Chapter Four of Fear's Firm GraspMature

The next time she opened her eyes, she was in a warm room with white walls and a window, looking over a parking lot. She looked around and saw wooden tables next to where she was laying, with a phone, an IV cable that leaked into her arm, and her name. She shuddered, recognizing her step-father’s name in the place of her last name. She was in a bed, she realized, and she was wearing a blue-green gown. The room smelled like sick people and medicine. She reached up and touched her head, feeling a bandage on it. She couldn’t remember anything, other than swinging on the park swing after last night…

Where was she? What happened? As if to answer her, a short, blond nurse marched in with a clipboard. She adjusted her glasses on her nose and glared at Michaela, only then realizing that her eyes were open.

“Dr. McDonald!” she screeched, bolting out of the ward and bringing a tall, muscular man with her. He had arched eyebrows as he was led into the room.
“Good afternoon, Michaela,” he said, leaning over her. His breath smelled like garlic, she noted, as he put a hand on her forehead. “Welcome to St. Curtis Memorial Hospital. I’m Conrad McDonald, but you can call me Dr. McDonald.”

“Why am I here?” she demanded, tears stinging her eyes as the pain in her head registered.

The doctor smiled, amused as if he had heard the question many times before, which of course he had.

“You’ve been here for three days, Michaela,” he told her. “You were found four days ago, knocked out cold, in the sand of Stevenson Park, near the swings. Is this ringing any bells?”

She groaned and rubbed the back of her head, feeling a bump. “I remember being at the park, and I was swinging…but…but…”

The nurse chuckled, but was silenced with a glance from the doctor. “We guess that you fell asleep, then fell off and hit your head. Do you think you can tell us why you were at the park so late at night?”

She didn’t want to tell them anything until she could trust them, and she had another question. “Who found me?”

“I did, actually,” the nurse chimed with a smile. “Sleep-walking. Nasty habit,” she continued with a click of her tongue. “I’m Nurse Sarah Forman, but you can just call me Nurse Forman.”

“Well, it’s good to see you awake, Michaela, and be sure to ring if you need anything, or if you can remember why you were at the park so late at night.”

She nodded and rested back, her eyelids growing heavy again. “Fangoo,” she mumbled, falling back asleep.

The End

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