Okay, well, this is my first fictionpress fic...I've only done fanfics before. So, I apologize in advance if this sucks. But, well, what do I have to lose? So, without further ado, here's the first chapter.
"For goodness sakes, get your head out of the clouds and step to Emily! We've got another one and I'm putting him under your charge!" barked the head matron.
Emily Swanson's daydream shattered as she jolted back to reality. "Excuse me, Matron Edith, come again?" she asked quietly, as she brushed a lock of wavy brunnette hair from her cheek.
Matron Edith sighed melodramatically. Then a pair of nurses, rushing with a wheeled gurney, stopped in front of her.
"A new arrival." Matron said non-chalantly. "We couldn't identify him. He's your charge Emily...now don't look at me with those big blue eyes, you'll do fine. Stop his bleeding and clean him up, he's fresh from the field, this one."
She turned to leave, then added. "I believe he's got a trench fever, Emily. Be patient with him." She warned before heading to harp at a nurse sitting and resting her feet.
The year was 1915, and our Miss Emily Swanson had volunteered to enlist as a nurse at a military hospital in England. She was relatively new on the job, only four month's worth experiance, and this was the first patient who had been entirely under her care. Naturally, she was so nervous she felt as though she were going to vomit, but she swallowed and pushed the gurney, and the man on it, into the nearest hospital room.
The room was small, dank, and smelt of sickness. A putrid stench that barraged the nose, a warning that death hung in the halls here. It was empty as of now, its last two inhabitants emptied this morning.
There was a sink, if you could call it that, in the corner, and Emily wet a washclothe with it. She turned back to her young patient.
The young man in question looked to be in mid-twenties, with thick, black hair that was unruly and matted, and, in places, blood soaked. He had a deep gash along his cheek, and another gash starting from the edge of his forehead and cutting across to the side of his head. He had a strong build and a pair of broad shoulders, she could tell even under his blood and sweat soaked uniform. He must've been about six foot two when standing, a very large man. His skin was pale from his loss of blood, casting a ghostly palor about him.
His face was handsome, to be sure. But it looked, well, aged. Like a person who has seen too much too early in life. He still had dirt encrusted along the ridges in his complextion He had a strong, square jaw that somehow completely suited him. Clefts of his ebony hair fell down across his face, which was sweaty. His eyes were closed, and as he breathed, he emitted a terrible rasping sound. Like dry leaves cackling againest pavement.
She put the washclothe againest his forehead, being careful to avoid getting water in his sores.
His injuries were, indeed, severe. He had a leg that was bloodied and shrapnel infested; both legs really. One arm looked as though a bullet had grazed its way through it, but it had not stayed, as there was an exit wound on the other side. His uniform was in rags, his bullet-grazed arm sleeve was not there, but only the ragged remains above the elbow suggested it was ever there at all. He had small patches here and there where his skin was visable through holes in the uniform. The uniform itself was a standerd military green, though half the buttons were missing. The ones that were still attached looked like a clumsy hand had repaired them countless times.
She then washed his legs and arms, taking notice to the especially injured ones, flinching when he cried out from pain as he fitfully slept, most likely more from exhaustion than from actual comfort. Using a tiny pair of tongs, she tried to remove what shrapnel she could, taking out a large majority of it. Tiny flecks still remained, but if they didn't get infected, they would be fine. To prevent infection, she took out a bottle of iodine, and poured the bitter liquid onto the wounds. Again he cried out in agony. She bandaged his head, legs, arms, and chest (She had found a deep ravinial slash across it) as tenderly as she could, and, as she put away the supplies, she took another glance at her dilapidated soldier.
He still hadn't regained consciousness, but he hadn't gotten worse either. As long as the wounds didn't get infected, he should be able to go on and live a long life. That was indeed good news to Emily; she had seen far too many brave young men die needlessly in this place.
She turned off the light, and closed the door behind her. Her shift was over, for now. She clocked out, and threw on a heavy wool coat over her splattered white nurse's dress.
As the heels of her plain black shoes clicked againest the cobblestones in the rainy English streets, she thought about her strange patient. She pulled out the key to her small flat, in which she and her roommate, her good friend Sally Parker, lived. As she entered the flat, she threw her coat on the rack carelessly, as she felt her knees were about to collapse beneath her.
"Long shift?" Asked Sally from the living room. She was sitting with a candle lit, reading an old paperback romance novel. Sally herself was wearing a prim, casual dress, as she must have just arrived home from her job as a teller at a business close by. Her green eyes only glanced up at Emily above the paperback. Her long, russet colored hair spilled over her shoulders, since she had undone her hair. She had a pretty face, and a very smooth complexsion. This was how she attracted her many romantic interests. Sally was a romantic, very simply.
"The third one this week..." Emily groaned as she too sat on the couch and unlaced her shoes. "Are you still reading that old thing?" She said, as the old paperback was a bit of a running joke between them.
Sally smiled as she blushed. "Its my favorite." she said. "Its so beautiful...but then again, I'm talking to the spinster in the making." she jested.
Emily shrugged. "Men, they're over rated. I'm doing just fine on my own."
"Mm-hmm." Sally said absentmindedly. "So, at that hospital, do you ever get to see the soldiers...nude?"
"What?!" Emily started, embarrassed.
Sally laughed. "As in, without their clothes on?"
"I am quite aware what nude means, Sally." Emily huffed.
"Well?" Sally pressed.
Emily smiled a little. "Strictly medical reasons, I'm afraid. I don't think it'd be the job for you Sally."
Sally rolled her eyes. "Slaving away for the war boys, and then not even getting to say good bye when they're shipped off again? Honestly, I don't know how you do it."
Emily laughed. "I know, it sounds awful but...well, it makes me a little less miserable knowing that I can do something to ease their suffering. Even if it's only holding their hand and saying a few gentle words."
"So how did your shift go? Anything of interest happen?" Sally inquired.
"Well, I got my first real patient today. He's entirely under my charge.." Emily said, beaming.
Sally laughed. "Well, I give him one week to live." she joked.
Emily smirked at Sally. "He's a soldier who just got back from battle...the dirt was still encrusted on his face. He has shrapnel in his legs and arms, a bullet graze in his arm, and cuts and bruises, that sort of thing. If he doesn't get infected, he'll be fine, and even get to go home with the shape his leg is in."
"Hmm..." Sally murmered. "Is he handsome?"
Emily raised one eyebrow at her silly friend. "Sally, your mind likens an alley street."
Sally frowned. "How so?"
"It only goes one way." Emily laughed.
Okay, seeing as this is my first fiction press, some feedback would be really awesome...please review?