The girl next door

Maxie Forster is a binman who carries out ashes from the coal fires of North Shields the holes in his leather soled boots are letting in water from the rain and he cannot afford to go and take the boots to the cobbler shop in Billy Mill. He tries repairing them with some old lino and cuts the shape out with a stanley knife and glues them with some evo stick then places cardboard in the insides. Looking over the road on his round he spots a family being evicted by the bailiffs - the wagon is loaded with furniture and the woman and her five children stand in the rain as the barrow with everything she owns is pushed down the street.


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“Well I found a lot of blood this morning when I went to the loo Doctor and I’ve had to change myself in the loo here before coming to see you.

There was a look of genuine concern on the doctors face as he asked her to go behind the screen and remove her skirt and underwear.

He put on a pair of rubber gloves and his gold rimmed bifocal glasses and a mask over his mouth before entering.’

He asked her to open her legs and place them into the stirrups that had been placed over the couch.

After a quick inspection he gave Shirley a fresh sanitary towel and disposed of the other.’

“Please get dressed Mrs Forster.’

After she got ready the doctor wrote something on a piece of paper as she sat down again.’

“I want you to go to hospital Mrs Forster I’m afraid that you are haemorrhaging.’

I will call for an ambulance to take you right away; is there anyone who you can contact?’

“Well there’s my husband but he will be on his round now; he’s a binman you see.’

“Do you have family?’

“Yes my daughter Catherine but I haven’t seen her in a while.’

“You need to contact her immediately. Please give me her number and I will ring for you.’

Shirley took the notepad from her bag and opened the page at her daughter’s phone number.

“Okay,’ if you can go through to reception and sit there the ambulance will not be long.’

Shirley got up and thanked the doctor as he copied the number then gave Shirley the notebook back.

She left the surgery and went into the waiting area.’

The doctor dialled the number and waited; when it answered he asked who was speaking.’

This is Mrs Catherine Arthur how can I help you?’

“Hello.’ I am Doctor McAlister from the surgery at North Shields; I need you to go straight to Preston Hospital immediately Mrs Arthur your mother is seriously ill.’

“What’s happened?’

“Well without tests being carried out I cannot say; but she is haemorrhaging badly.’

“I have called an ambulance and it will be taking her to the hospital in the next five minutes.’

“I am leaving now doctor.’

The sound of the ambulance could be heard as it neared the surgery and then when it pulled up outside Shirley was escorted inside. The crew got in quickly as a nurse took her blood pressure and fitted a canola.’

The nurse secured the canola with some Elastoplasts as the serene sounded and the ambulance fed its way through the traffic to the hospital.

She managed to walk into the hospital but was helped by the two ambulance men as her legs were now unsteady with the blood loss.’

They got her a wheelchair and they rushed her straight into the emergency room.’

She felt very feint as a blood sample was taken from her and she was placed on a drip with a blood transfusion once they had found a match.

There were doctors around the bed that she was now lying on who were prodding and probing her stomach.’

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