A few days ago, I wrote a post called “Call the COVID Coven“. Originally, I meant to write a short story for my friend, Sara, who works on the COVID-19 unit at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. I had written another story for her back in May, when she complained about the excessive personal protection equipment she must wear every day to take care of patients with COVID-19.
But the day I tried to write the newer story, WordPress was being wonky and wouldn’t let me post. The mood passed, and I didn’t get around to actually writing the story. I just wrote about the preliminary idea I had to write one. Well… last night, Sara posted today’s featured photo and I was blessed (or cursed) again with the urge to write something creative. So here goes. This one’s for you, Sara. Hope you’ll still want to be friends.
When last we left our heroine, Sara, the COVID-19 warrior, she was being tortured by Nurse Echo, a sadistic and kinky nursing supervisor who thought Sara needed a lesson in empathy. Day after day, marathon shift after marathon shift, Nurse Echo stood over Sara like Sergeant Blast, forcing her to wear ever more hot and oppressive PPE as she tended to patients. It would have been bad enough if the PPE were the normal kind. But Sarah’s PPE was kinky, which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on one’s tastes.
Nurse Echo wasn’t big on back talk, and she had a talent for design. Because she was tired of hearing her nurses complain about typing notes with gloves and face shields, she came up with a required face mask that also served as a very effective gag. Sometimes, if she was feeling especially charitable, Nurse Echo would let the nurses choose which type of gag they preferred: ball gag, ring gag, or penis shaped. Sara hated them all, but she needed her job. Besides, Nurse Echo wouldn’t let her leave the unit until every task was done to her satisfaction. And it seemed that Nurse Echo was never satisfied. She always felt things could be done better, and she would not back down when her nurses protested her slave driving style of management.
They had a strict rule on the COVID-19 floor at Kaputnik Hospital. “Don’t say it’s quiet.” The minute anyone ever said that, all hell would break loose. The craziest people would come in, their eyeballs hanging out of their sockets, or their noses bleeding incessantly, or vomit and diarrhea spewing from both ends… The nurses at the hospital knew. If things were slow, just enjoy it and eat bean dip and bon-bons. Things would inevitably pick up again, but maybe no one would be splattered with piss or pus or any of the other body fluids that show up on a busy hospital ward.
It was actually pretty quiet on the ward that night, as a trickle of sweat ran down Sara’s back under the rubbery gown she was forced to wear. She did feel confident that she would be able to finish her scut work earlier than usual. Maybe there would be time for a Gatorade and some Fritos before the next shift. But Sara was afraid to even think too long about how quiet it was. She had to get things done on time, or Nurse Echo would penalize her with extra thick gloves or an extra heavy visor on her helmet.
Shifting in her seat, Sara stole a glance at Nurse Echo. No one knew much about her. Where had she come from? Why was she so sadistic? She was an excellent nurse with meticulous skills, but she had the personality of a pissed off porcupine. Patients were lucky if she grunted “good morning” at them as she adjusted the tubes and wires that kept them connected to this life. Some of the patients who weren’t so sick whispered to Sara that Nurse Echo was scary. All Sara could do was nod in acknowledgment. She didn’t dare confirm the patient’s suspicions.
“Nurse!” Sara was jarred out of her reverie by the sound of Nurse Echo’s clipped British accent and the sound of her rubber pantaloons rubbing together as her thighs collided with each hobbled step.
Sara looked up at her boss, who was frowning, as usual. “Yes, Nurse Echo?” Sara responded, keeping her voice professional but betraying a certain timidness.
Nurse Echo scowled at her underling. She hated it when they sniveled. She hated it more when they were assertive.
“Are you finished with those notes yet? Mr. Trump has just made a huge mess in his bed and I expect you to clean it up promptly.” Nurse Echo snarled.
Sara rolled her eyes, thankful that the visor hid some of her deep resentment toward the orange haired cretin in room 432. He had recently been evicted from his housing and kicked out of his luxury hotel by his wife. After consorting with one too many Russian prostitutes, he had come down with the dreaded bug for the second time! But this time, no one at Walter Reed wanted to give him care.
“I’m almost finished Nurse Echo. It’s been a blessing tonight that things are so–” Sara said.
“Don’t you DARE say it!” Nurse Echo boomed. “Just for that, I think you need another layer of protection. Trade in that N95 for one of my special masks. NOW!”
“Aw… do I have to?” Sara whined. “I hate the taste of them.”
“You KNOW the rules! And clearly I can’t trust you to protect yourself by keeping quiet about–” Nurse Echo stopped herself just in time. There was one thing Sara did like about her boss. Nurse Echo never asked anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. And if she had violated the rules, she too would need to “mask up”… and thensome.
Sara went into the medical supply room and found Nurse Echo’s special gag masks. She chose one that was shaped like a ring, covered it in bean dip, and was about to strap it on when she noticed the bottle of tequila in the corner. Feeling a little cheeky and more than a bit over Nurse Echo’s oppressive overbearingness, Sara quickly did a shot. Then she dutifully “protected herself” from more potentially ruinous outbursts, fastening the thick rubber straps around her head.
Nurse Echo smiled with satisfaction as she watched Sara stride resolutely toward Mr. Trump’s room. Taking a deep breath, she opened the door, gave herself a moment to recover from the bowling ball like way the stench hit her, and went into the room to deal with Mr. Trump’s trauma.
“Sorry…” Trump mumbled as Sara took in the mess. He wasn’t yet on a respirator, but his orange hair was complimented weirdly by the slightly bluish tinge to his skin. Sara smiled to herself as she realized that orange and blue are complementary colors. The mumbled apology didn’t sound the slightest bit sincere. She was surprised he’d said it. But then, he wasn’t very popular these days…
Unable to verbally respond to Trump’s “apology”, Sara willed herself to look kind as she nodded acknowledgment and cleaned up the mess. The many Big Macs and Whoppers Trump had enjoyed had really done a number. But Sara was a professional, and she had him clean and dry in no time.
She went back to her charting as Nurse Echo wandered the hall, looking in on patients, disciplining Sara’s co-workers, and tapping her ever present riding crop against her meaty hands. Nurse Echo was in a good mood, for once. She hadn’t yet made Sara wear the helmet, which was one of her favorite punitive garments for her nurses.
As she was typing the last notes into the computer, the doors to the COVID-19 unit burst open. Sara’s colleague, a young male nurse named Leon, came bursting on duty. Sara usually liked Leon. He was funny and energetic, and he worked very hard and at a high level of professionalism. But today, he said the dreaded words…
“Man! Why is it so quiet on the ward today?!” he boomed.
“On no…” Sara’s co-worker, Holly, moaned.
“What did I hear you say?” Nurse Echo growled.
“I didn’t mean it. Honest!” Leon moaned.
“You know what to do…” Nurse Echo hissed. Her eyes cast at the supply closet, and Sara knew that if Leon fucked up again, he’d be spending the night in the restraint wrap.
“Man, I wish I could quit this job…” Sara muttered behind the gag. “The money and hours are just too good to quit.”
“Move it!” Nurse Echo boomed as Leon scuttled away.
And just like that, the phones lit up and the first of many new patients arrived at the door. It was going to be a very long night. As Nurse Echo attended to the gasping young man who had just arrived on the hall, Sara noticed Mr. Trump’s call light blinking. She cast a furtive look at the private parts protector (PPP) Nurse Echo had designed expressly for patients like Mr. Trump, who wasn’t sick enough to stop grabbing women by the pussy. But Sara didn’t feel like suiting up…
She would come to regret that decision…
To be continued? Probably… but maybe not today.