Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Excerpts from Amanda Younger: Girl Detective

She looked at her arms which had been pretty well bandaged up. “I remember being shot at,” she thought,. “There were bottles, test tubes, they exploded all over me and cut me. From the looks of my arms, that at least is real. I remember crawling out to a boat and then, somebody took me out and there were people, lots of people asking questions and I don’t know the answers.”
“Amanda, are you all right?” called a voice from the other side of the door.
“I’m coming,” answered the girl. “I guess I might as well stick with the name Amanda,” she thought to herself. “If the agency comes looking for me, maybe that’s what they’ll look for, somebody named Amanda. Besides, till I know what’s going on, I’d better just keep what little I do remember to myself.” She held onto the sink for a few more seconds, feeling totally confused, and then went back into the hospital room.
The nurse reached out and supported her till they got to the so-called easy chair and then helped her to sit down. “There, you just sit there for a minute. You seem to have taken quite a beating , somebody really did a job on you. Now you told the doctor earlier that your name is Amanda. Can you give me your last name and I’ll put it on your chart. The police are going to want it to help them find your parents. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if your parents are already found. I expect they’ve been looking for you.”
“Younger, younger,” muttered the girl.
“Amanda Younger, that’s a nice name,” said the nurse, writing on the chart.
“No, I mean,” the girl stopped. “I didn’t mean that’s my name,” she thought to herself. “I meant that I’m suddenly younger than I really am. There won’t be any parents looking for me, at least I don’t think so. But I might as well keep still and let them think it’s my name. It’s a good joke, after all, I am younger, unless this being a grownup is all in my mind, my head just isn’t working right, I don’t know what’s going on.”
“Here comes someone with some lunch for you. Unm that looks good.”
“Can I have a cup of coffee?” asked Amanda.
Nurse Judy looked a little surprised. “I don’t think so,” she answered. “You’re a little young for coffee for a few years yet. But look at this nice glass of orange juice, doesn’t that look yummy? I wouldn’t mind having a glass of that myself.”
“Then you drink it,” answered Amanda. “I certainly don’t intend to.”
Nurse Judy’s mouth drew into a firm line and she looked as if she was restraining herself from what she wanted to say.
“Oh, she thinks I’m a kid and that I’m acting like a fresh little brat, which I suppose by all appearances I am,” thought Amanda. She half wanted to laugh, thinking how she herself would have reacted if she were back in her own body if some wise mouthed little kid had spoken to her the way she had just spoken to Nurse Judy. “I’d better watch my mouth if I want people to co-operate with me in getting this mess straightened out. Besides, none of this is her fault; she’s just trying to be nice.”
Amanda looked up and tried to smile at the nurse. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that quite the way it sounded. My head just feels so strange. I don’t drink orange juice, I’m allergic,” she added. “So if you’d like it, you really may have it,”
“Oh, no, I had a good breakfast and I’m not quite ready for lunch. You may have taken some good blows to the head. Do you remember anything about what happened to you?”
“Not much,” answered Amanda, as she ate a bit of the toast which was on her breakfast tray. “I remember getting cut, and I remember waking up when somebody took me out of a boat and boy, I remember how it hurt last night when the doctors’ were doing stuff to me, at least I guess it was last night.”
“There, I didn’t tell her anything that they wouldn’t already know,” she thought to herself. “They can see that I’m cut and probably think somebody tried to kidnap me or something.”
“Actually they found you really early this morning,” said Nurse Judy. “You went to sleep after they finished bandaging you so I suppose it does seem like last night. It’s a little after noon time right now. It’s just awful. I don’t see how anyone can do something to a little kid like was done to you. It’s a rotten shame. Now you just eat what you can and then we’ll see about getting you dressed. I have an idea you’ll be having some company shortly. The police will want to talk to you I’m sure. They’ll want to find out all you know about the folks that attacked you. They’ll want to catch them as soon as possible before they do this to somebody else.
“All I’ve got for clothes is a swim suit and I think they cut that off me last night,” said Amanda. She was beginning to remember things that had happened in the hospital quite clearly, but everything else was vague, so vague, as if maybe a dream. “Maybe I am a kid, maybe I really am,” she thought. “I’m not sure, I’m just not sure.”
“That’s alright,” answered Nurse Judy. “We’ve got some things here we think will fit you.”
“You’re not going to try to put some dead person’s things on me are you?” asked Amanda, in horror.
Nurse Judy looked surprised and then laughed. “No nothing like that,” she answered. “Nothing like that at all. We just have some things here from Child Protective Services in case a kid comes in that well, needs some clothes for some reason and I think we’ve got some that will just fit you. What do you like best, girly stuff like dresses or do you like slacks best?”
“Slacks, dungarees, comfortable clothes,” answered Amanda. “I’m not some baby doll.”
“I’ll go see what I can find,” said Nurse Judy. “I’ll get out of here and let you enjoy your lunch.”
Amanda ate a bit more, then pushed the rest away and looked in the bedside table, where she found a pad of paper and a pen, put there curtsey of the hospital. She thought for a moment and then she started jotting down what she could remember, using the code language she’d learned as an agent.

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