Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors, where participants share 8 sentences from a book or WIP. Today’s excerpt comes from Chapter 37, “Storm Before the Calm,” of my current WIP. Inessa, her children, her youngest cousin, and her youngest adoptive sister have finally arrived in America in August of 1937, and moved into the now rather crowded old family apartment above the restaurant where two of her cousins have been working since they came to America in 1934.
At her old friends’ insistence, Inessa has invited over both longtime community midwife Mrs. Kuzmitch and a very progressive doctor who now does much of his work underground. Her old friend Vera serves as her translator. Given her traumatic injuries, and the morphine, Prontosil (an early antibiotic), and codeine she’s had, she’s considering using a hospital for the third child she’s expecting. But before the consultation can begin, Dr. Scholl, who also appeared in my second Russian novel, wants to see her leg wound. This has been tweaked a bit to fit 8 sentences.
I gave Dr. Scholl that name in honor of Sophie and Hans Scholl of the anti-Nazi White Rose movement.
“How are you today, Mrs. Zyuganova?” Dr. Scholl asks, extending his hand. “As I’m a doctor first and a specialist in women’s reproductive health second, I’d like to get a look at this wounded leg before asking any questions about this pregnancy.”
“Tell him to remove those damn bullet shards,” Inéssa says as she rolls over. “They’re probably what’s causing me so much extended pain.”
Dr. Scholl opens one of his bags and removes several bottles, gauze, medical tape, long tweezers, cotton swabs, saline solution, and a small flashlight. Véra explains to Inéssa that some of the bullet fragments are poking through the still-healing wound, and that Dr. Scholl can see a number of others inside the wound. Inéssa closes her eyes as she feels Dr. Scholl rubbing a numbing agent on and around the wound, followed by the vague sensation of tweezers entering her skin over and over. After the wound has been washed out with saline and the blood rubbed off, Dr. Scholl wraps it in dressing and tapes it in place.