I’m going down a bit of a different road with this story snippet. I hope you like it.
Remember the copyright monster starts to growl if anyone copies my work. He won’t be happy about it so just don’t do it.
All my characters and situations are fictional and of my own creation. Thanks for respecting that.
He’s a cold-hearted snake….
Brandy Carson hated getting up in the morning. She was used to working the graveyard shift and so the cold early light of day usually hit her hard. Today though, it was especially wicked since she was suffering from one whopper of a hangover.
She knew her story was one that had been told time and time again by many other women. But somehow that didn’t make it any easier. Her problem? To give it a name: Arlan Truss. Yes, as soon as that bastard was well enough and having some kind of use of his speech, he was at it again – hawking the ladies.
Brandy had fallen into the I’m-too-old-for-that ditch and was almost completely unaware of how pretty she actually was or how many heads she still turned. What she looked at everyday was the number she had reached, her age, and made that be the first thing she thought about and the first thing she said about herself to anyone.
Her family didn’t help. Divorced, with three grown sons, Brandy did not have the sweet kindness of support from her siblings or her parents that she really needed. The boys were all over 21, and on their own, but, they usually bounced back and forth between being staunchly independent to running back to mama for a place to sleep and a hot meal. Money, too, if they could squeeze any out of her.
She yawned, stretched, brushed her long, dark hair out of her face, and slowly padded her way to the kitchen to find something cold to drink. It was Sunday. Thank God. She had the weekend off after more than a month of straight midnight to 8 shifts with many of those being extended to noon or later. Extra work was always fine with her. She liked her job and loved the OT pay – which was quite good.
Money had always been tight for her, as far back as she could remember. She got through college waiting tables and running errands for old folks and shut-ins. As her skills progressed, Brandy worked part-time as a nurses aid at an extended care facility, and that’s where she found her love for caring for the most needy patients. Those such as Arlan Truss.
Remembering makeup sex.
It had been weeks since the big time country singer was brought in to the Harbor Psychiatric Treatment Center. When Brandy first took sight of him the man was blue as a neon sign, and he was talking gibberish nonstop. She and her best friend and co-worker, Winnie Malone, were assigned to the patient right away as his overnight monitoring nurses.
At first Arlan Truss was just some enormous Smurf of a guy, who continually shouted f-bombs and had to be restrained for his own good. Then, as time went on, the blue tint of his skin faded, and the language stopped. Completely at first, which was even more terrifying, and in addition to that no matter how they tried, they could not get his eyes to stay closed, even when he was asleep.
Yet, Brandy found herself looking at Arlan. Taking note of how handsome he was – even when he was a big blueberry – and loved his long curly blond hair.
She slipped there once, about his hair, and found herself speaking up way too loudly against it when one of the of other nurses said it had to be cut off to keep him clean. Being such a big guy, he was hard to turn in bed, and hard to sponge off, so adding a long mop of thick hair to the task was simply too much for any nurse (or team in his case) to maintain.
Brandy remembered the look she got from the department head, Roberta Plains, and simply closed her mouth and went to get the scissors. Cutting off Arlan’s hair was a task she will never forget – that’s how bad she felt about it at the time.
So when her star patient turned around and looked at her and smiled one evening it was a bit disconcerting to say the least. Winnie had had to leave early to take care of an emergency at home, and Brandy was left to work the last two hours of her shift alone.
It was 6AM and the ward was quiet. She had soft music playing in the background, sounds of nature, which seemed to calm Arlan when he first came in, and aside from that, the only noise was the occasional footsteps of other nurses walking down the hall.
Brandy took a tentative step toward Arlan and looked closer at him, “How are you?”, she asked softly.
Arlan smiled. “I feel like shit. Where the hell am I?”
“You’re in the Harbor Psychiatric Treatment Center. And you’ve been her for weeks.”
He coughed and laughed at the same time. “Weeks?? Damn I’ve lost days before but never weeks!” Arlan looked around. “So I went off the deep end. And now I’m here.” He tried to move his arms. “Strapped to a goddamned bed!”
Brandy stayed where she was, both her training and her instincts kicking in. “That’s for your own good. You were trying to hurt yourself.”
Arlan laughed again. “No doubt. I’m a sonofabitch when I’m drunk. Or was it something more? Must’ve been to kick my ass like this.”
Pulling up a chair, Brandy wanted to continue the conversation, realizing that Arlan could lapse back into his semi-comatose state at any time. Talking could keep him alert and prevent that from happening. “We did not find drugs in your blood work. This was something else. What do you remember last?”
Arlan scratched at the scruffy beard on his chin. “Not much.” He winced and closed his eyes. “Christ, it hurts to try to think!”
“I’m sorry you’re uncomfortable. According to the doctors here you have no physical injuries, so your headache is probably from being unconscious for all this time. That happens. Just laying in a hospital bed day after day can give you aches and pains. Tell me, do you remember your office? Your assistant?”
He laughed again, then winced again at the ensuing pain. “Yea, I know my office. And my assistant? Candy? Hells yea! Big tits and an ass that any Kardashian would be proud of!”
Brandy laughed at that. “I mean do you remember anything in particular? Such as getting a letter in a blue envelope?”
He closed his eyes and went quiet. For a moment Brandy thought that the window of his lucidity was closing. Then, he spoke again. “Yes. I saw a blue envelope. And then some kind of storm happened. I was paralyzed. Something had me down. Candy was screaming and there were people running around. But I couldn’t lift my head up. Couldn’t call out for help. Then the world went black. There’s been nothing else until I opened my eyes and saw your beautiful face a few minutes ago.” He flashed her a smile. Even with a scruffy beard and a haircut that was nearly “jarhead” style, he looked fantastic.
Brandy felt something stirring inside. Her heart beat faster. She got up to get him some water. “You should drink as much as possible. You’re dehydrated. Even with the IV your body still needs fluid the normal way.” She put the cup to his mouth, trying not to notice how full and sweet-looking his lips were, put the cup down and sat back in her chair. She was more determined than ever to keep her distance. “I pressed the button for one of the doctors to come in and look at you. He should be in here any moment.”
As she turned to leave, Arlan managed to grab just enough of the hem of her dress to get her attention. “I meant it before. You’re very beautiful. And believe me, sweetie, I’ve seen some in my time.”
Brandy swallowed the lump in her throat and pulled her dress free. “I don’t get personal with my patients. Never have.”
“Well, maybe it’s high time you changed that. Maybe I’m the exception to your rule.”
“Look, ” she glanced back to the door to ascertain that they were still alone, “you’re a very handsome man. Even in your condition. But I’m not interested in being one of a very long list of names. I been there and done that. There’s a lot of attractive younger nurses that work here. One of them might be more to your taste.”
Arlan laughed. “Honey —- what’s you name, anyway?” She told him. “Brandy? That’s as pretty as you! If I was interested in someone else I’d go after her. But I’m not. I never tell a woman she’s beautiful unless I mean it. Yea, I’ve been a shit plenty of times. But I never lie about being attracted to a girl.”
“I’m not exactly a girl anymore….”
“The hell you aren’t! I may have been knocked out but I’m not dead. Besides, you owe me.”
Brandy turned around and looked at him. “Owe you? Really? How? And for what?”
Arlan smiled again. She wished he’d stop that. It was beginning to rattle her. “For strapping me down like I’m Alice Cooper!” She laughed this time. “And what you owe me is — makeup sex.”
“Makeup sex. And baby, if I’ve been here this long you can bet on two things. One, I’m a potent and downright dangerous man. And two, we will have one freakin’ headboard-banger of a tryst should you say yes!”
Finding nasty tuna tacos.
Brandy reached into the fridge for a cold soda, relishing it as she drank it down. The memory of Arlan – and what happened later on – was as fresh in her mind as if it just happened. But it had not. That was now weeks ago, and he had been released from the hospital for almost all of that time. And not a word. Nothing. Fucking crickets.
“Well,” Brandy thought out loud, “he was right about both of the things he said. At least there’s that.”
Something on the table in the living room caught her attention. Or rather the smell did. Then she remembered. Before she went out last night she wanted to put something in her stomach, and she called a local diner that delivered. Not being able to get all of it down, and being in a rush to get out the door, Brandy had forgotten all about the food that she left on the table, now all yesterday and last night, and it was beginning to stink.
“Ewwww..” She muttered to herself as she picked up what was left of the nasty tuna tacos and rushed them to the trash can.