“The Deepest Hour” by Tina Lonergan

December 3, 2011

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In the deepest hour of the night, nightmares come. Trapped in a hospital bed, a patient listens as death moves through the room toward him. Can he get help in time?


The nights were never quiet. Even the nurses’ soft-soled shoes seemed loud in the rarefied atmosphere of the hospital at night. The ward was on the other side of the building from the accident and emergency, so although we heard the sirens at a distance, the resulting fuss didn’t filter down to us.

I was never a good sleeper. Night after night, I lay and listened to the snores and sleeping moans of my fellows in the ward. The room was too hot and filled with the smell of sick men. I lay there, in the deepest hour of the night, taking involuntary deep breaths, trying to get enough air into my lungs, wiping sweat out of my eyes. A nurse glanced into the ward and saw me awake. She disappeared for a minute and returned with a jug of cold water. I drank a little and when she was gone, dipped my hand into the jug and swiped the water across my face. It was cold enough to make me gasp and I felt a little better when I lay back down. The old man to my left struggled onto his side and gave a heavy sigh. I waited for him to take his next breath and was on the point of pressing the bell for the nurse when he finally hitched it in.



Michael December 3, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Wonderful! Love it!!

Brian Mc December 12, 2011 at 4:17 PM

I want to read more 🙂

Omicronon February 24, 2012 at 12:30 AM

Aw… a cliffhanger! How could you do this to your readers? Just kidding, great story.

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