Security, stalkers, strangers in the night

More from the ward….

Chapter seven: Hospital security.

What is it about the night?

If I thought my ward’s regular evening hostilities were extraordinary, they utterly paled to insignificance last night.

Early evening we’d spotted the Ward Stalker. A confused looking man who liked to roam the corridors with his walker.

He’d waddle past our bay and peer in.

You could see his face creasing as he either tried to work out we were women or work out this was not his part of the ward.

He seemed harmless enough.

As the light dimmed Carol’s husband was back still looking for her.
He was out walking too.
Noisy but safe.

Man with walking stick and menacing stare completed the trio.
His face was covered either in bruises or port wine stain birth marks, I couldn’t tell.

He walked into our ward demanding to speak to the nurse. His refusal to withdraw from the lady’s area should have been a teaser of what was to come.

Night fell.

I was awake again thanks to another late coffee.

Christine was settling down for the night. Even she had calmed down over the past few days.
I’m so tired, she said.

So am I, I thought.

Night Stalker was quietly chatting with a new arrival. Then peace.

Screaming from the men’s room next door. Christine’s bed guard looked alarmed.

Stick man was armed and dangerous.

Help, help, help, came the screams.

Security was summoned. I could hear Carol’s husband egging him on.

Then Stick man thrashing around making contact with security.

More screaming.

They’re trying to sedate him, one of the nurses said.

I dozed.

More screams and more security running down the hall.

Any chance someone could roll me? I asked a nurse, my hip throbbing.

No, everyone’s tied up next door. I’ve got 6 people trying to get out of bed. Six security, the director of psychiatry and nursing there.

Next morning my new bed neighbour, in six, admitted with severe vertigo, remarked: I used to work in a prison. That was nothing.

Tales from the ward Chapter Eight:

The weirdness continues.

Hashimoto had gone and there was another new member for the Weird Diseases Ward.

Sara had come in having apparently fallen from her motorbike at a junction.

She may have been test riding it but she couldn’t remember.

She may have been test riding it but she couldn’t remember.

It might have been a Yamaha but she couldn’t understand that either because she doesn’t like Yamahas.

Her parents also helped her call her partner but they died a few years ago. We told her she was imagining them, but they were there, she insisted.

It’s funny and tragic. Amnesia.

She asked again. Did I fall off my bike?

Was I on a test ride?

Have I asked you this?

Is it Saturday?

June 3?


And so on and on and on.

Night Stalker was back in business, opening and consuming Sara’s cheese and onion crisps.

If she wasn’t freaked out enough already that did it for her.

Was someone standing at the end of my bed?

Did someone eat my crisps?

Did I fall off my bike?

Was I test riding it?

Am I going mad?

No but we might.

Tales from the ward Chapter Nine:

The Ward Stalkers.

I finally got eyes on Carol’s husband.

His booming baritone did not match the diminished body I saw shuffling down the corridor.

He paused at our doorway peering in perhaps to see if Carol was there.

It was only later that he tried to enter.

His name was Marcel and he wore a greying moustache reminiscent of tv’s Hercule Poirot.

His was not quite the finely coiffed and waxed version I’d seen countless times on tv, however.

More a salt and pepper gorse hedge shoved untidily under his nose.

No three-piece suit either, but a long black dressing gown over his hospital pyjamas completing the look.

His overall demeanour said Elderly stereotypical Frenchman lost in hospital drama.
The only case he needed to solve: where his wife was and why he was there.

Marcel was accompanied by a chaperone.

It was the hospital’s attempt to keep wayward members of the male bay next door under control.

Stickman aka Steve was also on the loose.
Also with chaperone. His face not covered by birthmarks, but bruises from some monumental face plant.

His nose didn’t look broken but it was hard to see how it could not have been.

We could tell he was approaching by the sound of his stick striking the floor.

As the noise grew louder an apprehensive silence descended. All of us on alert in case he made it past the barricades we’d roughly assembled in our doorway.

Last of the walkers was Gloria.

Resplendent in her pink fluffy dressing gown.

There was no stopping her.

Sweeping in to stand and survey all those who lay down before her.

It’s getting late Gloria, I said. We’re trying to go to sleep. Maybe It’s time to go back to your ward.

Gloria turned to look at me directly.

Why should I?


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