Marian Keyes #WritingPrompt (no.1)

She flicked through the dog-eared sheets within the tattered blue ring binder labelled ‘Bed C3’ until she reached the communication sheet she needed. Pulling her pen from her scrubs pocket she began to scribble the story of her days events with Miss Lizzy.

‘Patient handed over from night staff, alert and orientated…’

She leant closer to the page as the overhead florescent lights had been switched off in hope of reducing the crippling heat on the ward. A tiny droplet of sweat dripped onto the page and into the black ink. She took a swig of her flavourless cold coffee as she smoothed the misplaced moisture off the page.

She thought about her earlier altercation with Tessa. She minimised it in her mind, blaming the heat and lack of ventilation. But she knew really that this was serious, they were both going to struggle to agree, to see eye to eye or to take responsibility. They would both likely have to face the consequences of their actions.

“Excuse me nurse” she turned to see a lady dressed in a paisley print dress, a mane of golden curls skimmed her tanned shoulders. “I wanted to bring something for all the nurses for looking after my father Ralph Peterson… He was in D5 and he was discharged last week.” She slid the large white box across the countertop with her perfectly manicured nails.

Remaining seated, Sarah wheeled her chair across before standing and peering over the box. A transparent window revealed the treasure inside. Twelve perfectly formed doughnuts. Each one glazed in shiny candy coloured icing, carefully scattered with sprinkles in rainbow shades and finished with shimmering glitter. A dumfounded smile crept across her flushed face as she made eye contact with the lady’s blue eyes. “Thank you so much, we will really enjoy these” she said. “You’re welcome, we are so grateful, it’s just a little something” she replied and with that she slammed the green exit button and swayed down the corridor as the double doors slowly closed behind her.

There were often treats at the nurses’ station – Heroes, Quality Street and Celebrations, those large iced sheet cakes from Costco, obscure delicacies from a variety of countries bought back from staff from their holidays, and occasionally something healthy like grapes? But sometimes something extra special would land on the counter. Sarah’s mouth watered as she licked her lips and tasted the saltiness of her own sweat. “Siva you’ve got to see these doughnuts…” She clicked her fingers vigorously for attention as Siva flew by the counter pushing a metal trolley with carefully laid out supplies. “Wow where did those come from” she replied, momentarily placing the breaks on her trolley for a closer inspection. “Bagsy the pink one with the purple sprinkles” she demanded. “You’ll be lucky” replied Sarah rubbing her belly enthusiastically “You better hurry and finish that dressing and get back here before they’re all gone” Siva dragged her feet along the floor and turned back with a fierce glare “I mean it Sarah, I’m coming back – we need to eat these before night shift arrive and see them…I’m not in the mood for sharing today… They were never here ok” she said placing her index finger in front of her lips.

Sarah’s giggle soon diminished as Tessa appeared. “Tess I think we should have a chat, if you’ve got a minute?” Tessa stopped dead in her tracks, she lifted her eyes from her downward gaze. “Sarah there’s nothing to discuss, you really don’t get it do you? You just don’t see how your behaviour reflects and impacts on others. I’m just absolutely done with it!” Sarah still stood over the box rolled her eyes slightly – she could see reasoning with Tess was just not going to happen today. She lifted the lid and swivelled the box round to face Tessa, she put her elbows up onto the counter and looked proudly at the contents of the box. “Doughnut?” she offered with a smile. Tess looked at the doughnuts and then back up at Sarah, she took a deep breath, as though she was going to say something, but instead she bit her tongue and with raised shoulders she turned and walked away without a word. The doughnuts had failed to de-escalate the situation. Sarah reached in and raised a doughnut iced in fuchsia pink to eyelevel for inspection, she wheeled the chair back to her desk, took a large bite and continued with her notes.

Writing Prompt: ‘The doughnuts failed to de-escalate the situation’ // Image: Stux

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