Welcome to Three Word Thursday #7. This week, joining the quondam word-list, we have propinquity; susurrus; & nescience. We also have a whole list of perspicacious writers. If you enjoy reading my story, leave a comment then click on the names of the other players and go see how they used the words. You’ll be entertained (and possibly educated) all at once.
Copper swung through the doors of ICU and walked straight to Janice Wheeler’s room. There was no need to stop at the nurse’s desk and ask which it was; only one door on the ward had a uniformed police officer standing guard beside it. “Officer Marsh,” Copper nodded his greeting as he neared the guard.
Officer Marsh stood a bit straighter and squared his shoulders. “Detective.”
“How’s the arm?” The young officer had just returned to light duty, after taking a bank robber’s bullet in the right shoulder.
“I’m well enough for full, duty,” Marsh groused. “But regulations say otherwise.”
“You!” a strident voice called down the hall. “What are you doing charging into my ICU without signing in?”
Marsh grimaced and whispered, “Head Nurse. Pretty, but mean.”
Copper turned and flashed his most winning smile at the fury in blue scrubs. His breath caught in his throat. Whatever greeting he’d planned vanished along with every other thought in his brain. The word “pretty” didn’t even come close to describing this woman’s beauty. Her hair was ebony, her eyes were blue, her face was heart-shaped, she stood five-foot-nine in her nursing shoes – simple statistics that meant nothing, and everything. She curved in all the right places. Her pale skin was radiant – with anger. And those incredibly blue eyes were shooting sparks — at him.
Copper snapped his mouth shut and reclaimed his equilibrium just in time her hear her demand, “Well?” But he couldn’t remember the question.
“Hello,” he smiled, flashed his straight pearly-whites, extended his right hand and said, “Detective Vin Copper. And you are?”
She ignored his extended hand and planted her hands on her hips. “I am the person who can get you thrown out of here for non-compliance,” she said.
“I don’t think you understand,” Copper said. “I am the detective in charge of this case –“
“I don’t think you understand. I am the nurse in charge of this unit,” the fury responded. “There are regulations and procedures –“
Copper interrupted. “I had no idea –“
“Nescience is not an excuse,” the nurse snapped. They stood, staring each other down and listening to the clock tick.
Copper realized one of them was going to have to give, and he was on her territory. “Okay, listen,” he said. “I’m sorry. Can we just start over here?”
Certainly,” the nurse replied. “Step back to the nurse’s station with me. And we’ll sign you in. If your name is even on the list.”
“Listen, lady,” he said, pointing toward Officer Marsh and the clipboard, “I wrote the list.”
She glanced at the clipboard and curled her lip. “I don’t know who’s on that list,” she said derisively. “But I guarantee you, mine is much shorter.”
She spun on her heal and marched away.
Copper stood there with his mouth hanging open.
“Are you coming, Detective?” The nurse prodded, “Or should I ask your security to remove you?”
Copper swiveled his head and looked at Marsh. Marsh pointed toward the nurse’s station. Copper sighed and followed the nurse, feeling like a truant on his way to the principal’s office.
At the nurse’s desk, the ebony-haired beauty slapped another clipboard stacked with forms onto the counter. “Fill these out and I’ll need to photocopy your photo ID. I would prefer your badge.” She extended her hand.
Copper’s hand went to the photo ID clipped to his shirt pocket and he shook his head, “No.” You may photocopy my driver’s license and write down my badge number,” he corrected.
She nodded her head briskly and watched as Copper extracted the piece of plastic from his wallet. “I’m going to tell you up front, detective, I have no interest in your murder case, but I have great interest in the welfare of my patients and I will do whatever I deem is necessary to protect them.”
“I understand,” Copper murmured soothingly. “We have no wish to put the victim at greater risk. Of course we will have to question her at some point –“
“Not before her Doctor permits it,” the nurse answered.
Again Copper nodded. He tapped the paper and said, “I can’t fill-in the duty roster, because I don’t know who the Chief will be sending over. I can call the office and have somebody get you a list of names.”
“Plus I.D.’s and badge numbers,” she said. “They aren’t welcome on my floor if I don’t know who they are.”
“And you, ma’am? What might your name be?”
“My name might be many things, Detective, but one thing it isn’t, is ma’am.” She took the clipboard from him and stepped through a door behind the nurse’s station. Soon Copper heard the susurrus sounds of a copy machine. He waited, drumming his fingers on the desktop. Finally the nurse emerged and returned his documents. “What is your name?” Copper demanded in his most official voice.
The nurse arched her eyebrows. She raised her hand and pointed to a large duty sign hanging on the wall behind her. Melinda Spanner, RN, it read. “Is there anything else you’d like me to help you with, detective?” She put special emphasis on that last word.
Copper felt his face flushing. “No. Thank you.” He said, and beat a hasty retreat with what dignity he had left.
On his way to the car, Copper called the station to report in. He told the chief about his encounter with Nurse Spanner..
“Listen,” the chief responded. “You’re probably going to be spending a lot of time on her turf. Make friends.”
“Chief,” Copper said, shaking his head. “No amount of propinquity in the world is going to make that woman my friend!”
No egos were actually shattered in the writing of this story.
Three Word Thursday #9:
Every Thursday I will give you three new words. You have until the following Thursday to compose a story using all three of the words. Then, on that following Thursday, post your story. After you post, come by here and sign in to Mr. Linky. If you sign in and don’t post a story. I will delete your link.
Got it? Good! In that case: Your story is due on: April 9th, 2009