This is a creative writing experiment, shamelessly stolen from the Chopin Manuscript: a serialized story where each author writes a different chapter. The members of this blog are each writing their own chapter, and we’re calling ours the “Cakepan Manuscript”. This is our second story.
For this story we used a random plot generator, which gave us: “The story starts when your protagonist gets lost. Another character is an anesthesist who is researching something terrible.” Each week we will post a new chapter until we reach the thrilling conclusion!
We hope you enjoy!
Chapter One: No Way Home
The hospital smell churned his stomach as he swung his legs to the floor and yanked needles from both arms. Tubes dangled and the medicine inside sloshed. Another wave of nausea was hitting; he had to get out of the room. He needed air. He needed it now.
Russ Winston ambled down the hall, feet bare and saggy tush exposed. He ducked behind a vending machine just in time to miss two nurses padding down the hall in squeaky shoes. At least he could hear them coming. The newly waxed floor and white sneaker tread made sure of that. He felt a chill. No wonder. His hands wrapped behind him as he attempted to close the vent that is the bane of all hospital patients.
He wasn’t sure where he was. A hospital obviously, but that was all he remembered about his location. The ambulance trip was a blur and the medicine they had given him earlier in the day made his mind foggy. He didn’t like the feeling. At seventy-three years old his mind was already showing signs of slowing down. The medicine didn’t help. All he knew was that he had to escape. He had to leave. He wasn’t even sure why they had brought him here or what they planned on doing to him. That scared him more than anything. It was time for him to move on. If only he could find the damn exit.
He continued to wander what he thought might be the sixth floor, occasionally dodging a nurse or a visitor or two. “Don’t any damn doctors work here?” He wondered. “I can’t believe that I haven’t seen a doctor yet. So much for quality care! Maybe I have. Maybe he did come to visit me. Maybe I just don’t remember. Getting old stinks.” He continued to try and organize his thoughts as he moved about an empty hallway. Looking up he saw the door to the stairwell. Just at that moment a familiar face rounded the corner. So caught up in his own thoughts he hadn’t heard the approach of what turned out to be the nurse assigned to him. “Mr. Winston, what are you doing out of bed? And look at your arms! Did you tear out the IV? Let’s get you back to your room.” Russ considered making a run for it but opted instead to grab the flaps of his gown so as not to expose himself anymore to Nurse Ratched, as he called her.
His eyes darted to and fro as he desperately looked for a means of escape. He didn’t know exactly where he was, but if he could get outside he might have a chance to make it home. The door to the stairwell got further and further away. The nurse talked on and on in what she thought was a soothing tone. It grated on his nerves.
A couple of turned corners led them back to his room, his nauseatingly sterile and stark room. No one had sent him flowers. No one even knew he was in the hospital. Hell, no one cared. Suddenly, as Nurse Ratched settled him back in his bed, alarm bells sounded in the hall. A pale, red-haired man poked his head into the room, “All hands on deck, Leslie! Trauma Team is bringing in fifteen to twenty severely injured. They are pulling up to the ER doors now. We are short-staffed today so we need you downstairs pronto.” Leslie tucked the covers tightly around Russ, “Now stay put, Russ. I’m going to go get one of the medical assistants to hook up your IV again. Be a good guy for me and don’t wander again!” She patted his arm and left the room, quickly following behind the red-haired man.
Russ was still for a moment taking it all in. “Alone again,” he thought. “Wish I knew the way home.” He wiggled out of the swaddle of blankets in which Leslie had bound him and went to the curtained window. A peek outside told him he was not on the sixth floor, but much higher up. “Damn. What do they want with me? How do I get the hell out of here?” Russ pressed his head to the window and let out a sob.
(Continued in Chapter Two)