By Annabel Schofield



By Annabel Schofield

Prologue: Hospital - San Fernando Valley - January 1st, 2000


“So this is what they call an out of body experience,” mused a lifeless Angelika as the fluorescent emergency room lights streaked by overhead. This wasn’t exactly how she’d pictured her penultimate mortal moments. Where was George Clooney? Where was the handsome, young but prematurely graying doctor with the comforting smile, gently clutching her inert yet perfectly manicured hand? These so-called medical professionals seemed more than a tad pissed at her. Weird.


A corpulant, voluptuously sweating nurse barked at a tired, decidedly non - telegenic doctor, “Pulse is weak, doctor. Forty over forty five.” 

“Get her into the ICU. Test her for all pharmaceuticals. Question her friends, they’ll know what she took.”

            “Assholes took off soon as they signed her in..” responded the nurse. That’s  charming, thought Angelika, in more ways than one. The doctor sighed impatiently and  spat, “Insurance?”

            “Negative.”

            “Perfect. Another fucked-up druggie draining our over extended health system. Just do what you can.” No...not what Angelika had come to expect from E.R. reruns. This would never do at all.

The nurse pulled the gurney into a cubicle and wrenched a nylon curtain around it. It was obvious that had Angelika been alive and breathing, she would have been a world-class beauty, but at this precise moment, she was looking decidedly blue and blotchy. The tubes rammed up her nostrils and digging into the dessicated flesh of her skinny white arms didn’t improve her sex appeal any, either. The nurse grabbed a formidable hyperdermic syringe and drew back the plunger. A drop of viscous liquid ejaculated from the tip.  “Clear!” she screeched.

Angelika inwardly reflected that the nurse’s voice alone was sufficently vociferous to raise the nearly dead. As the needle pierced Angelika's chest cavity, adrenaline coursed through her bloodstream. Her peaceful semi-coma exploded into sharp pixilating white fragments, like an incandescent window shattering; each shard mutated and divided, forming kaleidoscopic snowflakes. Angelika’s bloodshot eyes snapped open. “Now that's what I call a rush!” she gasped, to noone in particular.


Some hours later, Angelika woke again. It was twilight now and she lay in a hospital room, mercifully alone. Her heavy eyelids struggled open and she squinted myopically around her. She had never felt so drained. She couldn’t remember anything after dancing with Lily at that party. Nothing, just blackness. No life flashing before her eyes, no tunnel of white light. Nada.

From beyond the calm haven of the room, she could hear the distant cacophony of hospital life: the occasional plaintive cries of anguish, loss and pain; mechanical bleeping, the rubbery wet slapping of the nurses’ shoes on the tiled corridor outside. She inhaled the antiseptic, chemical odors mingling with the putrid reek of over-processed hospital food. They reminded her of school dinners and she had hated school dinners.

           Bile rose in Angelika’s throat and she retched. “Hey.” Someone delicately wiped the spittle from her dry lips. Angelika looked up. A blurred image of a beautiful smiling woman gradually merged into focus. Athena was here. That was odd. And Christ, she looked amazing considering what she’d just been through. Incredible, actually.

“Athena? What are you doing here?” Not a partcularly challenging opening gambit for a highly charged sibling reunion, but Angelika’s brain was not firing on all cylinders this particular evening.

“Ssh, darling. I came as soon as I heard.” Athena’s silvery voice soothed like a warm bath while Chet Baker played from Bose speakers. 

“But, I thought I’d never see you again. After...you know.” Angelika, remembering started to cry.

“Don’t be daft, love. It doesn’t work like that. I’m your sister, you can’t get rid of me that easily.” Athena gently smoothed Angelika’s forehead. 

“But...” muttered a confused Angelika.

“Have you been at the Botox again?” smiled Athena, teasing. Angelika laughed painfully through her tears. She winced as the IV tubes bit into her scrawny flesh.

“Hush, Angel. How are you feeling?” continued Athena. Angelika tried to sit but found that she couldn’t move much.   

             “Weak as fuck. And these tubes are hideous.”

             “Not your best look, darling.”

             “Gee thanks,” replied Angelika, “if I’d known I’d be playing this scene, I might have have dressed for the occasion. Something diaphanous, La Dame Aux Camelias, or the like.”

             “You could have at least put some slap on. Even Marilyn managed that. Very disappointed.” mocked Athena.

             “Sorry, Mother,” responded Angelika, “but this wasn’t exactly planned, you know.”

Athena looked at her sharply. “Not planned?”

“No - this was not in Angelika's great Palm Pilot of life. I just wanted to stop thinking for a moment.”

Athena, deeply touched said gently, “That bad?”

              Angelika scanned her sister’s concerned eyes, “How can you even ask me that?”  

              Athena looked away and squeezed her hand.  “Well, how did we get here?”

“God only knows. Johnny’s car? Maybe Lily’s?”  Angelika was as annoyingly evasive as ever.

Don't be flippant,” replied Athena, “you know what I mean.”

“You want details?”  Angelika glanced away, suddenly coy.

“Full disclosure. Do not leave anything out. Not now.”

              Angelika inhaled dramatically in order to invest Bette Davis’ infamous quote with the appropriate gravitas before announcing, “Then fasten your seat belts, ‘cos it's gonna be a bumpy night...”

6 comments:

Sue Field said...

Love your writing, You are SO talented. Can't wait for the next instalment. Make it soon x

Sue Field said...

Love your writing, You are SO talented. Can't wait for the next instalment. Make it soon x

Shorepatrol said...

Love the shopping. On to the psychedelics and sex!

Annabel Schofield said...

Oh they're coming! After Jamaica, we head to New York in 1984.....

Hein Hoven said...

Saucy, racy and funny. Cannot wait for the next installment!

Tanya Dempsey said...

Loving this!!!!