Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Footsteps, Part 6 (Fiction)

(Just joining us? Go back to Part 1)

       Melissa flung her eyes toward the doorway. Nothing. A light at the nurses' station gleamed in the polished floor.
       She whimpered. She knew it was coming. Like a rip in the fog, the clarity was fleeting. She dripped back into the haze. Echoes whispered in the hall. Growing. When her tether to consciousness snapped for the last time, it boomed in her ears.
       The footsteps erupted.
       Rattling the window.
       Skipping under the bed.
       Clattering in the sink.
       Punching into the bed linens and tossing her body like a boiling sea.
       Melissa's eyes bulged. The respirator choked and rattled. Mrs. Carr snapped awake. She leapt to the head of the bed. Desolation emptied her daughter's face. Screaming, she ran for help.

       The fire of dawn burned in the stillness. A bird hopped to a nearby branch and rattled the leaves. It cocked its head as if embarrassed by the noise.
       Far off, a horn blared. Then, a car engine surged. The bird dipped away from the parking lot when tires screeched in. The neurologist on call smoked into a reserved spot and jumped from the car with his cell phone. The panicked resident in Melissa's room still rattled in his ear.
       Melissa's vitals tipped over the edge and started to disintegrate.
       "That's it, call the code!"
       Someone ripped the phone off the wall. Voices were overlapping. Mrs. Carr cradled herself outside the doorway.
       The hospital intercom crackled. A woman's voice. Maddeningly calm. "Code blue, Intensive Care. Code blue. All available personnel to Intensive Care."
       The neurologist vaulted two floors of stairs rather than wait for the elevator. He panted down the hallway and nearly tripped over Mrs. Carr. The crash cart clattered in a few moments later. Its wheels thumped over Mrs. Carr's toes. She took no notice.
       "Agonal rhythm. We've lost the pulse!"
       "Defibrillator, now!"
       The charge built. The indicator flashed ready. The staff took positions.

On to Part 7
Back to Part 5

(Note to readers: in the comments for Part 5 I said this would be the last segment. Turns out I need one more. Sorry!)


LiVEwiRe said...

Gah! There better be one more! I really like the line about dripping back into the haze... Your descriptions are what I would consider eerily accurate at times. Wonderful way of truly getting the feeling through.

anne said...

This is killing me, Jason.

. : A : . said...

"Melissa's eyes bulged. The respirator choked and rattled. Mrs. Carr snapped awake. She leapt to the head of the bed. Desolation emptied her daughter's face. Screaming, she ran for help."

I like the flow in this bit.

jason evans said...

Livewire, I just couldn't squeeze the rest in without making the post too long. Also, I just love those cliffhangers! Glad my descriptions seem to be on point. :)

Anne, so close. It's almost over.

.:A:., thanks! I think flow and pacing are the hardest part of writing to learn. The pace of writing and the pace of reading are so very different.


Jeff said...

jason- Happy Thanksgiving. :)

jason evans said...

Jeff, have a great day!

Terri said...

Aaargh! You tease!
Happy thanksgiving, anyway ;-)
[heart pounding, nose only inches from the screen]

jason evans said...

Terri, I have to admit that I get a thrill out of getting people on the edge of their seats! Something must be right.

Stop back soon. I'll finish the story before the end of the holiday weekend.

Farzad said...

Beautiful, absolutely marvelous!
I had another vision in my head for the part 6, but I wasn't even close. Now that I read it, I can see that you took it to a very good direction.
A piece of art!
Keep going...

Mary Louisa said...

Jason, I am on tenterhooks. Please finish TOMORROW! And happy thanksgiving to you, too. :)

Luke said...

Oh my, every single word is just perfect, too many to highlight here. Fantastic build up and how you pick out things to add to the atmosphere (the bird for eg) ...

jason evans said...

Farzad, thank you for the high praise!

Mary Louisa, for you I will seriously try for later tonight.

Luke, thanks for the comment about the bird! I thought it was a stark contrast from what was occurring just a few floors up in the hospital room.

Kelly Parra said...

Woo, good action and suspense, Jason! I have no idea how this is going to end, and very anxious to find out. =)

Kara Alison said...

ooh! I can't wait to see how this ends. Are we ever going to find out what's going on??

Bernita said...

Jason, you have a superb command of verb.
That's where a lot of us fall down.
The poltergeistic "skipped under the bed, clattered in the sink" provides a different layer to the imminence of flat-line.
I liked "smoked into the parking lot" too.

jason evans said...

Kelly, I hope the end is satisfying!

Kara, yes! I've just posted the last piece.

Bernita, thank you, thank you! I put a great deal of effort into my verb choice. I also try to limit myself to no more than one adjective per sentence.