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Unformatted text preview: There was a sound behind Mona; and then a female voice spoke in a rasping, unfriendly whisper. "Don't wake her up, dear. We had a hell of a time with her this morning." "Check her vital signs lately?" Mona asked, turning to the nurse. But the nurse had already seen the blood. "I don't think there's much chance of waking her up. Why don't you call my cousin Anne Marie? She's down in the lobby. Tell her to come up here immediately." The nurse was an old woman; she picked up the dead woman's hand. At once she set it down, and then she backed away from the bed, and out of the room. "Wait a minute," said Mona. "Did you see anybody come in here?" But in an instant she knew the question was pointless. This woman 247 was too afraid of being blamed for this to even respond. Mona followed her, and watched her rush down to the station, walking about as fast as a person can walk without running. Then Mona went back to the bed. She felt the hand. Not ice-cold. She gave a long sigh; she could hear footsteps in the corridor, the muffled sound of rubber-soled shoes. She leaned over the bed, and brushed her mother's hair back from her face, and kissed her. The cheek held only a tiny bit of fading warmth. Her forehead was already cold. She thought sur...
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- Spring '10