Hallucinating


He lay on the bed in crippling pain. He wet his lips and dropping his gaze from the ceiling, to the closed door diagonally across.

‘Nurse?’ he crocked, ‘nurse!’

He put his chin to the top of his chest and squeezed his eyes shut. His ears zoomed in on the machines beeping around him and his heavy breathing. He tried to relax, but his whole body was tense with the pain. He bent his fingers, curling them against his palm then uncurling them. He breathed deeply, imagining each exhale taking some of the pain away with it.

The door opened and shuffling footsteps made his eyes crack open. A short nurse had appeared at the foot of his bed. She was wearing a small white hat with a red cross on it, under which her hair was neatly curled. Her dress was a blood red colour and there was a white pinafore over it with a red cross dripping on the front. She picked up his notes and studied them.

‘Are you new?’ he whispered.

‘No, dear,’ she muttered.

As she placed the notes back and came over to him, he noticed her too red blushed cheeks and long black eyelashes. Her skin was pale and tried, though she looked to be in mid-twenties. She checked his drip and he noticed a wedding ring on her finger.

‘Can’t you give me something for the pain?’ he asked, motioning with his left hand his broken legs and right arm.

‘Of course,’ she said and with a smile left the room.

He rested back on the pillow and shut his eyes again. The pain in shot around his legs and he gritted his teeth. He heard the door open again and the same shuffling footsteps. He lay still and just listened to the nurse rattling around. In a few minutes he knew he’d be feeling fine again, perhaps even high.

‘Done. I’ll be back soon.’

He nodded and heard her leave the room. He drifted, dozing but not falling asleep. His right foot itched and he wiggled his toes in the cast. The blackness before his eyes changed to grey then to a bloom of colour. He sighed and fell into the pools of rainbow.

‘Hi, how you feeling?’ a voice called out.

He opened his heavy eyes and a nurse he recognized was before him.

‘I’m fine. That other nurse helped me.’

‘Other nurse?’

‘The one in the red dress and white pinafore.’

‘There’s no nurse like that.’

He opened his eyes wider and stared at her.

‘And no one was due to check on you until now,’ she added.

‘But, she was here! She had a hat and an…accent, old English,’ he stated then frowned at his own words.

‘Are you feeling okay?’

The nurse stepped over and began checking him out.

‘I saw her,’ he muttered, ‘I know I did.’

‘It’s okay. It was probably the pain relief. Maybe you should get some sleep now?’

‘Alright,’ he responded.

The nurse smiled and left.

He shut his eyes and began dozing.

‘There you’re feeling better now, aren’t you?’

He snapped open his eyes and looked up into the face of the old nurse.

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