The Saga of Amberlin – Chapter 10

Chapter 10

“So, Birdman’s where the fruit, Miss Good Two Shoes promised you?” Spooks asked as she dropped her tray on the table before dropping herself in the chair next to him.

“It’s on the way…I’m sure of it,” Birdman replied once he recovered from the shock of her dramatic appearance.

“Yea, I’ll believe it when I see it. So far, all I see is the same disgusting gruel they’ve been feeding us for years.”  She dropped her spoon in the bowl of oatmeal and watch it splash on the tray and table.  “If she does happen to slip in a few rotten bananas or whatever, I’m sure it will come with strings attached.”

“You still hurt that she nailed you so solidly, is that what this is about?”

“Screw you, Birdface, no one gets to me, especially not Nurse Miriam.”

Birdman didn’t respond at first, but after a minute he leaned towards her.

“So, who do you miss?”

“None of your damn business.  My past is my past.  It’s done and gone. Can’t be changed, so why cry over it.  Hell, haven’t you learned anything from being here?”

“Well, yes, the past is the past, that’s true,” Birdman replied, “but seems to me it’s a mistake to try to ignore what happened to us. You can’t just sweep it under the rug, ‘cause when you do, it just festers there like a bad infection that gnaws at you…like it’s gnawing at you.”

Spooks slammed her hand down on the table with a loud whack, shaking the trays and dishes, and bringing a deathly silence to the dining hall.  “Listen, Birdbrain, you keep your nose out of my business and leave the psychoanalyzing to Dr. Allen, like he or anyone else here gives a damn about us.  And that goes for Merry Miss Miriam as well.”

“Okay, everyone, line up for morning meds,” Nurse Rankin shouted as she entered the dining hall, glaring in the direction of Spooks.

For once, Spooks was first in line. “How about giving Birdbrain a double dose today so he’ll keep his nose out of my business.” Spooks grabbed the small paper cup with her name on it from the tray that Nurse Rankin carried, and swallowed the pills dry.

She abandoned her tray on the table and shuffled over to the corner table where she could fume without interruption.  She sat there watching the others pick up their meds, but her mind was elsewhere.  Must be someway to get this Miriam chick off her case and out of her business.  She thought about it for a few minutes then suddenly realized her answer was standing right in front of her.

“Oh, Nurse Rankin.  What had you decide to change the Bible Study last night?”

Nurse Rankin looked up from the chart she was writing in, an annoyed look on her face.  “What in the hell are you talking about, Spooks?  Nothing has been changed… least not with my approval.”

“Well, you might want to check in with your little protégé.  She got pretty creative last night.  Truth be told, I don’t think we even opened the Bible.  You sure she’s even a Christian.”  Spooks was winging it, but she kinda liked where this was going, especially when she saw the startled look on Nurse Rankin’s face.

“It’s not your place to question Miriam’s faith, or anything else around here for that matter.  Just keep your nose clean and out of other people’s business.”

But Spooks knew from the troubled look on her face that Nurse Rankin would be having a conversation with pretty little Merry Miriam before the night was out.  Funny, sometimes it took so little to stir up a hornet’s nest with “sane folks.”