Posted in 1940s, Bogdana, Fourth Russian novel, Historical fiction, Writing

WeWriWa—Taken to the operating room


Welcome back to Weekend Writing Warriors and Snippet Sunday, weekly Sunday hops where writers share 8–10 sentences from a book or WIP. The rules have now been relaxed to allow a few more sentences if merited, so long as they’re clearly indicated, to avoid the creative punctuation many of us have used to stay within the limit.

I decided to switch back to Dream Deferred: Lyuba and Ivan at University, the fourth novel with my Russian characters, because the subject of Chapter 41, “A Modern-Day Greek Tragedy,” is now very timely and relevant. It’s September 1949, and 20-year-old Bogdana knows beyond the shadow of a doubt that she became pregnant when her 35-year-old secret boyfriend, his nephew, and their roommate assaulted her six weeks ago. Without a job, and afraid to ask her parents for mystery money, she took matters into her own hands.

Bogdana began bleeding profusely when she used a sharpened piece of hanger, and she called a cab in desperation, asking for her friend Achilles and intending to see the radical Dr. Scholl. She fell unconscious shortly after she crawled out to meet the cab, and Achilles sped to the underground clinic.

Achilles runs down the stairs, almost tripping, his shirt soaked with blood.

“What happened?” Dr. Scholl asks as he appears in the hallway with a stretcher.

Achilles sets Bogdana onto it and divests her of her handbag. “Six weeks ago, she was violated by three so-called men, and came to see you the day after. I doubt I’m wrong in guessing she tried to give herself an abortion. She must’ve called me when she realized something had gone very wrong.”

Dr. Scholl pushes the stretcher into the nearest operating room. He scrubs up and puts on rubber gloves, then starts a saline IV in Bogdana’s right arm.

“Open the refrigerator and hand me one of the blood bags on the top shelf,” Dr. Scholl says. “There’s no time to find out her blood type, so we have to play it safe with O.”

The ten lines end here. A few more follow to finish the scene.

Achilles complies, and Dr. Scholl starts a second IV in her left arm. The final step is putting a mask over her face and starting the administration of anesthesia.

“She’s already unconscious,” Achilles protests. “Isn’t that a little unnecessary?”

“This is in case she comes to herself during the procedure. Better safe than sorry. It’s more effective than giving her a strong pain relief drug like morphine. I’m not trained in anesthesiology, but I’m familiar with the basics for emergencies.”

“Do you need any help?” Achilles asks as Dr. Scholl moves Bogdana’s feet onto the sock-covered footrests. “I’m a med student, and hoping to become a doctor like you.”


Writer of historical fiction sagas and series, with elements of women's fiction, romance, and Bildungsroman. Born in the wrong generation on several fronts.

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