Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Fence

Audio to follow 
This story works as a stand alone story but is part two of Stand and Deliver
The newspaper lay opened on the desk in the nurses' station but there was no sign of the person who had been reading it. The ward was mostly dark with just a few bedside lamps comforting those afraid of the dark. There was the soft whine of regular breaths and the occasional beep from one of the monitors. On the desk next to the newspaper were a pile of phones, tablets, and computers recharging after a hard day’s work entertaining gleeful children. Nurse Kolinova was soft shoe shuffling around the ward making sure all children were peaceful and content in the land of nod. 
Sister Hejova was crouched on the toilet breathing heavily. She held her heads in her hand and tears slipped between her fingers and dripped onto the floor. How had she been so stupid? How had she been so blind to the truth? Christ, she’d even discussed the robbery with Jana while accepting the stolen goods with a naive smile. The children had been so happy she didn't even think to ask where the bounty had come from. She didn’t think to clear it with her bosses. She just didn't think. But the newspaper report with the description of the stolen goods, the fact that all the chargers were American plugs, it all added up now. 
Now she thought about it, she’d actually never seen Jana do any fundraising. She said she did and every now and again she'd turn up at the hospital with goods or clothes or things for the patients. Sister Hejova wondered if each time coincided with one of the highwaymen incidents, as the papers were calling them. Was Jana one of the robbers or was she just a go between? 
Sister Hejova stood up and straightened her uniform. She had to get back to work. But what was she going to do? She knew what she should do; she should call the police and report the stolen goods. But that would mean snatching away the happiness of the kids and becoming a snitch. Maybe she should go back into the office, close the newspaper and throw it away, never think of this again. After all, no one got hurt, and they probably all had insurance, so we're likely buying new phones etc right now. She thought about calling Jana and asking her to take the stuff away, then it wouldn't be her problem at least, but she'd still know, wouldn't she? 
She forced a smiled at Nurse Kolinova who nodded that everything was okay on the wards. 
“What's up?” she said. 
“Oh, nothing,” Sister Hejova shook her head and went into the office, folding the paper up and trying not to look at the stash on her desk. What would the kids say when they woke up in the morning and they were gone? 

Sister Hejova couldn't sleep. A day shift followed by a night shift usually had her snoring like a builder, but today was different. Every time she shut her eyes another scenario came into her mind. Jana being led away in cuffs, Jana threatening her, her boss firing her, the police raiding the hospital. 
She swung her legs out of bed and got a glass of water. She drunk it, watching herself in the reflection as the rain poured outside. The answer was staring her in the face;  she’d made a decision. 
“Jana?” Sister Hejova said down the phone. 
“Yes, how are the kids enjoying the computers?”
“I know where you got the stuff.”
She waited for Jana to say something, she didn't. Sister Hejova took a deep breath.
“I want to join your gang.”

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