Happy Birthday, Alice!

Friday, October 13, 1972, just before 8pm

“She has her mother’s scream, I think,” he said as the nurse took the crying infant from his arms.

The nurse quickly washed the child off, weighed her and wrapped her in a tiny blanket.

Doctor Larry White worked to stitch up his patient. The baby had been a decent enough size to rip her mother on the way out. “Bette? How big is she?”

Bette, the nurse, returned with the infant. “Twenty eight inches, nine pounds and six ounces.”

Doctor White let out a low whistle. “Were it a boy, that’s a linebacker.” His blue eyes smiled up at the woman in the stirrups. “Do you have a name picked out, Norma?”

The woman shook her head slowly, still dazed from the drugs.

Bette laid the child on her mother’s chest.

“My daughter is beautiful,” Norma whispered as she cuddled the baby.

The room was dimly lit save for the spotlight over Doctor White’s shoulder. The white walls had a gray tinge to them.

“Okay,” Doctor White said and stood up from his stool and moved the spotlight aside. “Bette, here is good to finish, so I will leave you be and check in tomorrow morning. Congratulations, she is a beauty.”

“Thank you.”

He snapped his gloves off and disposed of them into the tin trash container. “She’s a screamer, though, so I hope she let’s you rest.” He chuckled as he exited from 3-b into the brightly lit empty hallway. He walked straight down to the staff locker area. A splash of water on the face and washing hands before he changed out of his scrubs replacing them with a white tee-shirt, blue jeans and a matching jean jacket. A return to the sink to run a comb under the water and push back his black hair. One last glance in the mirror and he asked himself, “I wonder if a beard would look good?”

He wandered back out to the pay phone that was positioned near the nurse’s station. One orderly pushed a gurney down the hall as he passed.

Bette, now at the station, smiled and nodded. “She’s going to have a handful with that one.”

He nodded, chuckled and dropped a dime into the pay phone. His fingers flew across the numbers. He leaned against the white wall over the pay phone and kept his eyes on Bette as she moved to the far end of the counter.

Bette turned and opened a file drawer, searching for something. Her brunette hair was in a tight bun. Her white uniform was pressed perfectly.

“Yes, it’s White,” he said into the receiver with a voice quiet enough he hoped Bette could not here. He waited, listening to the voice on the other end. “Baby Jane Doe was born at oh-nineteen forty-four this evening.”.

He fished a crumpled pack of cigarettes from his jean jacket pocket and pulled one stick out. “Nine, six and twenty-eight.” He found his lighter next. “St. Gregory’s Hospital in Toronto.” The crumpled package returned into his pocket.

Another nurse, one White did not know, walked down the corridor checking rooms. She smiled at Bette before she wandered into 3-b.

He lit the cigarette and took a long drag. “Clockwork. She is the last one before they renovate the ward. No one else here…the place is completely empty other than staff.”. He nodded at what was being said on the other end as he looked around for an ashtray.

Bette started moving back down from the other end of the counter just as the alarm sounded for room. She spun to see what alarm was sounding and saw 3-b. She ran out the other end of the counter towards the room.

“It’s me, you expected less? Of course the mother is dead,” White said with a smile. He hung up the phone and tapped his cigarette on the ashtray. He had his concerned look on before Bette ran out the door to ask for his help.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.