Dry Spell: A Mercy Watts Short

Dry Spell: A Mercy Watts Short by A.W. Hartoin

Book: Dry Spell: A Mercy Watts Short by A.W. Hartoin Read Free Book Online
Authors: A.W. Hartoin
Talking was my first mistake. Listening was my second. Fitness fanatics can make anything sound reasonable and Val was definitely a fanatic. She was a nurse on the oncology floor where I was filling in for two weeks. I should’ve known by her body, not to mention weight or, heaven forbid, flab in front of her. Val was built like beef jerky and quickly compared me to a jelly donut. I’m not saying she’s wrong, especially after my recent adventure in Roatan, Honduras. I drank about a hundred Monkey Lalas in one week and the results weren’t pretty. I was always curvy. It was part of my charm, but that much charm was overdoing it to say the least. So I talked and then I listened to Val go on and on about her Iron Fit class. With the zealousness of a reformed heroin addict, she totally talked me into it. Now I was paying for that indiscretion by being trapped in the staff bathroom because my muscles were so shredded I was unable to lift my body off the toilet. That’s right. I couldn’t get off the pot.  
    “Is anybody in here?” I called out.  
    Silence. Isn’t that always the way? I usually don’t want anyone in the bathroom when I’m in there, but there’s always at least one other nurse and she’s destined to be chatty. The one time I could’ve used a woman telling me about her son’s horrid third grade teacher, she’s nowhere to be found.  
    “Hello?” I tried again.  
    Nothing, not a peep. I considered falling off the toilet and dragging myself to the sink to pull myself upright. No. First, it was gross to crawl around on public bathroom floors. I’d done it before and it was disgusting, but that’s another story. Second, I wasn’t completely sure my arms were up to the task. Fifteen rope climbs rendered my arms close to useless.  
    I had to do it. I had to call Val for help. I’d done plenty of embarrassing things in my life, but help to get off a toilet was definitely in the top five.  
    I dialed my phone. Even my fingers hurt. Why on earth did I think being called a jelly donut was bad? Everybody likes jelly donuts. I could’ve used one right about then. It would’ve made me feel a lot better.  
    Val answered the phone at the desk with her usual clipped words.  
    “Val, it’s Mercy. Um…can you come down to the staff bathroom?”  
    “Is that where you are? Jesus, you’ve been gone for a half hour.”  
    “Believe me, I know. Can you come down here?” I asked with as much dignity as I could muster. It wasn’t much.  
    “Are you stuck?”  
    “In a manner of speaking.”
    “Toilet or floor?”
    “We don’t need to tell anyone about this.”  
    “Toilet, right.” She broke out in big guffaws at my expense.  
    “Fine,” I said. “I’ll call Carrie down on six.”  
    Carrie would be nice. She was a big girl and fond of jelly anything.  
    Val got herself together and said, “No, no. I’ll get you off.”  
    She hung up on me and was there in a flash, laughing as she hauled me up. “Isn’t that the greatest feeling? God, I love it. You know you’ve done something right.”  
    “If this is right, I want to be wrong,” I said, tying my scrub strings.  
    “Double session when we get off. Let’s do it,” she said.  
    I hobbled over to the sink and washed my hands. “You are a lunatic.”  
    “I’m fighting fit and you will be, too.” She flung open the door. “Don’t be drinking any of those pumpkin spice lattes. It’ll ruin your form. I brought celery and snacking peppers.”  
    I hate you.
    “Celery is just what I need.”  
    She pumped her fist. “Yeah, it is.”  
    Maybe I can fake a heart attack. Hell, I’d be willing to have a heart attack at this point.
    “Great,” I said, weakly.  
    Val walked out and punched the door back open, nearly whacking me in the face. “I almost forgot. You have a visitor at the desk. She should come with us. She’s got some blurred lines.”  
    “Visitor? Who is it?” I asked.  
    “Ellen something.

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