Nightshift

by Nick Allen

Ward P3 was quiet and Jane took the opportunity to look down onto the huge hospital car park, nearly empty at this late hour, and saw her own vehicle, a Honda scooter, getting soaked in the rain that had been falling all night. Biting her lip with worry, she remembered the odd noise that had emanated from the back wheel as she approached the hospital, a noise that she had not been able to identify in the rush to park and get out of the rain. Even as she stared though, an idea began to form in her mind, a plan which, while not without risks, would enable her to attempt to repair the scooter before morning.

“Dave,” she called to the young student who was working the shift with her, “can you keep a secret?”

Dave had agreed with the plan, he said, because he enjoyed the thrill of breaking a couple of rules to relieve the boredom. Jane thought it was because he fancied her too.

So they both watched the clock until just before 2am when Jane, as casually as she could, sent Rita the auxiliary onto her break. Rita had acquired too many friends in high places during her 25 years at the hospital to be fully trusted.

Ten minutes later, while Jane silently prayed that no patients would wake and be witness to what was surely a sackable offence, Dave, dripping with water, wheeled Jane’s scooter out of the lift and took the scooter directly on to P3 which was on the third floor of the hospital.

“Keep an eye on things for me Dave,” said Jane, then as quickly as she could, wheeled the scooter into an empty side room. It was going to be oily so she slipped off her white uniform and worked in just her underwear and a pair of hospital rubber gloves.

Twenty minutes later she finally felt confident the problem was fixed but wanted to be sure. Checking the darkened corridor was empty, she wheeled out her scooter and sat astride it, still just wearing nothing but her underwear. Using her feet, she was propelling it along listening for any noises from the back wheel, when Mr Barns emerged from the shadows of a doorway, heading presumably for the loo. Before she knew what had happened she clipped him with the handlebar sending Mr Barns crashing to the floor.

Dave helped a panicky Jane get Mr Barnes back to bed and took the scooter back to the carpark, while she dressed and called the duty doctor to check for injuries to Mr Barnes.

The doctor examined Mr Barns in his room then approached Jane and Dave, a puzzled look on his face.

“He’s fine, just a scrap or two, but just what exactly happened?”

“I found him on the floor, I just assumed he’d been heading for the toilet,” said Dave quickly before Jane could speak.

“It’s just that he’s told me he came out of his bedroom and was knocked down by a naked girl on a motorbike. Nurse Jones, if this happens again tomorrow night can I suggest you leave me alone and summons the On-Call Psychiatrist.”

Nick Allen is a Mental Health Nurse from Manchester. He has short fiction published by a variety of ezines including Bewildering Stories, Ink Sweat and Tears, Flask and Pen and The Linnet’s Wing. When not writing Nick enjoys Scrabble, poker and hiking. See more of his work here.

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  1. #1 by Karen G on February 23, 2009 - 12:32 pm

    Ha ha, that’s the NHS for you! Thanks for the laugh.

  2. #2 by Liz Offord on February 23, 2009 - 5:07 pm

    Great story, loved the ending.

  3. #3 by Nick Allen on February 23, 2009 - 11:42 pm

    Thanks Karen, glad it brought a smile to your face!

    And thanks for those kind words Liz.

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