Welcome to The Chain Link Project. As the summary says , this is a collection of more-or-less completely unrelated one-shots , where the last sentence of one chapter becomes the first sentence of the next. Sometimes , a word or two will be added/taken away to make it make sense , but no more than two words will be changed. I am not sure how many of these will be writing , so this will be an irregularly updated project.

I hope you enjoy this collection , and please leave feedback.

As cleaner in the hospital , Marcus wasn't often noticed by patients or other staff , but it wasn't something he minded too much. For one thing , this was only a temporary job , and for another , he got to see a lot of somewhat interesting scenarios. And over the months , he had seen many of those. So it wasn't all bad

One evening, he was just wheeling a trolley full of cleaning supplies to a room near the entrance, when girl rushed in. She was slight, pretty and dark featured. She was also clearly in labour.

It wasn't an unfamiliar scene , but the girl had a compelling appearance that meant he found himself unable to look away. She didn't yell for help , but she did try desperately to get the attention of anyone who could help her. Marcus didn't hesitate , and yelled loudly for a nurse , or a doctor , to come .Then he went to the girl , and squeezed her hand in what he thought was a reassuring way, smiling as he did so. The girl turned to him , momentarily distracted , and smiled back hesitantly.

All of a sudden , he realised what he was doing –comforting a strange girl who was giving birth , and the embarrassment caused him to blush deeply , and look away. However , he was saved from further embarrassment by the nurses who appeared seemingly out of nowhere , and chased him away.

For the next few hours , he couldn't stop thinking about her , despite the fact that he had only seen her for a few seconds. As he worked quietly , images of her hesitant smile played over in his head , and he berated himself for his foolishness , thinking he was foolish for hoping he might see her again.

And then he did.

She was alone in her room , holding her baby and singing softly . Marcus couldn't make out the words , but he was captivated , and so he watched her for a while . She truly was beautiful , he thought , despite the tired eyes , pale face and tear tracks on the cheeks. Where were her family? Didn't she have a husband , a boyfriend , a partner? Didn't she have parents who would cherish a grandchild , siblings who would get to be aunts and uncles , or even a friend ? Why was she alone ? She shouldn't have been.

The song faded away , and the girl looked up. She caught Marcus' eyes , and he blushed.

"You can come in , if you want." The girl said. Her voice was young , with no trace of an accent. Marcus did , and stood awkwardly by her bed.

The girl shifted on the bed to make space, holding her baby protectively.

"You can sit if you like. " He nodded in thanks , completely tongue tied , and sat down. An awkward silence reigned.

"So…what's your name?" Marcus wanted to hit himself as soon as he asked it. Couldn't he think of something better? The girl didn't care though.

"I'm Imelda . She's Noelle ." Marcus assumed she meant the baby , who she was still holding in such a way that she was shielded.

"Both pretty names. I'm Marcus , by the way." He said.

""Thanks, Marcus" Imelda replied "Actually…thanks for earlier , too…I felt a lot braver seeing your kind face."

Marcus blushed again


Imelda laughed at his embarrassment , and soon he was laughing too. When the laughter died down ,he pointed to Noelle.

"So…will I get to see her too?"

Imelda gave him a suspicious look , holding Noelle even closer to her.

"I won't hurt her." He protested. Imelda considered him for a long , long moment , then decided he was worth trusting

"You can hold her for a moment , if you like. My arms are aching."

Marcus decided against telling her the hospital was perfectly safe , and simply held Noelle. It was awkward , as he'd never held a baby before , but once he got used to it , it felt comfortable . With Imelda's watchful eyes on him , he looked down at Noelle's face , and he was copeltely blown away.

"She's beautiful."