Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chapter 7 - Carolyn at the hopsital

Carolyn turned the corner and was on the approach to rescue her son. She saw them pealing bits of black, wet and puss riddled flesh from his chest, muscle revealed below as the men picked at it – “My baby. My baby. My baby,” she wept.


She lunged out as though to shield her son from the monsters that harvest at his flesh. Walter crossed the path in front of her. His body stood like a sand castle against the tide. His arms standing strait out, holding her at bay. His hand went to his face. His finger pressed the center of his lips and he said to her, “Carolyn. If you approach them, if you interfere, they will remove you from here and you will not see him.” She recoiled from him. Her hand reared back and striking out at him, slapping his face squarely. The resonance of the clap made a nurse turn her head at them briefly.


“How… How could you let this happen? How could you, Walter?” He shrunk at her words, the accusation holding true inside him. He looked as though the beam that held him upright had snapped. His eyes bowed to the ground and he stood down from her. This was the first sign of feeling from him since this happened. Carolyn stood suspended in the corridor feet from the team. Walter melted into the walls.


Finally, Doctor Reeve moved away from the boy and came toward them. “You must be the boy’s mother then?” he asked without the expectation of or the pause for an answer. “We will need to ask you some questions separately. His arm rose past her and his bloody, char marked gloved fingers motioned. Two men who had been otherwise unnoticed moved toward them. The identically unmemorable men approached at his request. The men wore black and white security uniforms. The clubs on their sides, their legs and arms all moved in unison toward the couple. “These men are going to escort you to different rooms,” the doctor said.


“What about my baby, I can’t leave him,” she cried out the tall, unmoved doctor.


“He is going to live but we need to figure out some details and make certain that we can arrange for his care. Now, either you go willing with these gentlemen or we will have the police here to assist you.” He motioned her to a room on the right, the other guard moved instinctively to a room down the hall on the left.


Carolyn looked over to the red-black pool on the floor under what looked like her son’s torn carcass. She fell to her knees unable to walk as her sobs boiled out. Her wailing so intense, it pushed silently out of her as she wept breathlessly. The doctor’s face softened slightly as he looked at the guard and said, “For Christ’s sake, Jerry, help the woman up. What the hell is wrong with you?” The guard mindlessly grabbed the woman up, carrying her into a room labeled, ‘Family Counseling Room.’ The room had a coffee pot with coffee, some cups with appropriate condiments sitting on the edge of a counter with a sink. There was a soft faux leather couch, brown and tan squares on its cushions.  A round glass top, steel framed table with horseshoe armed seats sat up to it. The room was gently lit and cool and there were two folded white blankets on the table to the side of the couch. The man laid her on the couch, still weeping. Her eyes were black and sunk into her face. A few minutes later, a woman entered the room. She wore a silky frock that glided around her body as she stepped. Her face was made and her hair rested gently feathered on her shoulders. She wore thin, tall heals and she had gold bracelets, big earrings and costume jewelry on her fingers. In her hand she had a small white container which contained a tiny white pill.


“Excuse me, my name is Claudia. I am the hospitals Social Services Liaison.”


Carolyn looked up in terror at the woman. Carolyn thought how strangely she looked like one of Charlie’s Angels. Carolyn gasped at the woman’s approach.


“What is your name, Misses…” she invited a response.


“Bishop.” Carolyn hoarsely whispered.


“Fine then, Mrs. Bishop. Everything is going to be fine. Now, I have brought you something to help you. It’s a tranquilizer. You have been through quite a bit and you look like you sure could use it.” She reached out with her hand, holding the tiny cup pinched between her fingers. “Trust me, sweetie, you will feel better if you take this. I know.” The woman’s head nodded caringly, compassionately at Carolyn. Her voice meek and sincere and kind, she wooed Carolyn’s trembling hand out flat in front of her in agreement to take the pill. “Here, sweetie, I’ll just get you a nice cool cup of water so you can get that down, okay?” Her question clearly was rhetorical as she spun around in her heals, her brown and beige flowered dress spinning out its length to match her new movements.


“Why are we really here, Claudia?” Carolyn used her name quietly like blame.


“Well, Mrs. Bishop, we need to figure out what happened back there to your son. He’s going to need a lot of care and we need to know that this was really an accident and not abuse. Do you understand how important this is, sweetie?”


“I see.” Her voice was a noiseless movement of lips and air.


“So, let’s talk a bit, okay? Let’s find out what happened here and let’s work on getting a strategy together to take care of that boy of yours. First, why don’t we just start then at the beginning. What happened exactly?”


Carolyn recounted the story to her, how she’d been in the kitchen cooking with her mother and her sister and sister-in-law and so on. She told her about how she’d been going out and getting the supplies for the party, how she’d just gone that morning to pick out his cake and how she’d left him outside with Walter and the other men in the family. That the kids were all playing out in the back yard and so on. Then she said that she heard screaming from the back yard as Walter burst into the house. She went on from there.


Halfway through the story, Claudia’s hand stretched across the table to grab Carolyn’s, her eyes so sympathetic, agreeing and nodding the whole time. After Carolyn had recounted the story thus far, Claudia got up from the table and grabbed one of the blankets from the table and draped it across Carolyn’s shoulders. She pressed the sides of her arm and guided her from the table to the couch. She moved the other blanket from the table and folded it halfway again and leaning it against the arm of the couch like a pillow. She said, “Now, Carolyn, that pill I gave you should help you fall asleep. I’m surprised you haven’t fallen asleep already, in fact. I want you to stay here and I’ll come get you in a little while. She reached her hand to the wall, dimming the lights further and gently closing the door behind herself. The quiet, cool room lulled Carolyn, pulling her into the couch as she drifted off.