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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: The Castillion Caper
By Loretta Leonard


The ambulance raced through traffic with its red lights flashing. The siren pierced the air cautioning everyone that this was an emergency. The EMT staff was alert and prepared. The 9-1-1 call for immediate assistance had come in from Castillion County Nursing Home. Within five minutes the vehicle stopped at the front door of the facility and Brad entered the building. Surprise registered on the faces of the nurses at the front station. No one had an inkling of what was going on. Brad mentioned Lloyd Carterís name and everyone looked questioningly at one another. What in the world had he done now?

From inside Room 325 came a sharp groan and a clattering of objects hitting the floor. Everyone hastened
down the hallway to determine exactly what had happened. Mr. Carter was clutching his chest and beads of perspiration were sprinkled over his forehead. His face was pale but he seemed alert and aware of his surroundings. His heart was racing and his legs and ankles were showing signs of edema. No doubt about it. He needed medical help and quickly.

ďIt looks like his chest cavity is filling with fluid and he needs to be aspirated. Weíre lucky that we got here when we did. Only a few minutes later and he could have experienced a real heart attack. Okay, everyone, letís get him to the hospital.Ē Brad organized the effort to get Mr. Carter on the collapsible gurney and into the ambulance promptly.

No one knew precisely what had transpired but Mr. Carter, on the other hand, knew why he had to take matters into his own hand. The chain of events initiated when he decided to call the nurse. He merely pushed the button at the side of the hospital bed. The nurse responded rather curtly and then neglected to follow through with checking in on him. His mind replayed his agitation over the evening.

Whereís that nurse? I donít know why everything takes so long. I didnít push that button just for fun. All right, calm down. Relax and wait for the nurse to come in. Youíre being impatient.

Eight minutes passed. Blasted nurse! Where was she? His wrinkled hand paused over the button at the side of the bed. He pushed it again and the intercom came on. A different nurse reassured him that she would be there shortly.

I better hear you outside my door pretty soon. You think IĎm exaggerating but this old man isnít imagining anything. My chest hurts and I can feel the pain.

Ten minutes. How dare they ignore me!! When I call for help I need it and Iím tired of waiting. What are they doing? Shopping at WalMart? Playing a game of Scrabble?

He climbed cautiously out of bed, pulled the IV along behind him and walked towards the hallway outside his room. He looked towards the nurseís station. No one! Poof! Just like magic they all had disappeared. Call for help and youíre lucky to get someone within a reasonable time. Five minutes longer. Thatís all. Then Iíll give them a piece of my mind.

Fifteen minutes.

Poppycock! Enough of this nonsense. Do you really think I want to die in this lonely old folkís home? Not me. I guess Iíll have to take matters into my own hand. How to get their attention? The white phone at the side of the bed beckoned. Never underestimate Mr. Carter. He placed the call to 9-1-1. Yes, thatís how an elderly eighty-four year old gentleman outwitted everyone.

Back at the nursing home it was time to gain some semblance of order. Not one single nurse accepted blame for ignoring a patientís call. Maybe things would quiet down for the rest of the evening. Looking towards the front entrance, Lily watched as an elderly gentleman was ushered into the lobby. There was something familiar about the face but with all the turmoil of the day, Lily dismissed the notion. Studying paperwork on the new patient, she made a mental note that therapy would be required. A lot of stretching and hard work would be necessary to get the muscles into place after hip replacement. Perhaps this patient would not be as unpredictable as Lloyd Carter. Glancing to the top of the page she read the name. Oh, no! It couldnít be! Mr. Carterís brother Lester was about to be admitted.

I Samuel 20:26A--Something unexpected has happened.
(Holman Christian Study Bible)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/13/07
Cute story. Good thing he took matters into his own hands and called 911!
dub W09/13/07
Really cute story, get some problems with POV cleaned up and put in quotation marks and I think this would make a winner for sure. Love the story line, welcome to the puppy pen.
Jan Ackerson 09/15/07
Creative story!

Take a look at your first paragraph--your first 4 sentences all have a very similar structure. Easy to change things up a bit, and that's a minor quibble; this is a good piece.