself; don’t eat the patients.  Tonight
she would have packaged red blood cells, not as tasty and as fresh but did the
trick.  The blood bank was inside the
lab.  She cloaked herself so that no one
could see her.  Invisibility was one of
her gifts, passed onto her from the Count.
She pushed on the door to the lab which slammed behind her.

“Jesus!  That door scares the piss out of me.”  Jeff, the lab tech looked up almost dropping
the test tubes in his hand.

“Yes, me tae.  Sometimes I think this place is haunted.  Have you noticed that it only does it at
certain times and not every day?  I keep
forgetting to ask engineering to look at it.
Still this hospital is old.  I don’t
even know how old.  The morgue creeps me
out the most, the smell.  One time I was
walking down the hall and one of the transporters was pushing a dead body down
the hall.  As I passed a grey arm fell
out from under the sheets,” added Steve the other lab tech, sitting in a black
high-backed computer chair.

“Don’t remind me mate.  Sometimes I don’t think we get paid
enough.  Am bettin on the lotto!” said
Jeff.  He placed the lab tubes in a
holder with many others.

Alesta watched them from the
corner.  She knocked over a glass that
was on the counter next to her.  Steve
and Jeff jumped and both of them burst out laughing.

“See what I told you Jeff, they are
listening to us.”  Steve placed his hands
behind his blonde head.

“Enough of this talk; let’s get
back to it now.  Turn on the radio would
you?  It’s way too quiet and you’re a
right bore.”  Jeff walked over to the
tube system and pulled out the next set of labs to be done.

“I’m a bore…..you…..och aye…..”

Alesta continued through the lab,
music playing too loud.  Those two are so
much fun to bug she thought.  Processing
machines sat all over that would conduct different lab tests.  The equipment was worth millions.  At the other side of the lab were more double
doors that lead to the blood refrigerators.
She passed through them quietly as to not alert the lab techs.

She opened the refrigerator doors to
the blood that was to be discarded.  The
hospital only kept large amounts of O negative blood in house, the universal
donor to be used in case of emergencies.
If a patient needed blood and it was not an emergency it was ordered and
then stored in another refrigerator.  The
units ultimately expired and from these piles, Alesta would feast.  The techs discarded the blood at the end of
the shift in biowaste and didn’t pay much attention to it once it was expired,
before then a careful log was taken for the fresh units.  Blood was very hard to come by at times
because willing donations were low.

Alesta took out a couple of cold
350cc units and warmed them between her hands.
She pulled off the rubber cap on the end of the unit and began to
squeeze out the thick blood.  She couldn’t
gulp it down fast enough.  Her lips
reddened, her cheeks blushed, and her breasts heaved.  A drop spilled off her ivory white fang and
hit the floor.  It was heaven in a
bag.  She had a couple more units and
then decided that was enough.

The music droned away behind her as
she left the lab, and passed the morgue, on the way to the stairwell.  She had another five minutes left on break
and made her way out and back to the main building, another quick twelve
flights up and she was on the roof.  The
rain had stopped, just a cold, crisp wind, the lustrous full moon in shades of
blue.  She walked to the edge.  Tiny lights of little houses scattered the
dark horizon.  She looked to the west,
trees covered the lowland hills.  Through
there was her domain.  To the east lay
the town of Alexandria, it would be quiet on a Wednesday night.  The odd car passed through the High
Street.  She turned and went back down
the stairwell with no echo of her footsteps.

Alesta re-entered the ward.  She looked at Mary, still sitting there,
writing on her clipboard.

“Alesta, I need you to take this
form and read it, sign it, then give it back to me please.”  Mary handed her a half pink piece of paper.

“What is it?”  Alesta asked.

“It’s the new hospital policy on
infant abduction,” Mary replied.  “Oh and
take one to Monica too.”

Alesta looked at the document.  It read:

St.
Michael’s Medical Center

Infant
Abduction Protocol

Effective
April 1st

In the event of an infant
abduction:

“Code
Pink” will alarm over head.

Be
on guard of all exit signs on your unit.

If
you encounter abductor try to block but avoid self harm.

Call
hospital operator to alert of location, number 888.

Get
good description of abductor.

Sign_________________________________    Date________________

Alesta looked down to the end of
the hall; Monica was standing looking at the monitors while pulling her long
red hair back.  She walked towards her
and handed her the pink sheet.

As Monica read it she sighed, “So
we have to let the bastard pass, with the baby.
I understand but it would be so hard to not try and stop him
somehow.  The hospital doesn’t want to
pay for us if we become injured.  Though,
I think it would be worth it to save a baby.”

“I agree with you,” Alesta said as
she signed the paper, “but do you really picture Mary up there getting off her
arse and doing something.  I know she’s
good with codes and patients.”

Monica looked concerned, “Alesta,
Mary can move it.  I’ve seen her in
action.  I know you’re mad at her for scolding
you about being late, but she’s the Matron for a reason.  Anyways, these abductions rarely happen, once
every ten years and we just had that one last month, so we’re covered, no
worries there.”  She signed her
slip.  “Give me yours and I’ll hand it
in.”

“It happened a month ago and we’re
just now getting this pink slip.  Takes
them a while to get things done aye?” Alesta asked.

“A month is fast.  Did they catch the person who took the baby?”

“I don’t think so, but I haven’t
kept up on the news.  I don’t watch much
television, just too busy here and too busy at the Manor.”

Alesta went back to her computer
station and pulled out the body coverings for Mr. Hastings from the death
pack.  There were two shrouds, the white
inner one and the black outer one.  It
was always a tricky task wrapping up a body.
That is why she needed the help.
She pulled them out and went into the room.  She made sure that the body was completely
disconnected from all of the electronics in the room.  It was amazing how man had designed so many
machines to support one life.  It was no
wonder that people only lived into their 30’s and 40’s back in her earlier
days.  The most expensive medical costs
of a human’s life are racked up in their last few months, although she was an
exception, immortality, priceless to some.
If only they spent that much on preventative measures.  She heard Monica coming up the hall with the
metal morgue gurney.  One of the wheels
squeaked away.  Monica had a way about
her; she walked as though she had not a care in the world.  Her footsteps were light and never too
hurried.  It was a good demeanor to have
when working in such a stressful environment.

Monica entered the dark room.  It was very quiet.  “Hey!
You ready?” she whispered.

“Yes.”  Alesta looked at her through the dark.  Cindy’s small candle had burned out.

“Alesta, why do you always work
with the lights off?  If you keep it up
you’ll need glasses,” Monica whispered quietly while flipping on the
lights.  She helped Alesta place the
white shroud next to the body.  “Here, I
got you a blue gown.”  She tossed it at
her and they put them on.

“Monica, you know, he can’t hear
us, and I like the dark.  There’s
absolutely nothing wrong with it.”  They
both put on gloves.

Alesta had known Monica for a few
years now.  They had become good friends
through their nursing work.  It was
easier to bond with people when you worked in extreme circumstances, through
shared woes.  Monica was predictable and
Alesta liked that about her.  She was
such a tease, she found it amusing.

“You haven’t tagged him yet.”  Monica frowned.

Alesta
pulled out a sheet of name stickers from his chart.  She pulled one off at a time and placed them
onto three tags.  She took the tags and
carefully tied one on his right big toe.
She crossed his arms like a mummy over the wooden cross on his chest and
tied his wrists together with string.
She tied the second tag next.

“There!”  Alesta proclaimed.  “He’s a wee bit stiff getting.”

They
turned him, on his side and Alesta tucked the white shroud under him.

“Ahh!”  Monica griped.

There was a SPLAT on the floor.

“The bile is coming out, quick turn him back.”

He
flopped back on his back, arms limp and Alesta pulled him towards her.  Monica pulled out the other side of the
shroud and they pulled it over his cold body and emotionless face.  Alesta zipped it up over him.  Alesta placed the final tag on top of the
body.  Monica tilted him again and they
rolled him into a big black plastic body bag.
One final zip and they were done.
They paged over head for more help to move him onto the stretcher.  Mary came in as well as one of the hospital
assistants.

“Alesta,
can you help around the unit when you are all finished with this.  I had to give the circulating nurse that
admit you were going to get.  It turned
out as I expected.  That nurse has been
soooo busy tonight.  She might need some
help catching up.”  Mary looked at Alesta
and pushed the tartan frames back up on her nose.

“Yes of
course,” Alesta replied.

They
placed a sliding board underneath the body, pushed the stretcher up next to the
bed and slid the body to the stretcher in unison.  It landed with a metal clang.  Mary and the assistant washed their hands and
left the room.

“Do you
want me to go down to the dungeons with you?”
Monica wiggled her fingers, “Real scary down there.  OOOOOOOO.”

“No, I
will be fine.  I have taken enough of
your time as it is.”

“Well
okay, it’s nice to escape sometimes.  I’m
off!  I’ll see you when you get back;
stop by my room aye.”  Monica pulled off
her blue gown, which made the hairs of her pony tale stand up from static.  She gave Alesta that big old smile and
returned to the computer station.

Alesta
left her gown and gloves on and pushed the heavy metal gurney out of the room
and into the hall.  She gathered all the
paperwork and placed it on top of the long black body bag.  Nurses looked at her as she passed them.  It was always interesting when someone
died.  They chattered amongst themselves
and reminisced about that day they had with Hastings and the look on Cindy’s
face when she went home.  She passed Mary
as she hit the metal button to open the automatic doors out.  She squeaked over to the elevator.  It took skills to maneuver the heavy
gurneys.  Alesta did it without bumping
into a single thing.  The doors opened
and she pressed B.  This particular
elevator was the bariatric elevator.  The
populations’ waistbands had expanded so much that hospitals needed special
elevators to fit them into.  Mr. Hastings
luckily wasn’t too big; Alesta liked the space to move around.  It continued down to the maze and the doors
opened with a ding.  She got a gust of
cold air in her face as she pushed the gurney out.  The trip went quick and she pressed another
automatic button to the morgue doors.  It
was dark, with a small fluorescent bulb flickering in the far corner.

She could feel the dead, her
roommates.  The morgue is a great place
to sleep.  First of all it is quiet and
your neighbors are dead.  Alesta found it
almost as comfortable to sleep in as her coffin just lacking a little in
softness and warmth, but it saved a drive home from work and a drive back to
work after a very busy shift.  Her
secluded space was never used as the morgue keeper couldn’t reach it.  Height was not his strength and neither was
sociability.  The dead all lay in their
metal coffins, lined up in the walls, some placed on tables, waiting to be
dissected for autopsy.  No souls swam in
that room.

“Hello?” Alesta called out.  “Is anyone here?”

She listened quietly.  There was movement coming from the back
corner office.  The door opened and an
old thin grey haired man stood holding a cup of tea in his hand.  He was wearing a long white lab coat with a
tanned stain down the front.

“You’re
supposed to buzz the bell outside.  You
scared me.  Ah well, my tea was getting
cold anyways.  What can I do for you?”  He sounded as if he had just woken up.

“I have
a delivery.”  Alesta looked at him, his
name badge read Jim.

“Ah
yes, a fresh one for me to work on.  Did
the wife okay for autopsy?” he asked.

“No,
she did not want to know the details; she already knew that he had cancer.”  Alesta picked up the paperwork and handed it
to him.  He reached a wrinkled hand up
and took them.  His nails were yellow and
clubbed from smoking too much.

“Right
then if you could push him over here I will need your assistance placing him in
the fridge.”

They
pushed the gurney over to the metal wall where all the bodies were stored.  He pulled open an empty one.  The nasty old rot smell wafted into the
room.  Alesta peeked in.  There were old bodily fluids on the bottom of
the wall container.  Jim went and got a
mechanical lift and hooked chains up to the body bag.

“Now I
am going to lift him up and I need you to pull the gurney away,” Jim said.

His
pressed a green button and the body lifted into the air.  He pushed it over the sliding metal table and
lowered the body slowly onto it.

“It
looks as though you wrapped this one up well, I hate cleaning up after them
when the funeral home comes to get them.”
Jim smiled at Alesta.  She did not
smile back, she just stared off.

The
girl was dead, her soul taken.  Alesta
had wrapped her up in a woolen blanket and walked the moors.

The
Pete bog wanted to suck them both down and Alesta even considered it but she
kept trekking through, all muddy and all bloody, the moon her only
witness.  The little wooden shamble of a
cottage stood peeking out of the mist.
She laid the body down at the front doorstep and laid a Scottish thistle
upon her chest.

She
laid her head down upon the girl and quietly spoke, “I never even knew your
name.  Forgive us for what we have done.”

“Hello?  You there?”

“Ah…..Where do you want this then?”
Alesta asked.

“Just
stuff it over by that empty wall there, thanks!”

She pushed the squeaking gurney
over to the wall and hit the button to exit the morgue.

“Have a
good rest of your morning,” Jim said.

“You
too!”

Alesta left listening to a loud
clang as Jim pushed Mr. Hastings into the wall of the dead.  Goodbye, she thought to herself.  She thought of Jim and reminded herself.  Rule number two, don’t eat your co-workers.

The
next couple of hours went quickly for her.
She answered the calls of other nurses for help and aided in the night
time linen changes and patient baths.
Weights had to be done in the morning for most accurate results.  The ward was full.  It would be a busy day for the day
shifters.  She popped her head into the
room where her canceled admit was; she could smell fresh blood.  Alesta put on some gloves and a mask.  Dr. Mooney was inserting a very long needle
into the patient’s wrist.

“Ahhh!
Alesta, how are you?”  The doctor never
raised his eyes.  “Can you hand me the
arterial line tubing?  The other nurse
had to step out for a minute to get more sedation.”  The sound of the breathing machine clicked
away in the background.

“Sure, there you are.”  Alesta handed it to him and he connected the
two together.  “Why didn’t he have one
placed in the OR if he was critical?” she asked.

“Well
he did.  Someone wasn’t paying attention
when they let down his rails earlier and it came out,” Dr. Mooney replied.

Alesta
looked down; there was blood all over the floor under the bed.  It had not been completely wiped up.  The other nurse appeared in the room.  She walked quickly over to the IV pump and spiked
the new bottle of propofol.  There were
blood stains on her white tennis shoes.

“Joan,
do you need any help?”  Alesta looked at
her; she was disheveled as if she had been running for hours.

“I need
a holiday!  Mexico?  Seriously though, I’m fine, thanks for
helping out while I was gone, I just need to chart that’s all and then I’m
caught up.”  Joan began to pick up after
the doctor.  He was washing up.

Alesta
picked up the mess Dr. Mooney had left on the bed and tossed it in the red
biowaste container.

“Call
me if you change your mind.  I’ve got
fifteen minutes before I head home.  I
don’t have to give report to the next shift.”
Alesta unmasked and washed her hands next.  The doctor had already left.  She followed after him.  She walked over to Monica’s room.  Monica was sitting at the computer station
powdering her nose.

“Would
you like a mint?” Monica asked.

“Ah, no
thanks.  So what did you have in mind for
Friday?”  Alesta sat next to her and
pulled up the internet.

“Let’s
go doon the toon, the High Street!” Monica said.  Her face was perfect.

“We
could…..or we could go to Glasgow and I’ll show you and Patrick some great
places, with great atmosphere,” said Alesta.

“Ask
Patrick, will he be there when you get in?” asked Monica.

“You
know him; he’s always there when I get home.
He takes great care of everything.
He’s interviewing a new employee today for me.  He asked for extra help around the B&B
while he’s taking extra classes at the university.”  Alesta looked at her watch; it was almost
time to go.

“Is it
anyone I know?” Monica asked in a disinterested tone.

“Judy
something, um, man…..I’m tired,” Alesta said.
“She used to work at the chapel shop, but business has been bad for the
church lately.  That’s all I know.”

An
alarm sounded on the monitor over head.

“I‘ve
got to go suction now, that’s all I have been doing all shift.”  Monica made a huff sound and got up.  “I will call you later, or tomorrow.”

“Aye,
it’ll be fun!”

Alesta headed off to the locker
room.  She opened the locker room door
and looked in.  There was no one there
and it was very quiet, the next shift was in report.  She removed her shoes and placed them in her
locker.  She tossed her dirty green
scrubs into the laundry basket.  She
walked around in her white lacy bra and matching underwear and stretched, then
went over to the bathroom mirror and looked at her reflection.  Alesta did not appear that tired and her
cheeks were rosy pink.  Her bun was a bit
messy from the wind outside earlier and all the running around.

There was time for a quick
shower.  A few towels sat by in a cabinet
by the shower stalls, but they were always so scanty.  She removed her underwear and hung them on a
hook across from her stall.  She undid
her hair and stepped into the white tile lined stall, and pushed on the water.  It was cold to start but warmed up
quickly.  The hospital had great
heating.  Steam billowed out.  She washed her long hair with the all purpose
soap provided and the rest of her smooth skin.
She stood and let the water rinse work away down the drain.

The rain came hard and cold.  Alesta looked up to the dark grey sky and let
water rinse away all the blood.  She
stood in the same spot for almost an hour till she felt an inkling to even move
again.

The Manor was lit low and she
entered.

William sat by the fire, “I want a
painting done.  I’m going to hang it
right there.  Now just look at the sight
of you, your dress. Where have you been?”

“No where.”

“Well.  What do you think?”

“About what?”

“My painting?”

Alesta
gave no answer.

 

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