In The Works
Halfstar & Scrimshaw
A ‘new adult’ urban fantasy.
Read the prologue:
Born half past the witching hour, the sleeping babe nestled comfortably in the dying heat of his mother’s arms. The wails that had accompanied his entrance into this world ceased once he was cleaned and tightly swaddled, a feat not easily performed after the first nurse fell. But it was accomplished, as infants take precedence over fainted nurses of weak constitution.
The child slept throughout the ensuing chaos in the little room: the doula trying frantically to rouse the mother, the doctor tending to the fallen nurse with shouts of panicked urgency, a dropped pan of medical instruments and its ear-piercing metallic cacophony, bodies falling in heavy thuds.
And still the child slept soundly in the crook of his mother’s arms, safe and peaceful.
Pequot Hospital in northern New Hampshire was a small facility. Its maternity ward consisted of a nurse’s station and two delivery rooms with Rosalie Saito occupying one while the other was vacant. Everyone on staff was in Rosalie’s room and there was no one else in the ward to take note of their collective absence. Nurse Hathaway was the first one to enter the ward an hour later, coming in for her shift change.
It should have been a picture perfect scene – sleeping mother holding her contented newborn child. But she wasn’t sleeping. Rosalie Saito was obviously dead. And so were the four corpses on the floor, blood trickling from noses and open eyes.
Nurse Hathaway stopped short of the threshold when she noticed the points of blood loss. The words disease and quarantine leapt into her mind. Keeping stoic composure, she stopped herself from taking a step back when she heard the familiar coos coming from the bundle in the dead woman’s arms. Nurse Hathaway silently damned herself, swooped in while carefully navigating the puddles of blood, and snatched the infant. She ran into the opposite vacant room, locked the door, and called for help.
Copyright © February 2016 R.S. Carter
This work may not be copied or used for any purpose.