Better Than Nothing

Happy Friday, Readers! Was it only a week ago that I was at the beach? Feels like an age…

Here we go again with Friday Fictioneers, the weekly challenge provided by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields to write a 100 word story based on a photo. This week we thank Dale Rogerson for our picture! Now back to our continued story about Nick and Emmeline…

Copyright: Dale Rogerson

Better Than Nothing

“Mr. Ramsey?”

Nick jolted awake.

“Miss Price is sleeping, but stable. You can sit with her if you like.”

Nick didn’t need told twice. Quietly he entered her room. In the corner her heart monitor beeped slow and steady. He sat down beside her bed, fiddling with the rosary still in his hands. “Stay with me, Emmy,” he whispered.

Moved by an urge to be doing something, anything – he pulled out his phone and opened his last search – “How to Pray the Rosary.” He didn’t believe in this stuff, but it was better than nothing. Hesitantly, he started to pray.

Pass the Time

Happy Friday my lovely readers! I may be on vacation, but I wouldn’t skip a week of Friday Fictioneers if I could help it! Especially after last week when I left Nick and Emmeline in a precarious position…again. (sorry, not sorry). Be sure to check out last week’s post if you missed it.

As always, special thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for providing us with these weekly prompts and this week to Sarah Potter for the photo. Even if it isn’t too obvious, I do take some bit of inspiration of each week’s photo in my story.

Enjoy!

Copyright: Sarah Potter

Pass The Time

Nick was stuck in the waiting room, again.

Behind him he could hear the clock ticking. Every second felt like an eternity, every tick reminded him of the fading blips on Emmeline’s heart monitor.

He fidgeted with his fingers.

“Here you go, son.” Nick jerked his head up to see a stout old woman in a housecoat offering him a string of beads. A crucifix dangled from the end of them. Nick recoiled.

“I’m not religious,” he blurted.

“That your woman in there?”

Nick nodded and the rosary fell into his hand. “It will help,” she promised before shuffling away.

My Heart Skipped A Beat

Happy Friday, dear Readers! I’m back again with Friday Fictioneers and the continuing drama of Nick and Emmeline. Special thanks to Rochelle for always posting a prompt for us and Karung for this week’s photo. Enjoy this week’s story!

Copyright: Karung

My Heart Skipped A Beat

“I love you, Emmeline Price.”

Nick’s words hung in the air. Beside the bed, the heart monitor faltered and skipped a beat before increasing in speed. A luminous smile broke out on Emmeline’s face and she squeezed Nick’s hand tighter.

Nick returned her squeeze, suddenly feeling light-headed. His own heart beat fast in his chest. He thought maybe he should sit down, but his body was rooted in place.

“Oh Nicholas, I-” Emmeline stopped as a spasm of pain wracked her body. The heart monitor skipped a beat, then another.

“Nurse!” Nick cried, alarmed. He wasn’t going to lose her.

We Almost Lost It

Happy Friday, Readers! I’m back with another Friday Fictioneers story about Nick and Emmeline. If you are just joining us, you can catch up and start reading Nick and Emmeline’s story here.

As always, special thanks to Rochelle for providing us with our weekly prompt, and today we thank J. Hardy Carroll for the photo.

Enjoy!

Copyright: J. Hardy Carroll

We Almost Lost It

 It was sudden. Hearing her voice, seeing her smile…it was like the floor disappeared beneath him. Nick set the coffee down heavily on the nearest available surface and half stumbled over to her bedside.

Silently Emmeline held out her hand for him to take. Gently Nick brought it to his lips. “I thought…” his voice cracked. “I thought I might lose you,” he said. He bowed his head, his breathing ragged.

“But you didn’t,” Emmeline said softly, giving his hand a weak squeeze.

“And I never told you…” Nick trailed off.

“Told me what, Nickolas?”

“I love you, Emmeline Price.”

Coffee

Happy Friday, Readers! You’ve waited patiently, and now it is time for Friday Fictioneers! Last week we left Emmeline and Nick in a precarious position…read on to find out what happens next!

Thanks to Rochelle Wisoff-Fields for hosting this prompt and to Roger Bultot for providing the photo.

Enjoy!

Copyright: Roger Bultot

Coffee

Nick sat frozen, an untouched cup of coffee from a nurse in his hand.

At the sound of footsteps he looked up. A doctor stood there. “Mr. Ramsey? She’s asking for you.”

Nick entered the room with trepidation. Emmeline lay on the hospital bed, an IV in her arm and hooked up to a heart monitor. It beeped steadily. Her eyes were closed but as he pulled the door shut she opened them.

“This isn’t what I meant when I asked you to meet me for coffee, Nicholas.”

Her soft smile was all it took for him to breakdown completely.

In A Blink

Happy Friday, Readers! I think this week just flew by, didn’t it? Already it’s time for Friday Fictioneers with our host, Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. This week our prompt photo is provided by our host, Rochelle.

As I have been for the past month or two, I will continue the story of Nicholas and Emmeline. There’s been a little tension between the two of them in the past two weeks…there’s more to Emmeline than meets the eye and Nicholas isn’t sure how to handle that. We’ll see what happens today…

Enjoy!

Copyright: Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

In A Blink

Nick burst into the hospital room, his jacket and tie askew and skidded to a stop, breathing heavily. The doctor and nurses looked up in alarm. “You can’t be in here,” said one the nurses, striding forward.

Nick didn’t move, he just stared at the operating table and the woman laying unconscious on it.

“Nurse!” said the doctor sharply, pointing with a bloody glove.

“I’m sorry sir, you have to stay in the waiting room. That’s the best thing you can do for your wife right now.”

Nick couldn’t take his eyes off of Emmeline. Dazed, he said, “But she isn’t my wife yet.”

A Dream Continued

As requested, I have written out an end to Huck’s story in last week’s Once I Dreamed post. So if you haven’t read it yet, be sure to check it out before you read any further, otherwise this post won’t make sense!

wild boy
Photo found here. (The Wild Child, 1970)

We left Huck trapped in the stone courtyard, back up against the wall and snarling at the young redheaded woman. What happens next? Let’s find out:

Huck, breathing hard and coiled tight as a spring, stared into her eyes. The woman wore glasses, and he caught sight of himself in the reflection in the lenses. His eyes were blacker than he’d ever seen them. Just like the wolverine.

A terrible terror built up inside him and Huck growled again, not wanting the redheaded woman to come any closer. If she did, the wolverine inside him would escape. The woman hesitated for a moment but continued to get closer. Huck’s whole body was tense now. He fixed his gaze on her outstretched hand, pressing himself further and further against the wall. When she was only inches away from him, she paused, then gently put a hand on his shoulder.

Something in Huck snapped.

With a feral sounding growl he smacked her hand away and jumped up at her, tearing her glasses from her face and ripping the fabric of her dress. As his sharpened teeth sunk in the soft flesh of her arm, the woman screamed and tried to push him away, but Huck continued to claw her, her screams echoing in his head.

Suddenly he was grabbed on either side and pulled from the young woman, who collapsed on the ground. He screeched and growled and kicked and fought, but nothing he did would free him. The men holding him only squeezed tighter as he tried to get away. Dimly he was aware they were shouting something at him, but that only made him fight harder. Out of the corner of his eye he saw the redheaded woman stand up and stumble towards them.

Huck froze.

The plain grey fabric of the woman’s dress was stained red in the places he had bitten her. He saw the dark angry stains staring back at him and all he could think of was his mother’s mangled body and her blue dress stained red. The wolverine had struck again, only this time he was the wolverine. Huck only had time to lift his wide eyes up to the woman’s before he was hit in the head hard and knew no more.

He awoke much later to find his wrists tied tightly to the cold metal rails of a bed. His breeches had been removed and he was now wearing a loose dress sort of outfit. Gritting his teeth, he yanked the restraints on his hands, but nothing he did loosened them. A needle stuck out of his right arm, and attached to the needle was a long tube that led to machines beside his bed. Lots of little green and red lights flickered on the machine. Huck watched them warily, then jumped and struggled when the machine started beeping loudly.

Instantly two men dressed in white entered the room and approached the bed. One put his hands on Huck’s shoulders to hold him down, the other fiddled with the machine to stop the beeping. Then he shined a light in Huck’s eyes and put his fingers on Huck’s neck and forehead. When Huck tried to bite him, his eyebrows came together in a v and he scolded Huck. The two men spoke to each other in fast, low tones, using words like sedative and consult with psychiatrist. Huck wasn’t sure what that meant, but he knew he wouldn’t like it.

Suddenly he heard voices coming from the doorway and he tried to sit up, but the other man in white was still holding his shoulders and the restraints on his hands and feet kept him still. There was a bit of a commotion and Huck caught sight of a flash of red hair. Moments later the redheaded woman walked up to his bed, her face pinched together like she was worried about something. Huck blinked lazily. He felt sleepy all of the sudden and had trouble keeping his eyes open. Just before he drifted off, he thought he heard the woman say, “It’s going to be alright, dear.”

***

Huck became used to waking up with his arms and legs restrained. It was very hard not to fight, but he forced himself to be calm. The men in white were nicer when he was calm.

They came everyday. The men poked and prodded him and made Huck do all kinds of strange movements. They stuck him with needles and took his blood, and put him into machines. And everyday they asked questions.

Huck never spoke a word.

therapy
Photo found here.

Sometimes the men took Huck to a room full of couches and chairs. They told him to sit where he wanted. Then a man with curly black hair came into talk to him. “You don’t have to talk until you want to,” he told him the first time Huck met him. So Huck didn’t. Still the man asked lots of questions and seemed to expect an answer. Huck didn’t like him.

The only good part of Huck’s day was when they took him to a large room and let him run. There Huck ran and ran, but never found a way out. Still, it was good to run again.

The redheaded woman visited him often. He learned her name was Kate. Huck liked when Kate came. She never asked him questions. Instead, Kate brought colorful books and read to him. Huck thought his mother might have read to him a long time ago, but he couldn’t remember. Kate also brought puzzles and clay for him to play with. Sometimes she would sit and make things with him. Huck liked these times the best. But as they played Huck could see his teeth marks on her arm. They were mostly faded to pink now, but Huck felt ashamed when he saw them.

The men in white kept him in a white room with one small window. Huck hated it. He longed for the green and browns of the earth and vast blueness of the sky. When Kate came, she caught him staring out of the window. The next day she brought him flowers, and Huck thought he had never smelled anything so wonderful in his life. He was so excited he ran up to Kate and threw his arms around her, hugging her tight. He didn’t notice the tear that rolled down her cheek when he did so.

***

This routine continued for many months. Huck wasn’t sure how long he’d been there exactly, only that he’d been there long enough for the seasons to change twice. The curly black haired man still asked him questions, but no longer seemed to expect an answer. The men in white, his doctors, stopped taking his blood and sticking him with needles. They ran the usual tests and exercised with him in a bored, routine manner, making Huck’s life very dull, except for the times when Kate came.

One day, when it was particularly fine outside, Huck was sitting in his usual spot beside the window when Kate arrived. “How is my wild boy today?” she asked as she always did. She smiled at him when he shrugged in an offhand manner, which she knew to mean “okay.”

For a while she read to him, but when it came apparent he was not paying attention, she stopped. Huck didn’t even look over. He was too busy watching a robin fly outside the window. “Would you like to go outside today, wild boy?” asked Kate, breaking the silence.

Huck whipped around. “Yes!” he cried, hardly daring to believe she could be telling the truth. But Kate never lied to him.

The book slipped from Kate’s hands and her mouth fell open. “What did you say?” she whispered.

“Yes Kate,” Huck repeated, suddenly unsure why she was acting so strange. “I want to go outside.”

Kate jumped up from her seat and ran to him, pulling him into her arms. “Of course you can, my wild boy. Whatever you like. You spoke! Oh! What is your name, wild boy?” she cried.

“Huck. My name is Huck.”

Kate held him tighter to her. “You don’t know how long I’ve wanted to know that,” she said. “It’s so good to meet you, Huck.” The smile he gave her in reply was blinding, filling his whole face and making his eyes brighter than they’d ever been.