I wrote the opening scene of my next book, which will have the same characters as the Department of Temporal Adjustment. It will be a stand-alone book in that I want people to be able to read this one without having read DTA.
As you read, please keep in mind that this is the very first draft, and when I write first drafts I don’t worry overly much about little things, like grammar, punctuation, etc.
But I will try to be brave and share.
“Hello,” I rasped into the phone, my voice still as asleep as my brain had been ten seconds before. It was 10 o’clock in the morning, and for the first time in years my children had decided to let me sleep late.
“Is this Mrs. (last name)” a man’s voice asked.
“Yes, this is Mrs. (last name). Who is this?”
“This is Dr. Brown at Madigan Hospital. Did you know that your husband was in a car accident, that he was hit by a semi this morning?”
“What!” I yelled, finally fully awake.
“Now don’t worry, he’s going to be okay. He was brought in to Madigan at 6:30 this morning.”
“Excuse me ma’am, but has anyone called you this morning? Did anyone call to let you know about your husband’s accident?”
“No! How’s he doing? Can I come down?”
“He’s in Intensive Care, but conscious. We think he’ll be fine, but you should come right away.”
“He’s conscious? Thank goodness!”
“He’s not out of the woods yet though. He has internal injuries that are causing internal bleeding. You should be here.”
“Bleeding? Internal bleeding?”
“We’ll have to keep him her a few days. You could stay in a hotel nearby while you wait for him to be released.”
“Yes. Yes, I’ll be there…oh my goodness, it will take at least an hour to get there! Why is he in Madigan? Why was he taken so far from Seattle? Where was the accident?”
“The accident happened in on I-5 near Federal Way.”
“That’s right by Seattle! Why was he taken to Madigan? Madigan is an Army hospital, he’s not in the Army.”
“He was wearing his Air Force uniform, so he was taken to the nearest military hospital.”
“Ma’am, maybe you should just come.”
“Right. Thank you doctor. I’ll be there as soon as I can.”
As I hung up the phone I could hear the sound of my children playing quietly in the other room. The sound should have comforted me, but instead made me shiver uncontrollably. Tony, my wonderful husband, the father of those four beautiful girls playing so innocently in the other room, had been in an accident. My husband, the man I planned to grow old with, was in the hospital. My Tony, my strong, dependable, fearless husband, was lying, hurt and injured, in a hospital bed over an hour away. My darling husband had been in an accident with a semi.
The image of an eighteen wheeler barreling down the road popped into my head as I suddenly remembered which of our two cars Tony always drove to work. It was the cute little red Honda, a little bitty, teeny tiny, lightweight Honda.
Fear gripped my heart and wrung it like a two-year-old squeezes play dough. That doctor had gone on and on about how I needed to get to the hospital fast. What if Tony was hurt worse than the doctor had let on? Tony was in Intensive Care, after all. Didn’t Intensive Care mean—
“Mommy,” a voice interrupted my thoughts, “who was on the phone?”