Innerscape: Miira – excerpt 4

The following scenes are both quite short so I thought I’d post them both. The first scene I wrote for pure pleasure, as a way of thumbing my nose at all the people in authority who have ever talked down to me. I only wish I could have had Miira’s chutzpah at the time! The second introduces my second main character, Kenneth Wu. He is what I imagine the great martial artist, Bruce Lee, might have been like if he’d been a doctor, and a little bit broken. Like the magnificent Rudolph Nureyev, Bruce Lee was, and is, one of my heroes. I make no apologies!

* * *

“Miss Tahn!” an unctuous voice proclaimed over the whup whup of the rotors.

Ms Tahn,” Miira replied automatically as her gaze flicked up and down, taking in the wind-blown, silver hair and expensive, one-piece suit of the man in front of her. She was not impressed. Having worked as a nurse for most of her life she had learned to pick the good ones at a glance. This one would fawn all over her in public and ridicule her in private.

The next person Miira saw was a slightly frumpy looking nurse. The white coverall that all nurses wore did not suit her figure but her face looked kind rather than bossy. A good one.

“Welcome to Innerscape, Ms Tahn,” a younger male voice said.

There was genuine warmth underlying the formal words and when Miira looked past Silver Hair she was not really surprised to see the nice young Asian doctor she had met during the tour of the Catacombs. Now he was extending his hand towards her. Shaking hands was an old fashioned gesture and few young people used it any more but the young doctor made it look natural.

“Hi Doctor…?” Miira said as she clasped his hand and received a firm, dry squeeze in return. “I’m sorry, I’m hopeless with names but I do remember you from the Catacombs.”

“Kenneth Wu,” the doctor said with a grin.

A pointed cough from Silver Hair made Miira turn her head towards the older doctor.

“I’m Doctor Charles McGrath,” Silver Hair said as he thrust his own hand out to be shaken. “I’ll be taking you through the administrative formalities, so if you have any questions, please just ask.”

…not if I can help it…

“Thank you Dr. MacGrarr,” Miira said sweetly as she turned to the nurse and held out her hand. “And who is this?”

Behind Miira’s back Charles McGrath flushed a florid pink as he withdrew his hand, turning the gesture into a futile attempt to slick back his windblown hair.

“Hi Ms Tahn,” Emily said as she folded Miira’s small, bird-like fingers into her own large, warm hand. “I’m Emily, Charge Sister Emily Watson, and I’ll be your nursing liason until you enter Innerscape. Once you’re inside I’ll be keeping a special eye on you.”

“Thank you Emily,” Miira said. “That’s very reassuring. And please call me Miira. Now could we possibly get this over with? I’m feeling rather tired.”

“Of course!” Emily said. “Please come this way. Would you like a nice cup of tea before we begin?”

“Oh, that would be lovely,” Miira said as she directed the wheelchair away from the ambulance. “Come along Dr Wu! And you too Dr Mac.”

– – –

As Kenneth Wu followed the two women towards the vestibule of Innerscape, he could not resist glancing back at Charles McGrath, who was bringing up the rear of their small procession.

Miira Tahn had certainly put him in his place, and in such a subtle way that there was nothing Charles could do about it without looking even more foolish! Which was quite ironic as Charles had been bemoaning the crass behaviour of their new money patients just the other day. He had not mentioned Miira Tahn by name but all the staffers had guessed who he was talking about. Well, Ms Tahn might be new money, and a Refugee at that, but her style was very old money indeed. A lady with a capital ‘L’.

…and gutsy too…

Kenneth had received an angry dressing down from McGrath over the Catacombs debacle, but he knew he had been right. Some patients preferred to ignore the reality of their situation, maintaining a determined ignorance right to the end. However it had been obvious to him that Miira Tahn was not such a person. She would not have insisted on seeing the facility in all its glory if she had been one of the ‘dreamers’.  She was a realist, one of those rare people who not only took strength from knowledge, but needed it as well. Nonetheless, the containment areas had shocked her, so the injection of a little humour, even twisted humour, had been a necessity. And it had worked because here she was.

Kenneth understood the need to know all too well. He had been just twelve when his mother died. The family had tried to shield him from the truth, but he had insisted on knowing everything, and had pestered his family and the medical staff until they finally gave in and told him what he wanted to know.

That truth had killed his last childish hope that a miracle might yet save his mother, but it had also given him a sort of emotional armour that had sustained him through her last, awful days. It had given him the strength to sit by her side, right to the end, so his words of love had been the last words she heard before she slipped into her final coma.

Since then, Kenneth had devoted his considerable intelligence and energy toward just one goal – easing the last moments of those without hope. He never obfuscated, never lied, never gave false hope, and yet from him, the truth became something empowering. Perhaps because he genuinely cared for all his patients, even the difficult ones.

Now, as their small group passed through the large double doors and headed towards the ‘drawing room’ where tea would be served, Kenneth felt a familiar regret that he would have only a short time in which to get to know this interesting woman.

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About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

12 responses to “Innerscape: Miira – excerpt 4

  • Candy Korman

    Shaping up to be an intriguing read. The bits and pieces is making me feel like we’re back in the Victorian era, reading a novel in installments and hanging on the words of the storyteller (Dickens).

    Like

    • acflory

      -blush- Thank you. I didn’t know Dickens had published in installments until I read James Clavell’s Gaijin. In that book the small colony of westerners in Japan devoured each installment as it arrived on the infrequent mail ships. I will take the comparison as a huge compliment. 🙂

      Like

  • Carrie Rubin

    Good stuff! And I admire you for posting it online. I’d be entirely too chicken. 🙂

    Like

    • acflory

      I’m trying very, very hard not to edit as I go so… posting excerpts allows me to edit more or less guilt free. 🙂 And I have to admit that this story often feels as if I’m just transcribing something I’ve already written and thought about for months. I haven’t, but that’s how it feels, so I’m happier with it than I would be with one of my normal first drafts. 🙂

      Like

  • metan

    Loving, loving, loving this! I am enjoying getting the small installments too. I have looked at a few other blogs who post stories in installments and I just can’t get into them for a few reasons.

    I find that if I haven’t read from the start it is too hard to get involved because they are clearly continuing parts, not stand alone bits that make up the whole, and because the posts are huge chunks of story and I just don’t have the time to catch up.

    Here you have made each bit interesting on it’s own and still long enough to share an interesting tale, all without it being so long that we wait til later to read it and then never get the time to go back.

    Please keep drip feeding us Miira’s story, I would love to find out what happens! 😀

    Like

    • acflory

      Oh! I never thought of it in those terms. I tend to write in ‘scenes’ and so far at least, all the scenes have been a handy post length.

      I can’t guarantee that all the excerpts will be the right size but now that I know you guys are actually enjoying them I’ll try to keep them short enough to last no longer than a cup of coffee!

      -hugs-

      Like

      • metan

        I figured that you were just sharing what you had written so I thought I would let you know you were doing it just right, for me at least. 🙂

        Like

        • acflory

          No, no! I like hearing things like this because I’m always a little reluctant to post a great deal of my fiction – I don’t want to bore everyone silly. So knowing that short pieces work better than long ones is really important to know. I’m really glad you mentioned it!

          Like

  • lorddavidprosser

    The story is full of warmth. We already like the main characters with the notable exception of Dr. Mac. I hope the interaction between Dr Wu and Mira continues and maybe we get to learn more about Nurse Emily too since it seems she’ll be looking after Mira.
    The facility itself sounds somewhat cold with it’s tiny containment capsules so Mira will need to distract us from that, but I’m sure she’ll manage if her put down of Dr Mac is anything to go by.

    Like

  • littlemissobsessivesanatomy

    you are such a rockstar… 🙂 im Mira is goin to end up into an awesome book.

    Like

    • acflory

      lmao! We’ll see. I’m having fun with it but I’m not sure if I want to ‘publish’ it. At the moment there’s a bit too much romance in it and not enough sci-fi but I guess it is just the beginning. 🙂

      Like

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