“And, I’m late again! Ain’t I the happiest woman alive!”, Lauren growled with clenched teeth as she woke up with a start and saw that the time was well past eight o’clock. Her shift started in another fifteen minutes. “Why did I even purchase this piece of junk to wake me up!”, she let out a small scream as she tossed the alarm clock which she purchased from a gift shop the evening before. Lauren Hart was a doctor working at the Clementine Hospital in Feli-City. Oversleeping might seem like a problem almost every other person on the street faces and some don’t even feel guilty about it, but this wasn’t the case when it was about Lauren. She was an early riser and a Yoga practitioner who always used to wake up an hour before the sun and was done with everything by the time the sun said hello.

 Lauren quickly washed herself and haphazardly tried her best to get ready in the least time possible. She cursed herself for oversleeping for the ninth day in a row! She took a good look at herself in the mirror and saw that her fiery red hair which used to be neatly braided every time she went to the hospital was in an entangled mess. Her face looked effortlessly beautiful, but she didn’t feel the same way. She scanned her body from head to toe in the mirror as her eyeballs took in a good look of her petite figure tapering at the ends of her limbs. She adjusted her uniform, which she had fortunately ironed the last night just in case the alarm clock failed to do the magic its seller had promised on his life. “You better be dead before I come there and actually take your life” Lauren grunted as she exited her house and entered her midnight blue Mercedes.

Lauren managed to somehow reach the hospital by 9:30 AM and tried to sneak into the premises without being noticed by either Dr. Clementine Wilson or her husband, Dr. Arthur Wilson. She smiled at Anna as she reached the reception desk, who had already signed her in at 8:10 AM. “Lunch is on me”, Lauren said as she grabbed the chart of the day’s assignments neatly arranged by Anna, who was too underpaid for the skill she had with analytics and charts. As Lauren was still getting a good look at her schedule, she didn’t notice when Dr. Arthur Wilson came and stood in front of her. Lauren kept walking and bumped into him. “At least stay awake in the hospital premises, Dr. Hart”, he said in a grave and low voice. Lauren bounced off his big body and saved herself from knocking down a patient who happened to be passing by behind her.

Lauren’s cheeks went red with embarrassment as she looked down at her feet, unable to face the round, spectacled face of Dr. Wilson. What shocked her the most was the fact that he had called her Dr. Hart instead of Lauren like he always did. She guessed that the chief neurosurgeon of the hospital was pissed beyond measure by her continuous late arrivals. “Why does the schedule say that you arrived over an hour ago, when your face clearly shows that it hasn’t even spent a couple seconds under the sun?”, he questioned her in an irritated manner. That was very unlikely of him. He was always a well-mannered and soft-spoken man, especially with Lauren. “She is working with me, Doctor”, a voice which just happened to be Lauren’s favourite voice said from behind Dr. Wilson. A dark-haired woman with a perfectly tanned hue of the skin emerged from a corridor. “And what have you two been working on, Dr. Harper?” Dr. Wilson questioned the woman who just spoke, who went and stood beside Lauren and lied with zero effort, “We were both working on that new variant of medicines we ordered last week with a fresh batch which arrived just today. We made some tweaks in the previous ones, and are ready to compare the results today, Doctor”, she said it so easily, it seemed as if she was giving him her address. It was no secret that Dr. Sally Harper knew everything going around in the hospital like the back of her hand. Heck, she could give Anna, the receptionist, a run for her money.

Dr. Wilson stared hard at Sally for a few seconds, but chose not to prolong the matter further and gave both his colleagues a curt nod and walked away. “Did I ever tell you how much I love you?” Lauren said playfully, finally managing to properly breathe again. “Come on! What’ll happen to Charlie, then?” Sally said with an innocent expression on her face and a foxy expression in her eyes. “Oh, screw Charlie!”, said Lauren rolling her eyes. “I know you wanna”, Sally responded more voraciously than Lauren could handle and burst into laughter as Lauren punched her shoulder very hard.

“So, anything new or that same old and boring dream you always have?” Sally asked Lauren as she took a bite of her taco. “Fireflies”, said Lauren as she dug her teeth into a taco of hers. “You are late because you were dreaming about fireflies? Come on girl! If you’re gonna be this late every day, at least fuck Chris Hemsworth or someone else!”, Sally exclaimed, unable to keep her voice down. “Shut your trap, you lewd bitch!” Lauren scowled at her, almost choking on her taco. “But fireflies, seriously? Today’s rescue mission was a waste of my talents. I should’ve let you have it from Wilson”, Sally said stuffing her mouth with another bite. “Doctor, Wilson”, Lauren corrected Sally. “Returning the kindness, eh? Dr. Hart?” Sally nudged Lauren and her face drooped. “He never behaves with me this way. He sounded more disappointed than angry. He treats us more like a father than a boss. I will make sure that I don’t get late from tomorrow onwards”, Lauren said, her taco still in hand while Sally’s taco had long disappeared. “Be early if you want to be early, but don’t burden yourself with those theories of yours. Seriously, what is with you people looking for a certain connection everywhere?” Sally said in an annoyed manner, but this is what Lauren needed to cheer up. Sally was about to wipe her hands on her scrubs when she realised what she was doing. “Get rid of your Netflix habits, Dr. Harper”, Lauren said and went on to finish her taco before it got any colder.

Both Sally and Lauren sat down with the apparatus they needed to run tests on the new medicines which had arrived. When Sally got a little bored of the task at hand, she cajoled Lauren once again to speak about her dream to break the monotony. “I ain’t much fond of your hipster dream, but, even that seems more interesting than this job”, Sally said, refusing to look at another pill. “Well, I don’t understand it much myself. The only reason why my attention is fixed onto it is because I have the same dream every night. In the beginning, it was just a vast plain. On the third day, the sky turned purple, on the fifth day, I started to see myself in that strange land, and today, on the ninth day, the fireflies appeared. They seemed to be guiding me somewhere, but I woke up before I could follow them”, Lauren said while effortlessly conducting the various tests necessary to get a clearer image of the property of the medicines. “I don’t have any idea if I was more bored before or after you told me that story”, Sally said shaking her head and pulling out her phone. “Sally! We’re not allowed to use our phones while on an assignment!” Lauren said sharply and tried to snatch Sally’s phone from her hand. Sally pulled away in time and said with a smirk, “Unlike you, Daddy Wilson’s princess, I’m more of a bad girl who breaks rules for pleasure, with pleasure.”

Sally scrolled down the notifications to check if her crush had posted any updates, but saw a news article which caught her attention. “The Feli-City vampire hunted another person last night”, she read aloud for Lauren to listen. “I wonder what is causing the deaths of these people”, Sally said, her eyes unwavering from the screen of her phone. “I get that you don’t believe in vampires, and neither do I, but you can acknowledge that these people didn’t just die. It’s a murder and anybody can tell”, Lauren said looking at Sally, forgetting about the solution she had placed on a burner. “I know its a murder. What I am more curious about is the sort of poison used by the killer. The thing which is causing the deaths of these people. We haven’t got hold of any of the bodies of these deceased people in our hospital, otherwise, I would’ve pinpointed the cause of death with on flick of my fingers”, Sally said flicking her fingers. “Ahan, and why do you believe that, miss forensic expert?” Lauren poked Sally, imitating the way Sally always poked her. “That’s because I’m sharper than the others”, Sally said with a shrug. “Says who?”, Lauren asked, “My very name. Its Dr. S. Harper, or, Dr. Sharper”, Sally said and burst into laughter as Lauren’s face grimaced at the bad joke she cracked.

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