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The Thirty Days of Magrat (part seven)

Joe Spivey's picture
Submission type:

“Seriously? This is what you want me to wear?”


Maisie put her hands on her hips and sighed.

“For the last time. Yes. This is what you have to wear.”

Magrat crossed over to the glass-fronted dispensary cabinet and twisted around in front of it to try and get a better view of the whole outfit in her reflection. Meanwhile, she continued to question the head nurse’s reasoning.

“And the kids don’t throw stones at you when you got out?”

“They wouldn’t dare. Look. It’s either this or the pink one, take your pick but the doc says you can’t go to the hostels looking like a damned raider.” The teenager didn’t seem to be listening.


Magrat stopped trying to see her own butt and grinned at the other woman.

“Hey. You used my name.” Her expression changed to one of cheeky slyness. “Am I winning you over?”

Maisie looked to the ceiling for strength. But it was true. The ragamuffin teenager, although still infuriatingly infuriating, had impressed the very experienced and famously cynical nurse. Maisie was starting to see not only why the doc had picked Magrat for medic training, but why she was making the extra effort by fetching her here from the Devil’s Own camp.

Having gained the necessary fortitude from the peeling paint of the cracked and sagging plaster, Maisie returned her attention to Magrat, now standing in front of her.

“Look. I’ve explained why you can’t…”

Magrat rolled her eyes in teenage impatience.

“I know, I know. I get it. Really, I understand.” Her expression changed to one of sad memory. “I was one of them once, remember.”

Maisie’s throat tightened. It was easy to think of Magrat as just one of the Devil’s Own. In reality, though, she wasn’t. Magrat was a drudge, a handy euphemism for what was really a slave, and she had been one for several years. Only if she completed her training would she be elevated out of that position and actually become a full member of the gang. Not exactly much of an improvement in anyone else’s eyes, but in Magrat’s world it was the best she could hope for.

The moment was in danger of becoming awkward, which allowed Magrat to demonstrate the people handling skills she hoped to pass on to the girl standing in front of her.

“Not pink then.”

Magrat’s smile returned.

“No. Not pink.”

Together, they restocked the trunk of the ancient car Maisie used for her rounds. Unlike Doctor Troy, Maisie had no intention of traipsing round Hope Springs with a pair of huge, heavy holdalls. In a nod towards the ancient ambulances, Maisie had paid a couple of the teenagers who hung around the statue of Noah Barret to paint the near wreck white and put a big red cross on the doors. As it turned out, whitewash wasn’t the best option so the result was a kind of runny pale grey with pink stains on the doors.

It was on the short trip to the hostels that Maisie learned something else about her young trainee. It was her first car trip. Maisie’s first clue was the way Magrat sat bolt upright, staring straight ahead, with one hand braced against the dashboard and the other clutching the armrest as if her life depended on it. The second clue, and the clincher, were the loud protestations about the speed the head nurse was driving at and the fact that these didn’t stop until Maisie’s car was moving slower than a fast amble.

At journey’s end, they didn’t so much ‘pull up’ outside the women’s hostel, as just come to a halt the second Maisie’s foot stopped threatening the accelerator.





Hyle Troy's picture

(( maybe it is good then that she did not take a lift in Hyle's car? 

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers

Lance Striker's picture

(( Gonna take more than a few plasters and a bandage to mend all those fences and lamposts.

Lonely are the brave...

Hyle Troy's picture

Look..  I was distracted...  and it was dark...  and..   and..  

I would rather die peacefully in my sleep, like Grandad, than screaming, like his passengers

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