Chapter 4 of ElderHeart

Chapter four of my story “ElderHeart” is uploaded in the “ElderHeart (Novel)” page. Here is the newest chapter. To read the other chapters, then click on the “Menu” button on the top of the page, then click on “ElderHeart (Novel)”. You are also click on this link.

Anyways, here is the newest chapter of ElderHeart:

Chapter 4: Animal Hospital

“They what?!” Shouted Laura as she slammed the palms of her hands onto the long, mahogany table. She and the doctor were inside the dining room of their Victorian home, the doctor sitting at one end and Laura standing at the other end. Their home was large enough to be called a mansion; a two story turret where Laura’s room was located, a dining room able to fit over fifty people, a gourmet kitchen, a master bedroom where the doctor slept, and a grand entryway. Hanging above the porch was a sign that said: “ANIMAL HOSPITAL”. It was a lavish gift to them from Mayor Ann. “Are they allowed to do that?!” She shouted again.

The doctor sat calmly in his seat, his pale, wrinkled hands stirring a cup of tea with a spoon. His grey eyes looked serious while his white hair was combed neatly. He had a strong, athletic build with rectangular shoulders and minor muscle. His curly mustache was trimmed and so was his short beard. He spoke in a deep, firm voice. His white lab coat, clear of creases and folds, was wore over his camel colored shirt. “Afraid so, my dear.” He regarded his apprentice with a cool look. “The City Council is allowed to disbar anyone from the local schools.”

“But…why?!” Asked Laura. “Why fire you?!”

“Because dear,” His calm voice never faltered. “As much as I enjoy teaching zoology at a university, the council decided that animal biology has absolutely no use in here. Plus, it just didn’t appeal to young people anymore.”

“That…” Her voice began to quiver.

“Chin up, dear. All is not loss.” The doctor reassured. “I may not be a professor anymore, but I can still operate.”

“But…Doctor Thorne, you loved teaching!” She exclaimed. “That was the one fun thing you did!” She crossed her arm across her chest. “This isn’t fair.”

“It’s not like we can do anything about it.”

“I know…” She said, dejectedly. She sat back down in her seat, making a face. “But still. Why did Mayor Ann allow this to happened?”

“It’s isn’t her fault, dear. It wasn’t her choice, but the popular choice of the council.” The doctor stood from his chair and made him way to Laura’s side. He placed a hand on her shoulder. “It’s fine to be upset, my dear.”

“What I’m more upset about is our situation.” Laura said, looking up at the doctor. “No one is coming to us for help. What if the city forces us to leave?”

“You must remember that everything gets better in time, Laura. Regardless of whether people think we’re useful, we’ll still be here to assist our four-legged friends.”

She smiled at him and he smiled back. Dr. Thorne was never one to act on impulsive. He was always reasonable and logical. Because of this characteristic, some people assumed his to be aloof, unfeeling, and stubborn, but in reality, the opposite was true. He was warm, caring, and always knew exactly what to say to cheer up Laura. He loved working with young people, almost as much as he loved working with animals. His belief was that all walks of life should be respected and treated with care. Laura never knew her parents, so the doctor was something of a father figure to her.

She exhaled, releasing all of her frustration. “Whatever you say, Doctor.”

… … … … … …

It was late evening when Laura and the doctor finished their dinner. Laura retreated to her bedroom, where she laid out on the seat beside the window, staring out. Outside, she could see the full moon and stars though the glass dome. Below them, was the lush and fast forest. The yellow glow of fireflies danced around branches of the trees in the forest. The forest, clear though the glass dome, looked so close that she could walk up and touch one of the trees. She would often dream about being in that forest.

The garden in the glass dome of the university was the closet she gotten to seeing a beautiful example of nature in months. There wasn’t much natural nature in the city. Lost Station was mostly buildings and houses; any greenery, like the lush-looking lawns in the suburban area, was artificial. The only natural plant life was in clay pots, brought in the plant nursery and taken home.

There weren’t even many animals in Lost Station. That was, there weren’t many animals that were thought as useless to human beings. In Lost Station, only animals that could feed the hungry people of the city or act as a source for entertainment to keep people happy were allowed. One couldn’t have a pet without having the city force it into work.

She groaned, remembering hers and Dr. Thorne’s situation. People in Lost Station didn’t think of nature as a need of survival. That was all they cared about: survival. Despite surviving for many years already, everyone born in Lost Station feared for their lives every single day, and so prohibited anything that might threaten their survival. By chance, if someone was judged useless, they weren’t allowed any form of humanity.

She stared above the trees, eyeing the dark sky, and found herself wishing to be on the outside. Outside of the dome and away from the hateful city. As she was thinking this, she caught sight of a bright blue light racing across the sky, before fading away above the trees. A comet, perhaps? She hoped so, then maybe, her wish would come true.


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