No More Sick Days


bray_icon.gif juniper_icon.gif mala_icon.gif megan_icon.gif

Scene Title No More Sick Days
Synopsis The two oldest Lighthouse Kids recover enough to be moved— and have to do homework again.
Date March 16, 2011

Bannerman's Castle: Infirmary

The infirmary is a paradoxical room in that it sees more use than the people who work and volunteer there would probably like. Unlike the wooden cots in the castle's living quarters, the beds here are made of metal, lightweight and foldable in case furniture needs to be rearranged in the event of an emergency. Strung up sheets provide patients in severe and critical condition with some privacy, even if this privacy is so flimsy that it can easily be stripped away by someone simply lifting the fabric, but most of the cots here are dressed in their linens only and are visible from anywhere in the room.

At the back is a set of double doors that leads into a storage area where additional bedding, medicine and supplies are kept, and these doors are almost always closed and fastened with a heavy padlock to discourage the theft of painkillers and other prescription drugs that the infirmary is in possession of.

The infirmary's low ceiling is outfitted with cheap incandescent lighting and is one of the only rooms in the castle where electricity is available courtesy of its generators.

Sitting amid the children with the book that she's been reading chapter by chapter, Megan is finally approaching the end of the original Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie.

"Of course in the end Wendy let them fly away together. Our last glimpse of her shows her at the window, watching them receding into the sky until they were as small as stars.

As you look at Wendy, you may see her hair becoming white, and her figure little again, for all this happened long ago. Jane is now a common grown-up, with a daughter called Margaret; and every spring cleaning time, except when he forgets, Peter comes for Margaret and takes her to the Neverland, where she tells him stories about himself, to which he listens eagerly. When Margaret grows up she will have a daughter, who is to be Peter's mother in turn; and thus it will go on, so long as children are gay and innocent and heartless."**

Megan looks at the children and grins slightly. "The End. So now you know the original story of Peter Pan… and those of you who are sitting in here get to get out of the oral report of compare and contrast that Juniper and Bray are going to have to start working on."

"Yay, lucky us," Juniper says with a small roll of her eyes toward the roof of the infirmary. On the bright side, there's the smell of freshly cleaned linens filling the immediate area. It's not because the linens smell that good, but because someone got her ability back and decided to leave a fresh scent behind when she goes.

It certainly helps cover the smell of sickness that has filled the room, even if the numbers are lower than they'd been not too long ago.

And for the first time lower for good reasons.

"Will you come back and visit?" a smaller hoarse voice asks from a bed. Mala's sitting up for the first time in a while, but looks frailer and frailer instead of healthier like the oldest. She still grasps the puppet princess against her chest, only letting people take her away when she's been asleep for cleaning.

"Of course we will," Juniper says, reaching over to touch the small girl's arm, while Bray, shrugs a bit.

"I'm just glad I'll get to go outside today."

"We'll be leaving soon too," Mala says quietly, voice moving towards hopefulness, and looking at Megan for what she assumes will be confirmation.

Megan does in fact confirm it for the younger children. "They're just moving down the hall to give a little more room for anyone else who gets sick. And since all of you are on the mend, I think the rest of you will probably be getting excused pretty shortly here. They'll be able to come back in and visit, I promise."

The redhead knows that the kids are all frightened. Too many people have left and not come back. Mala is concerning her and is requiring still the most supervision, but any bit of hope Megan can offer, she will. "We'll have to pick a new book to read, too. Maybe Juniper and Bray will be able to do some of the actual reading as they feel better." Because that, too, will make the kids feel better, she hopes. In a sly aside, she adds, "It would forestall oral reports a while longer."

"Can we do science instead? We've read so many books already— it's all Gillian ever made us do," Bray says with a grumble, looking over at the still sick boys. They aren't all doing as well as Megan made it sound, but there is improvement in a few. None as much as him and Juniper.

There's a wrinkle of Juniper's nose on her freckle-lined face, obviously not as 'yay science' as Bray may be, but she does nod. "Gillian's usually the one who picks books," she says, glancing toward the curtain hidden bed. "Maybe some history? We haven't done history in a while."

Megan figured the reading was easier on them, but if they want history or science, those could be done as well. She looks over the children with a small smile. She has to keep the faith for them. She can't let them lose it; it's terrifying enough to be sick like this. "I'm game with whatever topics you want to read on," she admits. "Do you have a particular period of history you'd like to hear about? Science is harder to do when no one's feeling up to doing experiments, but history is definitely one we can manage."

"Astronomy is a lot of reading and star charts and pictures— and telescopes," Bray offers to try and give her a counter argument to the science reading things. "And now that we can go outside we can actually do things— " Like look at the stars. And this far from the city there's actually a much better view, on nights that aren't cloud.

"I like the Victorian Era," Juniper adds, with a reach over to push on the other teen's shoulder. "We could also read Jane Austen. Gillian never let us read those books, except the zombie version."

"Zombie version?" Mala chokes out, looking worried and wide eyed. Apparently not all the kids read the zombie version.

"No zombie versions," Megan asserts with a grin. "Tell you what. We'll alternate. We can spend the upcoming week on astronomy because actually the interesting thing is that the moon is in its closest point to the earth this week, I think. So perhaps those of you well enough can traipse on up there and we'll take a look if it's clear, okay? And then next week, we'll see what we can dig up on the Victorian era." Anything to keep their minds active. Seriously.

The immediate excitement is visible on Bray's face, as it seems he'll get his wish first. It almost makes up for the following dresses and petticoats and horse drawn carriages he'll have to deal with the next week. "Oh man, yeah, I remember reading about that— I have a telescope, too." A birthday present, which he intends to use. Now that he can.

After the teenage boy gets to his feet, Juniper rises as well, moving over to touch Mala's hair gently and spread it back from her forehead. The little girl looks up and asks, "Can you ask Santa to visit?"

"I'll see what I can do— and I'll visit, I promise," she adds, kneeling down and kissing the little girl on her sweaty forehead, leaving behind a vague scent of wild flowers.

Megan watches the older kids and how they handle the younger ones. Gratitude shows clear in her blue eyes. "You guys can come in and sit with them whenever you like. Just make sure you wash up the way I showed you every time you go in or out of the doorway. Okay? And if you start feeling worse, come immediately in." Her tone is gentle, and she gets the smaller kids ready for naps.

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