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Writing Wednesday: Heather in the Hospital

We’re almost to release day for Vampires’ Daughter, the first novel about Heather. If you haven’t already read the serial version on Patreon, Radish, or Vella, I’m sharing excerpts on my blog.

Heather’s story starts before she meets Rosa in Small Town Witch. She actually met Rosa’s father first, because he is a doctor who works at the hospital where she wakes up in California. Read on to find out more about what happens.

Waking Up in the Hospital

For the second time in two days, I woke up in a hospital. But this time, I didn’t recognize the room at all. It took a moment for my memory to catch up where I’d been before passing out. An airplane, then a long drive through a dark forest… right, this must be in California.

I did a quick mental check: no major aches or pains anywhere, so I hadn’t hit anything when I fell. Just a little dizziness, and a throbbing in my arm. I glanced down and saw another IV drip hooked up.

I blinked against the bright fluorescent lights and looked around the room. It was small and the decor hadn’t been updated in at least a decade, but I had it all to myself.

The door swung open when I stirred and Mother popped her head in. “Oh, good, you’re awake. I’ll let the doctor know.” She left the door open and glided away.

I struggled to sit up before she came back, but my limbs felt heavy, like I’d just run an obstacle course. I fumbled with the side of the bed until I found the controls. One push of a button and the whole bed lifted me gently up into a sitting position. There were days when I wished for that kind of convenience at home—but I’d never let my parents think that I was lazy or I wasn’t strong enough to get myself out of bed.

A middle-aged doctor with thinning blond hair came into the room, followed by Mother. He bent over me with a smile. “It’s good to see you awake, Heather. My name is Dr. Samuel. Now that you’re up, I’m going to check you out, okay?”

My gaze went automatically to his ID badge, and I was surprised to read that Samuel was his first name. In my experience, doctors usually went by their last names—flaunting their top position in the hospital pecking order. Maybe he was trying to be friendly, or it could be because his last name was some hyphenated monstrosity: Alda-McAddams. It didn’t exactly roll off the tongue.

Mother gave me a pointed stare, and I realized I’d forgotten to answer. “Sure. Nice to meet you, Dr. Samuel,” I said, smiling politely.

He went through the usual checkup routine, asking me questions about what happened before I passed out and how frequently this happened.

I barely had a chance to open my mouth before Mother interrupted me.

“This happens often when she overexerts herself,” she said. “As to the cause, it’s a hereditary condition. You are familiar with the family history and what that means?” She opened her mouth, flashing her fangs.

Dr. Samuel didn’t flinch. “Yes, we received your daughter’s medical records from her last doctor.” He smiled down at me. “But I’d like to hear about what you experienced, Heather. That way, we can work together to come up with a treatment plan that fits your lifestyle.”

I blinked for a moment. No one ever asked me what I wanted. “It just feels overwhelming right now,” I admitted shyly. “We moved so fast and I don’t know anything about my new home. I don’t even know where I am right now. What’s the name of this hospital?”

The doctor pointed back to his ID badge again. “Mark Twain St. Joseph’s Hospital,” he said, showing me the logo printed beneath his name. “It’s a bit of a mouthful, I know. We’re in San Andreas, California.”


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.