Thursday, April 4, 2013
Thursday;s Opening Scene from The Doctor's Dilemma by Janet Lane Walters
The Doctor’s Dilemma
Janet Lane Walters
Published by Books We Love
Streams of people eddied around Nora Harte, the pile of luggage and the double stroller. She scanned the faces of the crowd. A babble of voices filled the air.
Where was he?
He knew the flight number and the time of arrival. The plane had landed on time. Since Thursdays were almost a universal doctor's day off, the trip had been scheduled for today.
She groaned. This simple baby run had become anything but easy.
The loudspeaker crackled. "Would passenger Nora Harte pick up one of the courtesy phones?" She looked around.
The second time the words blared, with a start, Nora realized the message was for her. "Yeah, right." She stared at the four suitcases, two diaper bags, and the pair of car seats. She'd need a multitude of New York minutes and the arms of an octopus to fulfill the request. What had kept Dr. McKay from the meet?
One of the twins puckered his mouth and added his screams to the cacophony in the baggage claim area of the Dallas airport. Nora crouched and stroked the baby's cheek. "We'll be out of here soon, honey." At least, she thought they would. "It's just a short delay."
The strident voice issued the command again. "How?" she asked. The logistics of the move defeated her. She couldn't abandon the twins and the luggage to search for a phone. She'd been deputized to deliver Molly and Tod Jamison to their guardian and she took this duty seriously.
The sight of a man in a gray uniform pushing an empty baggage cart solved the problem. "Sky cap, over here." She used the voice that had parted crowds on busy New York sidewalks. The one she hadn't used since she had moved upstate. "Take these bags and the infants."
"Don't load babies on the cart, ma'am."
"I know that. I meant the infant seats. I have to answer the phone."
"Excuse me." He stared and his expression projected the idea he thought she'd flipped.
Maybe she had. "The page. Nora Harte. That's me."
He nodded and pointed to the far wall. "It's over there. The blue phone."
"Thanks." Nora gripped the stroller handle. She pushed through the crowd like a subway rider aiming for the last seat. The noise level made her wonder if she'd be able to hear the message.
An easy trip, she thought. A way to add to her dream house account. Just fly to Dallas and deliver the babies to their guardian.
So far nothing about the trip had been a snap. Why had she thought her experience as a nurse would make the mission a breeze? A three month tour of duty in a busy city hospital nursery hadn't prepared her for the reality of caring for twins.
She hadn't counted on the surround-sound screams the twins had raised in protest of being airborne. Or of juggling two infants in the compact airplane bathroom. Not finding their guardian at the airport had been the final episode in her nightmare of the week.