Nursing Home Nightmares

Three Word Wednesday  CCXVI: advance, pander, shuffle
The halls were that depressing shade of green you don’t see anywhere on earth except old schools and hospitals.  An old man that looked more like he should be a patient was continuously buffing the floors.

Jack shuffled along, sloppy slippers barely clinging to sockless feet.  Shoulders slumped, head down, hair thin and messy, dandruff flaked on the shoulders of his red plaid flannel robe.  One pocket hung half-off and he could have used a clean hanky.  His advance was watched by no one except crazy old Mrs. Klusendorf who was parked in her doorway, tied to a wheelchair.  She was surrounded by a cloud of eau de urine and regarded him suspiciously as she nodded and hummed to herself.

“Hey there, Mr. Thomas.  You are just in time for your meds.”  The smiling perky blonde nurse peered up at him and he let his lip curl half his mouth into a grotesque parody of a smile.  He nodded but didn’t speak.  She poured him a little drink of water and handed him the paper pill cup.

He turned up the cup and tucked the pills into his jaw and swallowed the water and did the half smile thing again, pandering to her nurture needs. She smiled back at him.  He pointed behind the desk.  She turned and looked.  “Oh yes!  We are starting to decorate for Christmas!  Won’t that be fun?”  She grinned at him as he thought about what it would be like to have his fingers around her neck, watching her face turn red as she struggled, and then blue as the lack of oxygen had it’s final effect.

He would help Mrs. Klusendorf tonight.  He nodded and waved to the nurse and shuffled back down the hall, patting old Klusy on the shoulder as he went by.  No one should be tied in a wheelchair.  It was nearly bedtime and then four hours before bed checks.  Plenty of time.

5 thoughts on “Nursing Home Nightmares

  1. Jae Rose

    Hi Dee- what a great snapshot of the psyche ward..’eau de urine’ really rings a bell..and the oppressive paint.. I’m not sure how Jack is going to ‘help’ Mrs K but I am glad he is still fighting..(is ‘Jack’ a nod to ‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest?)..Jae

  2. Dee

    I loved One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but no. Jack was the name I found when I was looking for something to represent two personalities. Someone that looks harmless but is not. It meant the “supplanter” which seemed to fit but is maybe a little too obscure.
    One of my first jobs was nurses aide in a nursing home. Mrs. Klusendorf was based on a patient who really was tied in her wheelchair (mostly so she wouldn’t fall out) and hummed constantly. “Help” is not a good thing….
    This might need a little tweaking. I was tired and full of turkey and dressing 🙂

  3. Old Egg

    Visiting hospital over the last few weeks I have seen many a ‘nurse’ that I would love to have strangled. On the other hand there are those that are caring to the utmost. Mind you it wasn’t the perky blonds I had designs on but the sullen shirkers who avoided work wherever possible to the detriment of patient care.

    I wondered where you had gone. Thank you for your visit. That piece was entirely fictional, but that doesn’t mean some memories triggered it off.

    1. Dee Post author

      I hope your visit was successful and that you are feeling well. I have been writing poetry at and working and kitchen remodeling. Full plate lately. It is good to hear from you 🙂

  4. Donna Hole

    That was AWESOME. So descriptive of characters and setting. And the ending – wow. Sinister and endearing both. Man, do I love a good psychological thriller. And this was excellent.


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