Chapter 2 of my unfinished NaNoWriMo story
If you fancy reading Chapter 1 first, it is here.
He had died. He laid back on the clouds, with St. Peter standing over him, clipboard in hand, accompanied by angels in white or blue robes. The light was bright, it was warm, not the freezing cold of Earth in winter. He blinked. The light of the Lord was too much, and he would be found unworthy. He tried to shield his eyes, but there was a wire in his hand, and it hurt to move.
St Peter took out a pen, and made a note on the clipboard, as he said, “Don’t try to move just yet, Mr …?”
John didn’t answer. He was confused. Why would St Peter not know his name?
“Where am I?”
“St Luke’s hospital. You passed out in the subway station. We couldn’t find any identifying documents, so we don’t really know much about you. Rather difficult to treat you without medical records.”
John’s head slumped back on the soft pillow. Not a cloud, but a bed. It wasn’t St. Peter, but St Luke. No, not St. Luke, but a doctor. He wasn’t dead. He felt … what did he feel? Everything and nothing. If he had been dead, and this were heaven, it was pretty much alright. Clean sheets, warm enough, and presumably, there would be regular meals. But would he have made the cut. He tried to weigh up his own life without bias. He half laughed at himself for the audacity of such a thing. How could he possibly remain unbiased while deciding if he should be allowed into heaven? He couldn’t even be certain of writing an honest review about his latest song.
St Peter was speaking to one of the other angels, “See if you can find out some details about him. If we can’t I suppose we’ll just have to do the best we can, and then discharge him as soon as he’s fit enough to go home. Assuming he has a home.”
‘Home! Star!’ John remembered he needed to feed the cat. He sensed he was thinking more lucidly again. He could see he was in a hospital, but he felt fine. No broken bones, no cuts or burns, no infection or neoplasm, his heart was beating normally now, and he had no breathing difficulties. He was in fine physical shape. He didn’t need their help. Star, on the other hand couldn’t feed himself. Star was the cat, his name short for Astaroth. Ok, naming your cat after a demon might be a black mark on St Peter’s clipboard, he had to admit. But taking good care of the cat, when he often forgot to look after himself, that was a big plus mark, right? That must be like, fifty heaven points right there. Anyway, it was just a name, and Star could be a right little devil sometimes.
“Nurse.” The word came out as a feeble, almost inaudible, croak; as though a very sleepy frog was trying to get someone to lift a heavy log off their back.
‘Nope, that’s not how my voice is supposed to sound.’ He thought.
He coughed, experimentally, and did the shortest vocal exercise in the history of music. “NURSE!”
‘Oops, bit loud.’
He hid under the bedsheet as a nurse bustled over, looking aggrieved.
“Sorry, didn’t mean to shout. Errm, when can I go home?”
“The doctor will need to see you before you can be discharged.”
“I really need to feed the cat.”
She consulted the little fob watch on her pocket absently as she said, “Doctor will be doing his rounds later this afternoon.”
“This afternoon? What time is it?”
The nurse looked again at her watch and said, “Eleven thirty-two.”
John enjoyed, fleetingly, the fact that she had literally just looked at her watch, and then had to look at it again the moment he asked the time. Then he recalled that it had been early evening when he had been chased by the barbarian horsemen; sorry, correction, biker gang. So he had been in hospital overnight? Which meant that the need to get back and feed Star was even greater now.
The nurse bustled away. He looked at the line in his wrist. It wasn’t actually connected to anything. Just there in case they needed it. He gently peeled the retaining tape away and slid the thin metal needle out of the vein. It hurt. John wasn’t brave or tough. He was a musician not a fighter. But this was too important. He replaced the tape with the little wad of lint, and held it in place as it felt like the stickiness was worn away. His jeans and tee shirt were in a bag in the bedside table. His coat, which wasn’t warm enough hung on the chair.
Same rule applies. If you want to read more you just have to ask, and I will post up chapter 3.
I don’t want to bore people.