Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Flash Fiction: Bad Patient

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This Three Word Wednesday story features Vince Mott, a character from Diana's Diary, which is part of my Will and Diana series. You can read more about Vince by following the tag at the bottom of the post.

Sara glanced at the clock and sighed. Four hours since the last round of medication; time to dose him again. She set the book aside, got up off the sofa and went into the next room. Her brother Vince lay on the bed, pale and sweating. "Time for your meds," she said in her most chipper nurse's tones.

"Not again." He turned away. "Why do you keep torturing me?"

"Because it's the only way you're going to get better." She took his chin in her hand and tried to force a mixture of vitamins and antibiotics down his throat.

Vince pushed her away. "Why can't you give me the good stuff? You know - morphine or something?"

Although it was true that Vince's injuries would've merited pain-killers had he gone to the hospital instead of to her apartment, Sara knew better than to risk it. Vince had enemies, and clouding his mind with narcotics could get them both killed. "It's too hard to sneak opiates out of the hospital," she lied. "If I lose my job, then what? You know what they say: Avoid the appearance of evil."

"There's other hospitals you can work at. Besides, you're too smart to get caught."

"It hardly matters, since here we are." With an air of brisk efficiency, she pulled back the blanket and unwrapped his bandages, inspecting each injury for signs of infection. One wound in particular troubled her. "This one goes deep," she told him as she frowned over an abdominal laceration. "If it pierced your liver, you could need more care than I can provide. You should--"

"No. No hospitals." Vince shook his head. "The cops will be looking for me there."

"They might look for you here too."

"But you'll warn me. You'll get me out in time." He turned appealing eyes on her. "You wouldn't let El Duque's men get me, would you?"

It was a rhetorical question. Of course she would do anything to protect her brother from the city's dictatorial government. He was her last living relative, and it was because of him that she had been able to go to nursing school and establish herself in a career that would guarantee her an honest living for the rest of her life. She owed Vince everything, except, perhaps, a little patience. She brought the vial of herbs and medicine back to his lips. "Drink this and your secrets are safe with me."

Their eyes locked, and with reluctance, Vince choked the medicine down.

"You can be a bitch sometimes," he muttered.

Sara suppressed a smile. "I love you too, brother."