|Nancy has Business to Attend To|
Amy’s eyes had suspended without a blink. Nancy gave a small nod and stepped past her through a miasma of Amber Mystique. Nancy didn’t hesitate to board the stairs. Within a reception area befitting Country Magazine featuring oak, stone and tinted glass, a mobility stairlift stamped a black blot. The leather seat conjoined the griffin Newell post like a mutated Siamese twin. Following the curves of the staircase, a steel rail flinted grey against the sage walls. The sight incited undefined rage that echoed to an earlier time. Nancy wouldn’t touch the railing on her ascent; she would scale the steps, hands unaided.
Amy called after her, ‘look, he’s only been out of hospital a few weeks!’
|Not a Nice Nurse|
Nora by Charles J Harwood
Scotch, jasmine oil and black coffee scented the air. On the TV a host of The Money Programme muttered but no one was listening. Eggshell satin sheets on Vince’s bed had been creased in convolutions that would imprint seams upon the flesh. High pillows would suggest the occupant preferred to sit, even in slumber. The drinks trolley had seen a restock: tonic water, scotch, Bourbon and brandy. A drinks dispenser and ice bucket oversaw several whisky glasses. A mini fridge took the furthest corner, a sixties retro, American chic. A row of suits formed the backdrop; several cosseted tuxedos and ties. Barbells rested atop a small bookcase that contained what appeared to be ledgers. Nancy edged forward and the rear rim of a wheelchair emerged. Amy’s footfalls had now stopped directly behind Nancy. Amber Mystique once again overtook Nancy’s breathing space.
Vince’s voice surfed through the TV’s newspeak. ‘Yeah… tomorrow. You can expect me at the Park Plaza at around…eight. Marcus is bringing Blakemoors…Yeah. The attorney.’ Vince’s brash tone failed to curtail the hoarseness of a post-flu quality. His discourse seemed to hinder Amy from what she was dying to do.
In a rush of boldness, Nancy stepped into the room. Amy remained at the door, perhaps thinking she had gained the advantage by holding back. Vince continued to converse into his mobile. He wore a blue and black silk pyjama top and gym slacks. His slippered heels rested upon footplates. His neck now bore a different dressing to the one she’d seen the last time – smaller, a taped pad that served more as a concealer rather than a dressing, she thought.
Nancy now stood almost level with Vince’s chair, a new model by the looks of it. Her feelings evoked by the stairlift washed over her again. A high-tech, gadgety sort of thing with huge wheels, the mod-con would have made Sheila’s mobility scooter look more like a trike. He was aware of her presence, she could sense it, yet he continued to conduct himself as though still alone in his room. ‘…We’ll be postponing the next meeting by a couple days, maybe a week…yeah… Takin’ a flight… to catch some sun, what else? This weekend.’ Vince chuffed. ‘You can keep this cursed rain.’ And then he abruptly ended the call. Without turning, he wheeled himself towards the drinks trolley.