Yup. I’m writing a book! Nope. I have never attempted it before but I have always had the idea for a Zombie book in my head, it was always about finding the time to put pen to paper (fingertips to keyboard, rather). That being said, I’m apologizing in advance for my poor grammar and any misspelled or misused words. Keep in mind I am not an experienced writer, just an experienced reader! Hahah!I hope you enjoy it! I’ve got a name for the book. But I’m on the fence about it! What do you think?
A Zombie Tale
My name is Rayne Delaney. I’ve always wanted to be a nurse. Even as a child, I loved helping people. I graduated nursing school last year and I was employed ever since at the local, very small hospital in Blessing, Texas. My hometown. I was never the one in high school that wanted to get out of this small town, trying to cling on to dreams of bigger and better things. I knew then what I know now, and that is that I was meant for here. Blessing, Texas lived up to its name and brought me all the right blessings I needed to live my little, comfortable life. I had a nice, loving family. I had a quaint home, but it was so perfect for me. I had a small dog named Peggy who was given to me by my brother when his dog had puppies last year. I owned my car and I had a career. I guess a date or two would have been nice, but none of that mattered now. On the 1st day of the year 2011 life changed for everyone, everywhere. This is my story of what we now call Z-day. The day zombies took over the world and crushed what I thought was my perfect, little life.
Chapter 1: The Hangover
’m late for work. I’d like to add, “Well, that’s the story of my life,” but it isn’t. I’m a punctual person. I pride myself on being said punctual person. I’m going to give myself a break this time. I mean, if there’s one day a year to be late to work, it should be New Year’s Day. Besides, it was worth it. I got to spend time with some of my closest friends and even had a new year’s kiss! I hate that weird feeling single people get about 30 minutes or so before the ball drops and your just thinking to yourself “Will I be that one who’s not kissed tonight?” Luckily, my friend Aiden went stag to the party, and as the countdown began, he rushed over to me, champagne in our hands, and bestowed a kiss on my lips. It was sweet and lingered just a second over. We gave each other a short glance, and I could feel the red rushing over my face. He smiled at me, and went on mingling with the others. Several glasses of champagne later and less than 5 hours of sleep, I’m pulling into the employee parking lot, rather fast might I add. Aiden and I work the same shift, and I always park next to his civic, only today, I’m actually realizing it.
I’m finding it hard to pull myself together. I look and feel a hot mess, but finally muster up the energy to pull my keys out of the ignition and slump out of my car. Every step I take toward the hospital is trying, and everything is taking on a brighter shade of its color today. My eyes are begging me for a pair of sunglasses. As I walked through the double doors to the ER, I automatically snap into shape and everything around me is clear again. This is my place, and this feels like home to me. Passing the intake desk as fast as I can, Aiden catches my eye and I catch his. “Looks like someone had a great night.” He says with a clever look on his face.
“Epic, really.” I smile shyly but keep on walking, because it’s time to get down to business, not to mention I’m already late and I want to slip into work going as un-noticed as possible. Behind the only unmarked door in the ward is where I’m headed. My own little piece of this hospital is here, my locker.
3 (beep) 7 (beep) 9 (beep). A longer beep sounds off on the keypad allowing me entrance to the employee room. Inside, is Nurse Jackson sitting on the bench tying her shoe laces. It’s odd but, I’ve worked here a year and I still don’t know her first name. “Late too, Rayne?” I guess she knows mine. It must be her demeanor that keeps me from asking her first name because she makes me feel like I should have respect for her. She’s getting into her sixties: if she’s not already there. She’s worked at this hospital since it opened. Plus, she has that attitude that can be in full force when needed and much kinder when it’s called for too. I guess she reminds me of my grandma, so I treat her as such. “Yes ma’am, trying to sneak in. Guess that didn’t work out too well.”
“Honey, sneaking in is impossible when you’ve walked straight in the front door.” With a quick wink, she was out the door and on her way. She’s right, there is no way you could miss me today. I’m not looking or feeling my best and I guess you can tell that at first glance. I’ve got my favorite black scrubs on that have hot pink piping. I like them because they match my black and pink reeboks. I’m happy to say that I look pretty good in scrubs, well, as good as one can look in them. As for my dark brown hair (rather lackluster today) and green eyes, it’s a good thing I have an emergency kit in my locker. I set up by the mirror and quickly brush my hair. It’s getting pretty long, so I feel a braid is in order. The braid falls alongside my shoulder and I feel a little better. Next, I brush a little shadow over my eyes, and wisp a bit of mascara on my lashes. Last on my list, I grab an Emergence-C packet from my kit; shake it into a warm bottle of water and down that sucker. Hangover Shmangover, I’m good to go.
Nurse Jackson is jotting down patients info on a clipboard at the nurses’ station. When I walk up, she hands it to me. “You’re up, Rayne.”
While checking the log of patients Dr. Oliver shouts at me in passing (if you haven’t noticed, its common around here to walk and talk, as they say).
“Delaney, assist me in triage room two.”
He really does have a giddy up in his step, which isn’t easy for a man pushing sixty and smokes like a chimney, so I drop the clipboard and follow in his footsteps. This isn’t a man you keep waiting. It’s pretty unlikely that Dr. Oliver, the Chief of Emergency medicine, would be in such a hurry for any patient, so it gets my mind wondering. I happened to read on the clipboard that a young male was in triage two. When I walk in the room, the doctor is explaining to the boy’s mother that he needs to take some blood for testing. This prompts me to set up a tray of vials and needles, so I can assist the doctor. He excuses himself from them and gives me the “follow me” expression. Just outside the door, Dr. Oliver’s expressions went from professional to worry.
“I’ve got a strange feeling about this kid. He has a raging fever but is feeling just fine. He should be in a coma. Go in there and take his vitals. I need a second pair of eyes, so I know I’m not going crazy. Also, take forty cc’s of his blood and get it to the lab for testing. Call me when you’ve completed the vitals so we can collaborate.”
He didn’t give me time to answer him. He walked away briskly and I knew I needed to be on my toes back in the room.
“Hello, I’m Nurse Delaney and I’m going to run some vitals on-“ my eyes quickly glance down at his clipboard, “- Joseph here. Then I’m going to take some blood as Dr. Oliver requested.” I look at Joseph’s mother for reassurance that she understands me, and she gives me small nods in return.
“Hi Joseph, how are you feeling?” I start talking to Joseph in a kind voice. He doesn’t answer, but I want him to trust me and allow me to poke at him without a struggle. This is the first time I’m actually getting a good look at him. We are face to face after all since I’ve settled down in a rolling chair next to his bed. He is a small boy, much smaller than I would have guessed a 10 year old to be. His hair is long and cut into that surfer boy style that is so popular these days and he can’t seem to keep it out of his eyes. His piercing blue eyes are friendly and exhausted. I give him a side grin and ask for his arm. He extends his arm and the second my skin touches his, I draw back.
He’s burning up! Keep calm …
“Wow Joseph, you sure are warm. Are you feeling bad at all? When I’m done here, I’m going to grab you some cold packs we keep in the fridge to rest on your head and arms, okay?”
He shrugs his shoulders and replies “Okay. I’m feeling fine really, I’m just tired and hungry, but I can’t keep my food down. Mom says the fever medicine she gave me at home didn’t work. That’s why we came here.”
After I take his blood pressure, I listen to his pulse. It’s slower than it should be so I start over. It’s the same. I notate this so I can let Dr. Oliver know the results. Next, I take his temperature and try not to jump backwards out of my chair.
112°… What is going on here?!
Luckily, Nurse Jackson comes in to ask if I need assistance. I tell her to go ahead and draw his blood because I cannot wait any longer on getting him some cold packs. Plus, this will give me a second to get my wits about me. The hangovers involuntary sweating stage is in full effect. The mini-fridge is located down the hall, so I walk over and grab for the handle. The cold air hits my face and it’s suddenly a little easier to breath. Okay, I’m a nurse, and that means there is a logical reason behind Josephs fever and we are here to figure that out. I have been in much worse situations with people in the past; I can get a fever down.
Okay. Back into work mode, I walk into Joseph’s room with 6 cold packs. I pop the bags and the coldness comes to life, I wrap them in a small rag and place them on his arms, legs and forehead. Nurse Jackson is quickly done drawing his blood and is on her way to deliver it to the lab. Josephs Mom walks over to me. “Can I speak with you for a moment? Outside.”
“What exactly is going on with my son? Why aren’t you telling us what’s happening? I mean, I wasn’t born yesterday, I know a hundred and twelve fever isn’t possible so”, She pauses for a moment realizing the volume in her voice has gotten to an inappropriate level. “-so, give me some answers. Please.”
Obviously this woman does not want to bullshit. So I give it to her straight. “Honestly, we don’t know. You’re right, a hundred and twelve degree fever is unheard of, but since your son is feeling well, it’s best to not alarm him or you for that matter, until we know what’s going on. The blood tests will determine where to start. Please give us some time, and I will try and keep Joseph and you as comfortable as possible in the meantime.” She was satisfied with that answer. She curtly nodded at me and turned her heel to return back to her son’s room. It’s time to call Doctor Oliver anyway. He needs to know that he was right, Joseph’s vitals are unstable and he needs help right away. Just then, I hear that noise that makes even the most experienced nurse shudder.
I slam into the door, push the big red button on the wall that says “cardiac arrest” under it and the lights begin to flash and the friendly voice over the speaker says, “Code blue, triage two. Code blue, triage two.”