A Matter of Faith: Chapter 1-3

chainedheart

Ladies and gentlemen, it’s friday, and that means that it’s time for another piece of the first chapter of A Matter of Faith.

Today we’re not going far into the plot, but this little piece will guide Faith towards her destiny, but it will also guide you through the style you’ll read during the whole story.

Enjoy it.

Are you ready? Of course you are:

Have you ever thought about what hospitals smell like? Have you ever stopped to think to yourself curiously, or have ever decided to ask the people around you on this subject? Normally, it usually smells pretty bad. It has something to do with the huge number of viruses, bacteria, vomiting, body fluids and gases concentrated inside of one building. However, Faith liked it. A hospital has its own smell, which that gives the building entity.

It gave it personality and Faith liked that. It made her feel like she belonged to a special place.

It is also true that a hospital is the place to go for curing an illness as well as having as many chances of getting another by contagion. But this fine irony only increased the appeal of Faith to work. A little humour always helped to put everything together.

Unfortunately for her, too much work left her no time to appreciate these sorts of things. Halloween was especially contentious in the hospital. The responsibility and prudence seemed to hide inside the costumes of people. As a result, the last drink of the night just happened to be a medicine in a hospital bed. Alcohol intoxication in the case of adults included: hyperglycemia, indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea. In the case of young people: injuries from accidents, fights, and an infection from make-up due to their questionable quality. And of course, there are insane geeks, especially schizophrenic ones imbued with the spirit of the feast of the dead in which for once a year, seeing monsters was no cause for hospitalization; but it did not help the already fragile psyche.

Faith had started her shift with the same joke of every year. When the first drunk disguised as vampire did the typical “nice nurse costume” joke, she faked a polite and sincere laughter. The second time, the smile ceased to be sincere, just polite. The third was a mechanic and fleeting grin, imperceptible to the human eye drunk. The following simply mutated into a facsimile of speech that meant: “I can make it hurt a lot – you decide.” But not everyone could interpret the faces of people correctly, so the message was lost on a misunderstanding of disinterest. As she was treating the patients’ blood, sweat, vomit stains and other body fluids unappealing to describe, it took the patients the next day or more to remember that the nurse who had attended them was a real living dead. There still were the ones who blamed it on drugs.

And so November 1st ended. So did the forces of Faith. The double shift ended a few minutes ago and, gradually, the disguised patients began evacuating the hospital rooms.

Halloween disappeared like mist in a dream.

“Going already Faith?”

The voice came from Heather P. Lockheart, the head nurse. Their parents must have choosen that kind of name intricately. Heather seemed committed to living up to her name. The head of the hospital’s nursing corps in Los Angeles did not take care of sick people; she took care of injuries and diseases. The day she dies, during the autopsy, the surgeon will find a black chain threaded into her heart and closed by a tiny padlock. From it a small plack will hang in which they’ll be able to read: “Out of business since 1978.”  To be fair, there will always be room for a candy bar in her heart. However, in his short journey inside, chocolates always took the wrong direction and ended up all in their stomach, where they celebrated. When they arrived they distributed along the width of her robust, plump body.

For Heather, sick people are the package from where job came from. And her job was her life. So that seemingly innocuous question addressed to one of her workers was polished like a steel knife and smeared with poison tone and recrimination.

Faith quickly buttoned up her blue jacket to hide her tattoo and her belly. She did not know how she did it, but Heather was always on point. Faith kept her scrub in a colourful array like an abstract painting by Kandinsky. The director of nursing seemed like the nurse’s version of the Virgin Mary immaculate.

“My shift is over, Heather,” she answered in a sigh.

“Miss Lockheart,” she corrected her with a glance of reprobation.

Faith pretended that she had not heard and continued to collect her things to leave.

“I heard you had an altercation before you arrived” Miss Lockheart said, but her tone indicated, “You were late again”. “They left the corpse in the morgue. I hope they take it away soon. We cannot have a body taking up space needlessly.”

Miss Lockheart’s theory (after a mere glance at the lady no one would hesitate between Mrs or Miss) was that the dead could wait, but the living could not. A dead man had nothing to cure or treat. So the bodies were short-lived in the hospital in Los Angeles. Unfortunately for the chief of nursing, eager to maintain her morgue as clean as possible, in the case of murders and accidents, the body should remain for a reasonable and legal amount of time to give someone the opportunity to claim the body or to identify it. And that fact bothered her deeply. And because it was Faith who had found it, she became the centre of attention. Miss Lockheart targeted her to direct frustration and guilt.

Faith drew her bloodstained hand on the sleeve of her jacket and without bothering to say goodbye to her boss, picked up the bag in her locker and left. She heard Miss Lockheart opened the door behind her, but pretended not to notice and continued her way. Maybe if she ignored her she would desist.

She smelled like vomit, sweats and dried blood. By running her hand through her hair she discovered a glimmer of something liquid. A normal person would have made ​​the mistake of taking it to her nose to find out what it was, but Faith was too tired for that. So she just wiped the gown under her jacket. One more stain would not clash.

She followed the lines painted on the floor. The blue led to the waiting area; yellow to ER; red to the operating room; green toward the exit and the black… the black, led to the morgue.

Faith heard the footsteps of Miss Lockheart. She peered around the corner with a certain curiosity inside. The same kind of curiosity that compels you to keep reading a chapter when you are in bed but you want to sleep. “Curiosity killed the cat,” said a voice in her head, possibly the voice of reason. But a different voice, more cheerful and childish also said, “But I’m not a cat.” Once inside the elevator, she pushed the button for the basement and the doors shut just in time to lose sight of Miss Lockheart.

—————————-

If you liked it, you know what to do next:

 

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3 Responses to A Matter of Faith: Chapter 1-3

  1. Chatty Owl says:

    Long due comment from me! I finished your book and oh my, i have so much to say! I think the idea of it was absolutely genius! So so good! But i might drop you an email to tell you all :):):)

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