This was a weird idea, to be honest. But I have had it clogging my brain for far too long, and decided to write it all down. It's basically about seven teenagers on seven levels of a kids hospital, and how their lives steadily intertwine. If that makes sense!


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CHAPTER ONE – Annie, 1st floor

I'm Annie Deane, currently 17 and supposedly taking a premature gap year between Secondary School and Sixth Form, just to get myself together. Only issue is I seem to have ended up working alongside my dear mother and elder sister in a paediatric hospital. She claims it will give me some valuable life experience, but I beg to differ.

The first day here left me nearing some sort of full emotional breakdown. I had assumed that working alongside two other, thankfully older, more experienced women would mean that I would have no issues. None, nadda, zilch.

But, as always, I was wrong. As soon as one goes off to get a sandwich and the other delivers some papers to another floor, crisis hit. Some little girl comes in, carried in her fathers arms with the whole family in tow, sobbing. The bloke carrying her demanded to know where the oncology ward is, seeing as this is a new building. To be honest, I'm no nurse. I had no clue what oncology was, so had to spend about five minutes tapping it into the bloody useless computer system to get an answer while this little girl sobs, though otherwise motionless.

I'm no good in stressful situations, so I freaked out. Totally ballsed it up. Luckily I managed to locate the Oncology ward (now known as the cancer ward to me, it's easier that way) and quickly ushered them in the general direction.

That whole scenario left me severely shaken, and when Audrey, my senior, returned with her sandwich, all she could as was, "Did you log their names?"

Of course, how silly of me. While a whole terrified family come in with what looks like a severely ill kid with them I'm meant to ask them, "Full name and date of birth, please."

After that nothing much happened, the Princess Anne's paediatric wing is like a ghost town. After that little girl came in I had the urge to go and see if she was alright, though fully aware that her parents probably wouldn't want some useless, blundering receptionist barging in on their family.

But all the same I ascended the staircase down to the second level of seven, and directed myself through the flourescently lit corridors towards the oncology ward, only just remembering the whole disinfectant thing at the last minutes. The amount of times I had been told to do this and it still didn't stick.

The oncology ward in the Princess Anne is coloured coded as green, resulting in a tropical swamp styled affect. You have to pass through corridors of walls adorned with snapping crocodiles and pelicans, occasionally with a safety poster or a disinfectant bottle glued to the it. Eventually I found the right area, and located a nurse tidying toys in the play area away.

"Excuse me?" I asked her tentatively, "Do you know if that little girl who just came in is okay?"

"She's fine, just relapsed, that's all." She snapped back, now spraying lethal amounts of disinfectant on everything.

"Great, well, thanks." I smiled, even though she wasn't looking. Then I walked back through the swamp, admiring a rather lop sided crocodile and jogged up the stairs and back to my desk, where Maureen and Audrey nodded at me, their eyes sneakily reading copies of Heat magazine under the desk.

"Why don't you go get yourself something to eat, dear?" Audrey asked, "The café's still open for about half an hour."

"Thanks." I knew I sounded flustered, but hurried off past the shop and into the little café that annexed the building. I had decided upon arrival that I didn't like it here; it was the only part of the old building that remained. The Princess was only erected in it's current form last year, all bright lights and clean floors. The old Queen Elizabeth hospital it's cemented to is, however, not. So the café for both is a grimy little 1970's build.

As with everywhere else, there was only a few people around. I hurried over to the service counter and demanded a plate of chips and a cup of tea. I must have looked mad fumbling around everywhere looking for my official nameplate, which turned out to be pinned onto the front of my shirt. I looked around to see if anyone was watching, and another girl looked back in amusement. She had the patient wristband on, and was tentatively nibbling at what looked like a plain Ryvita.

I couldn't help but feel a little exasperated watching her spend half an hour pecking at two Ryvita, while I sat munching on a basket of chips laden with ketchup. She saw me watching and I smiled politely at her, to which she giggled back. Seriously, what am I doing that's so bloody amusing?

I quickly finished my food, hopping over to the counter and shoving my basket and mug under, then took the walk back at a brisk pace, hoping the Audrey and Maureen would take pity on me and let me off early. I got back and they were much in the same state as before, flicking through magazines at the desk.

"Do either of you have the time?" I asked as politely as I could muster, slipping my jeans clad legs under the desk.

Audrey blinked down at her watch, "Ten to six, I'll let you off as soon as we've done a couple of these", and she handed me a few sheets of patient notes. I nodded, then got to work tapping as fast as I could into the keyboard.

It was about fifteen minutes before I was done, at which I asked them back to Audrey, who replied with a "Thanks, dear." and hurried to grab my bag from under the table.

"See you tomorrow!" They called back in unison, and I smiled back in their direction before hanging my workers key up on the mostly full board and hurrying through the automatic doors and into the welcoming icy air.

And basically, it's been the same routine everyday, asides from the fact I occasionally get to go be a Receptionist on a different floor. But I guess that's work, day in day out. But this place really is a ghost town. There's actually nobody here besides the occasional patient passing through. I have learnt, however, that most don't wear those flimsy little paper gown they always seem to on TV – shame, it makes it harder to differentiate between patient and staff.

I've been here for two weeks now, and it's grinding on me. I hadn't expected a hospital of all places to be so boring, but I've found taking the longest route from ward to ward makes it a little better. I've given up on the café for lunch, and instead have found an always deserted little patients lounge on the short stay ward on the third floor. It's great, even though I have to pay for the vending machines, but it beats the café any day. So I spend my half hour lunch break watching the Jeremy Kyle Show on high-up TV, munching on crisps and chocolate.

I think I could probably get used to it here, and the pays pretty stable. Maybe I'm beginning to welcome the lack of patients; there's so much less for me to do.

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Chapter Music – Accident and Emergency by Patrick Wolf