Short Stories from Creative Writing 1
A Character’s Voice
I was asleep, a sound sleep but became aware of a warm, soft, voice speaking to me. It was a female voice I didn’t recognise and I couldn’t understand what she said. I only know it was gentle and comforting. Then it got a little louder but I was too tired to open my eyes to look at the person speaking and slipped once again into a dreamless sleep. . Though it seemed that every few minutes I heard the velvet tones of the same voice speaking, or was it singing? And I vaguely wondered what time it was and whose voice was penetrating into my system.
Goodness knows how long I remained in that state but as I regained consciousness I felt I was emerging from a very long tunnel and could hear the same soft musical voice imploring me to wake up as it was supper time and did I want a nice cup of tea.
“I will lift the top of the bed so you can sit up and be introduced to the other ladies here. I am Sister Martin by the way,” announced the familiar voice as she helped me into a sitting position. I looked up to thank her and found myself gazing at a beautiful pair of blue smiling eyes. From the little frilly cap perched on top of her gorgeous red bun right down to the well black shiny polished shoes I felt I was looking at Florence Nightingale. I asked myself if it was possible to’ sum up’ a person’s character from the voice only. I don’t suppose that is usually possible, but I do know it was from her voice only, long before I saw the uniform that I felt I knew her character, and was sure it was that of a very loving, caring person and I was going to recover from this ghastly nightmare and become a normal person again. I wonder if we can always tell a character by their voice only…
The Man in Bed Four
The porter wheeled me into the ward and up to the only empty bed in the far corner by the window. He helped me get onto the bed and then left. There were four beds in this ward and all of them appeared occupied.
“Hello there,” came a voice from the bed immediately opposite. “I‘m Tom. How are you feeling?”
“Not too bad actually, thanks for asking. I’ve only had my appendix out and they’ve said I can go home tomorrow providing there are no ill effects from the anaesthetic and the stitches are ok.”
“Lucky you,” broke in the chap in the bed next to Tom’s. “I’m feeling pretty good but because I’ve had heart surgery they won’t let me out yet. Keep saying just a few more days but it seems as though I’ve been here for ever! My name’s Don, and you are?”
“Jack, I replied. “Nice to meet you both. Have you been in long Tom?” I asked.
“Not very long. I had a hernia op but there were complications but I’m over those and should be out of here day after tomorrow.” Tom answered.
“What about the chap in the bed next to mine. What’s he in for?” I asked Don.
“No idea, mate. They must have brought him in last night as he was here when we woke up although we didn’t hear him arrive. Think he must be waiting to have his op done as they’ve put a ‘Nil by Mouth’ sticker over his bed. He hasn’t woken up and we’ve only been able to see the top of his head. Don’t like to wake him he seems to need the sleep.”
“Here, have a newspaper.” Tom tossed a Telegraph across the room and onto my bed.” It’ll give you something to read to help pass the time. I got two by mistake this morning. I’m going back to my cross-word for a bit, if you’ll excuse me and I know Don wants to watch a programme about whales or sharks or something that’s on in about five minutes. Any way you may want to get some sleep if the anaesthetic hasn’t quite worn off yet. Chat to you later.” and with that he took up his pencil and began scratching his head in concentration.
I was glad of the distraction, but after only reading a few pages I started to doze and must have fallen fast asleep because the next thing I heard was a voice coming from somewhere beside me.
“Wake up! Wake up Mr Smith. You’ve got to go down to theatre immediately.”
The nurse was shaking the man by the shoulder in a determined way as a tousled head slowly appeared and yawned.
“Go away. Let me sleep. I’m going nowhere.” was the response.
“Mr Smith you must wake up and get ready, the operation is due at eleven o’clock and you mustn’t be late!”
“I don’t care. I’m not going.”
I was horrified to see the nurse begin to drag the man out of his bed as she said firmly.
“Mr Smith, you are due in theatre and you mustn’t keep Mrs Travers waiting she’s already prepped for the hip replacement you are to perform!
Maddie Welch 539 words.
The Hospital Ward
“ It would have to happen to me on the first day of my job as a fashion model. There’s nothing fashionable about me now,” she mumbled. “God knows when this opportunity will come again. Marjorie was feeling really sorry for herself. She had just celebrated her twenty third birthday and was feeling quite forlorn and despondent as she was being wheeled into the hospital ward. She could hardly believe it. She had been up bright and early that morning looking forward to the day when suddenly she slipped and fell on the damp tiled floor, apparently fracturing her ankle in two places although more x-rays were being arranged. She was in absolute agony but had managed to crawl her way to her bedroom and grab her mobile to ring for an ambulance. She had been on her own for the last two days because her partner Steve was away on business.
As Marjorie entered the ward, being wheeled in by a Nurse Susan, she noticed there were three patients. Two appeared to be sleeping and the third, a lady, was sitting upright in her bed seemingly engrossed in a book. She didn’t bother to look up or take any notice of them as they entered. Marjorie decided to make an effort to be friendly so she quietly said,
“Hello. Nurse Susan has just told me you are Ann and my name is Marjorie.
“So”, responded Ann in a harsh loud voice, “You’re called Marjorie. See if I care!”and continued reading. The young nurse Susan interjected,
“Take no notice of her Marjorie, at times she can be quite funny . She’ll come round later you’ll see. The other two ladies are Maureen, she is the one with blond hair and fancies herself as a singer so don’t be surprised if she suddenly breaks into song. Mind you, she has a lovely soprano voice. Lastly there’s Kay with the long dark hair. She is a lecturer in history at a local university so be prepared to get some history lessons. They are lovely ladies really, all about the same age as you. There’s one thing about this ward, it’s never dull. I’m going to leave you now and see to the ladies in the next ward. Ring the bell there if you want anything. See you later.”
“Well!” Marjorie thought, “What interesting sounding ladies! But if Ann is moody, presumably because she is in pain, are the other two going to be too? Having to share a ward with three strangers is not the ideal way to spend my day! But I must remember these ladies are not here for the fun of it, they are being treated for their illness just like me.”
Marjorie lay on her bed and slept for a couple of hours, only to be woken up by the beautiful singing voice of Maureen. She looked towards the other bed and saw Ann had stopped reading and was knitting. Kay had put her history books aside and was sketching. She was looking serious and had a frown on her brow. When she noticed Marjorie was awake looking at her she turned the paper around and Marjorie was amazed to see a wonderfully drawn sketch of herself sitting up in her bed and smiling. She expressed her amazement saying how clever and what a wonderful likeness to which Kay gave a little shrug and smile that showed her pleasure at the compliment. Then Marjorie, feeling for her head phones behind her bed to listen to some of her favourite songs, looked at all three ladies and said,
“ Well I never! Good company is half the battle no matter where you are and I couldn’t be in better company. You are all so interesting and talented. I am going to enjoy my days here and I shall recover very quickly.