Cry Nurse

Heat waves shimmered upward and outward from the blindingly white walls of County Medical Center. Inside their quivering cocoon, the sprawling hospital seemed to shiver unnaturally in the blistering noon sun.

Mary Cason parked her small foreign-make car in the space marked “STAFF,” pausing only long enough to run up the windows. Prudently, she left a small opening at the top to prevent the glass from checking in the fierce heat.

“Not that it wouldn’t be worth wetting the upholstery, just to get a good rain, “she told herself recklessly. “And it isn’t even summer, actually.”

Everything about this Central-Florida city rubbed Mary the wrong way. She didn’t like having to live away from the shore. for one thing. The smell of salt water was far more invigorating than this orange-blossom-laden atmosphere the people here were so lyrical over. Cloying, she considered it.