The Long Hall

I opened the last door and saw yet another long hall.  It was a another hall of cubicles.  “What a strange building,” I thought to myself.  I continued to walk until a man in a white striped polo shirt and black pants came around the corner at the other end of the next hallway.  He stood there, just for the briefest of moments, smiled a broad, open smile at me, waved and walked up to me.  Without a word, he shook my hand, as if he knew me.  He straightened my glasses, my jacket and my shirtsleeves, then, just as quick as he appeared, he turned and disappeared the same way he came.  “How strange!” I exclaimed.  I began to feel like I was in Wonderland.  Perhaps he was the Madhatter.

I was trying to find Joe.  Where was he anyway? So far, I had been led through countless hallways leading to other hallways and now this! Seriously, this has to be the weirdest manhunt I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing.  Joe had better be worth this much trouble.

I met Joe at last after I followed the strange “Madhatter Man”.  I just couldn’t resist myself.  Perhaps Joe had sent him to find me.  But why then had this stranger not said a word to me?  Why had he smiled and waved and shaken my hand but not uttered even a hello?  For that matter, what was up with the whole touchy-feely thing?  That was bizarre at best. Well, Joe better have some answers because I had some questions.

“Joe, Hiya! How are you?  I had a hell of a time trying to find you in this maze of a building.”

“I know it’s kind of crazy like that, Jess.  It’s great that you could meet me here on such short notice.  You look great.  I see you met Peter already.”

“Met? Is that what you call it?”  I looked at Joe with glint of skepticism.

I told Joe about my “meeting” Peter.  He chuckled and informed me that Peter was a special kind of guy.  He had been born deaf and mute but was never taught to sign properly.  Peter was Joe’s brother.  Boy, was I glad that I hadn’t said anything harsh about Peter.  I really liked Joe’s company and I needed his help in this new investigation.  It was going to be a doozy.  Life wasn’t easy for a woman who just happened to be a detective.  If that wasn’t bad enough, being 100 pounds soaking wet and 5’1″ made it that much harder to get people to take you serious.  This was a really difficult case and Joe had information on the suspect that I needed.  If I play my cards right, I could solve this one and get the promotion for sure.

“So, let’s see what you’ve got, Joe.  I’m all ears.”

This is another fictional story written from a video prompt!  What a fun project this was!  Hope you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading it!

Moving Day to Remember

It’s time for another fictional Monday post from me for TBP On-line Writer’s Guild! This week’s prompts are fun.  Hope you enjoy! #33

They left Abilene 2 hours before.  It was such a long trip with a carload of kids.  Kara was hot, pregnant and ready to pop out her another child any day, but they had to move today of all days.  Jack, a physician, had been accepted into a promising practice at USMD which meant moving to Fort Worth just 150 miles away, but in this heat and with these kids on this particular day, just everything seemed to be going wrong.

Just as they packed the last box into their van, Kara’s back started cramping. “It couldn’t be now”, she thought to herself.  It just simply couldn’t.  She wasn’t due for another 3 weeks.  But with all the stresses of packing and getting the other kids, ranging in age from 1-11, organized and ready for the big move, she hadn’t really been paying attention to herself.  She just did what she needed to do.  She was supermom.  Thank God, she didn’t have to work outside of home because working at home was so much rewarding despite the lack of a paycheck.

Along the trip, they had made it as far as Strewn, only halfway from their big destination, and already they had stopped three times.  Three times in 76 miles just to pee.  Kara was the instigator on two of those occasions, but Jack chalked it up to her being so far along.  If she hadn’t been so busy packing, she would have had the nesting instinct going on for sure, he thought to himself.  He knew she was close.  It sure wasn’t their first rodeo together.  They rode this ride together 6 times before.  They had Michelle, Aggie, then the twins, Sean and Patrick, Marie, Beth and the youngest, Michael.  Now they were waiting for the next bundle.  The last one. They were going to be surprised by this little bundle of love. But still, at 37 weeks, Kara could go into labor at any time. Please God, not today.

Kara’s back and her abdomen cramped up so tightly as she stood up from the car, she fell back into the seat. It was then that she felt it.  She knew.  Jack knew.  Labor had begun.  “Maybe I’ll just stay here awhile,” Kara puffed out softly once the short contraction ceased its raptor-like grasp on her abdomen.

Jack, in his wisdom, looked his wife in the eyes, gave her a soft, warm kiss on the forehead.  “Why don’t I come with you, honey.  I’ll need to get some things…just in case.  We still have 76 miles to go until we’re home.  This is number 8 and you know, it could be long, or we could have to just head straight to the hospital.  It would be best to be prepared for anything on the road. Remember how it was with Beth and Michael.” She looked at him, a hint of unspoken sarcasm in her eyes.  Of course she knew.  She was the one who delivered those two and it was scarcely 3 hours from the first contraction to the delivery for both of them.  Talk about a precipitous labor! 76 miles to the house or the hospital?  She better check her GPS and check it quick.

She managed to make it to the restroom with the help of her husband.  Jack managed to get the supplies needed, “just in case”.  He knew from his own experience that she may not make it to the hospital and especially if they had to keep stopping for bathroom breaks.  He picked up ice chips, water, shop towels, and some snacks and more games for the kids to keep them amused.  Anything he could do just to make it there as fast as possible.

Back in the car, he instructed the kids very precisely how this was going to go. The older ones were pros.  They would care for the little ones.  They had plenty of books and games, electronics were fully charged.  Again, the stabbing, all encompassing pain came.  Kara pulled her knees up around her.  These were hard.  She really was afraid they weren’t going to make it.

Every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.  Then faster and longer.  Jack drove like a bat out of hell.  He was determined that he would not have to deliver this wee one into the world in the back of a crowded minivan with all of his kids there in 95 degree Texas heat.  “Please let us get there, Lord, ” Jack prayed.  90 mph, then 95, the contractions were harder, faster and more intense.  Jack felt useless to his beautiful wife.  She needed him right now and all he could do was not get her where she needed to be.  “Don’t think that way, Jack,” he thought to himself.

“Jack, how much longer?  I want to push!” These were the first words uttered in over 45 minutes by Kara.  She had focused so intently on her labor.  She had her game face on.  Jack did his best to help her, but besides driving, he could only offer words of comfort which appeared to go unnoticed.  “5 minutes, Babe” was all he could say.  “Just breath with me but don’t push.  You can’t push.  We have to check you first, Babe.  Don’t push.”

It became a mantra until they reached hospital campus.  She started pushing.  She couldn’t take it anymore.  She had to push.  Her body made her.  She hadn’t told Jack that her water had broken back in Abilene.  She didn’t want him to worry, but now there was no holding back.  She wanted this child, this alien, this symbiotic being, this kid, OUT! NOW!  AAAGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! And she reached down, just as they entered the Emergency Room entrance, to grasp her newborn baby boy.

Jack, after putting the van in park, took the special pack from under the seat that he had made from the items he purchased at the gas station in Strewn and suctioned out the nose and mouth of his newborn son, clamped the cord with the pliers, and wiped him down with the shop towels.  It was all he had.  He honked his horn loudly until he got the attention of someone inside.  Once he explained the situation, Kara and the baby were placed on a stretcher and Jack parked the van, got the kids out and went inside to meet his parents.  Thank God for grandparents.

A few hours later, when things had quieted down,  Jack looked at Kara and their lovely little, healthy 9pound boy with such love.  Kara looked up at Jack with that sarcastic grin and said, “I love you so much, and I love our little James, but getting him here and moving certainly wasn’t as much fun as I had hoped it would be!

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