Please welcome my friend Christine Falcone to the blog. In her post, Christine gives us a wonderful tale from true life. Christine’s debut mystery,
Ex’d Out: A Melanie Bass Mystery, was released on October 18th. Chris is giving a copy of Ex’d Out to one lucky commenter below.
Take it away, Chris!
A Visit To The Morgue
Melanie Bass, my protagonist in Ex’d Out, is a nurse and as such has had to deal with death. She was not prepared, however, to discover her ex-husband dead. She also never expected that he had somehow put her in jeopardy by his actions prior to his murder.
Like Melanie, prior to retirement, I worked as an RN. During this time, I was also writing – mysteries for the most part. As something wonderful or unusual or even very sad happened at work I would remind myself to remember it. Someday it would become grist for the mill.
A few years ago, I decided it would be beneficial to go to the morgue and really see what it was like, especially because at that time I was working on a story with a morgue attendant as the protagonist. A patient had sadly passed during my shift, his family had spent time with him and all the final paperwork was done and his body was ready to be transported to the morgue. This is usually done by two of our Environmental Associates. (Surprisingly, no one wants to go to the morgue alone!) I asked the EA whose job it was to transport the body if I could go with her. I got one of my fellow nurses to cover my patients and Lothel and I set off. On the walk there she told me how much she hated going to the morgue, how it gave her the willies. I assured her we would be there and back very quickly, nothing to worry about.
The hospital I worked at had an old system of tunnels beneath it that had formerly been used to transport patients and supplies between buildings before a new covered walkway system was built. However, the way we were to take to the morgue was through the tunnels. It was just as creepy as portrayed in old horror movies – hot, confined, mostly empty and you could hear footfalls on the tile floor from far away. I had trained in that hospital and as students many years before we traveled all over in them – even toward the morgue to prove our bravery and satisfy our morbid curiosity. So, I wasn’t bothered by our route.
When Lothel and I got to the morgue we rang a bell and an attendant let us in and checked our paperwork, then directed us to the morgue anti-room where bodies are left until they are logged in. I was curious to take a quick look around, noting the stretcher with another covered body on it and the jars of preserved who knows what lining the shelves. The door was heavy and without thinking, I let it close behind us. I heard Lothel’s panicked voice behind me “You locked us in! We can’t get out! What do we do now!” There was in fact no inside handle to open the door. The only thing to do was to yell and knock hard on the door to let the attendant know we were still in there. Even as we were doing it, I thought what a scene that would make – loud knocking coming from inside the morgue and shouts of let us out! Lothel tells me it was a long time until the attendant, a medical student, came to let us out, but in reality, it was only a couple of minutes. The medical student rather irritably pointed out that there was an ‘emergency’ handle on the upper right-hand side of the door to open it. Lothel never let me forget that day, and never trusted me to go to the morgue with her again.
This particular incident never made it into E’d Out, but I have a feeling it may find its’ way into book two. Another lesson learned – not all your friends want to participate in your research.
Readers: Have you ever had an experience that was scary but also kind of funny? Answer the question or just say, “hi” in the comments below to be entered to win a copy of Ex-ed Out.
About EX-D OUT
After their divorce, Visiting Nurse Melanie Bass must keep in contact with Dr. Artie Krapaneck, her philandering ex-husband as they share custody of her beloved dog, Bruno. When she arrives at a Connecticut highway rest stop to retrieve the dog for “her week” she discovers the body of her ex-husband along with that of an unknown woman. It seems that now Artie will finally be out of her life forever. He isn’t. He left a “legacy” that now puts Melanie’s own life in danger – as well as Bruno’s.
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Christine Falcone lives on the Connecticut Shoreline with her family and a dog who is not nearly as well behaved as Bruno, the beloved canine in her novel.
Facebook: Christine Falcone
Okay, getting locked into a morgue sounds terrifying to me, even if only for a few minutes! I got lost in a corn maze last year, which was a panicky feeling, when actually the whole maze itself wasn’t that large…I could have simply trudged forth in any direction and made it out just fine. I didn’t realize that until I made it to the middle of the maze, climbed the platform there, and could see the size of the whole maze. I got a good chuckle over myself!
I avoid corn mazes because my sense of direction is so poor!
One Halloween we were finishing up our trick or treating and along comes this bright green blob in the distance. It was kind of freaky as we weren’t expecting it. It ended up being our friend Gary and he had taken a bunch of glow sticks and broken them open and poured them on some old sweats of his. He was the prankster of the group. Thank you so much for this chance at your giveaway. pgenest57 at aol dot com
That is funny! I have to admit though my first thought was ‘gah! I hope the stuff in the glow sticks wasn’t toxic!’
So many congratulations on your book, Christine! And what a story. Gives me the shivers.
I took a tour of a wine production facility a couple of weeks ago. What I learned won’t be in the first book set near it, but goodness, I saw plenty of places where mayhem could happen in future books!
Yes, I can imagine A LOT of good places for nefarious deeds! Can’t wait to see how you use that research.
That scene would give me the creeps in a book, glad I didn’t go with you
Book sounds great.
Thank you Kim!
That’s a terrific article. It’s clearly written, amusing and suspenseful. Christine, the way you make fun of yourself is charming. So you didn’t notice the escape door…
Ha! No neither of us noticed the door handle – it was oddly placed toward the top of the door at the right side. Besides I wasn’t in as big a hurry as my companion!
Congratulations on the book, Christine! I love the premise. In high school we used to go to a creepy, dark cemetery at night and sit on one of the grave markers to see who could last the longest.
Sherry, sorry my reply to you ended up in the wrong place!
I think my scariest adventure had to come from when I was a teenager. I was forever trying to find places to escape from my younger siblings to read. One summer day, I decided to try the attic. My brother thought it would be great fun to lock me in.
Sadly, no escape handle from the attic. I’m not sure who my mother was madder at: me for destroying the insulation trying to get out or my brother for locking me in.
That’s funny Liz. Though as you said your Mother didn’t think so! Did you try pounding on the door? Terrible what we siblings do to each other isn’t it?! That is good material for a story though.
I did! But it was so muffled, I panicked and thought no one would hear me. So I ripped off the insulation so I was pounding on the raw wood.
Thank you Sherry! We mystery writers certainly do have different sensibilities than most people I guess!
Congratulations on the book! It sounds really good and Bruno is so cute. I can’t think of anything scary that turned out to be funny. But that morgue story is a good one.
Thank you Violet!
Fear and folly; fright or exite? That…is the question I can’t recall being so fearful or frightened, that triggered fight or flight. However…I really love a good thriller, a carefully executed, twisting and breathtaking, plot ride. Halloween night will find me, dressed as a zombie, a bladder of Pinot Noir tubed and hung from a shepherds hook, sipping and scaring the tricksters, and sharing the”blood” with adult neighbors and friends. BTW…my very responsible “police officer” husband has tied me to the pole so I can’t escape, and hands out the candy. I can’t wait to read your debut novel!
Wow! That sounds like a great Halloween plan! It will either terrify or delight all your trick or treaters! I’m sure the parents will appreciate the wine though.
Holy cow, Christine! What a great story. Thanks for sharing and big time congratulations on your new release. Cheers!
Thank you! I laugh about it, but my poor friend Lothel was a bit scared! What we won’t do for research!
Can’t think of anything scary but funny, but the book sure sounds good!
That’s definitely the kind of story that is funny in retrospect but not so much at the time. Even knowing nothing bad will happen, not being able to get out wouldn’t be fun. (Yes, please enter me in this giveaway.)
Actually, I was pretty calm at the time, which I think made my friend even more upset! I’m sure she was wondering what was wrong with me that I wasn’t more frightened.
I probably did have an experience that was both scary and kind of funny, but I cannot think of one at this moment. Thanks for asking, anyway!
I often blank out to when asked a question like that. I read a lot of books but when asked who my favorite authors are I can’t come up with names – until about twenty minutes after i was asked!
Hi! good luck in the book drawing!
Scary but ultimately funny? It would have to be the time I lost my son in a department store. I frantically called his name & looked for him, suddenly he popped out from the center of a circular clothing rack, laughing at me! Now he has a young son of his own who is on his way to being as much of a handful as his father was.
My son used to do that to me too! Not funny, I told him.
Your book sounds so good! I can’t think of anything that happened to me that was scary and turned out funny. Of course, I’ll probably think of something that did happen in a couple days, LOL Thank you for the chance!
Yes, as I commented to someone earlier, I have that problem too! I can’t think of an answer until later on, when the moment has passed. Good luck in the drawing.
Thanks so much for visiting with the Wickeds today, Christine! I think the only time I had a scary, but funny experience was when I fell part-way through an opening in our attic floor. It was so startling but just like Winnie the Pooh when he got wedged in one of the stories!
Oh my Jessie! That is scary! I can see you finding the funny side of it after it was all over and you were safe. I think calling it startling is an understatement!
There was a man in our town who was helping renovate an old house and fell through the floor suddenly – it turns out there was an old well built over right there in the house. He was ok, but had to wedge himself against the walls of the well to avoid falling all the way in. His friends had to call the fire department to rescue him!
Your book sounds really good to me. I can’t think of anything to tell you about scary but funny happening to me. My mind is blank.
Thanks for saying EX’D OUT sounds good! No scary stories required. Good luck in the book drawing.
Wow! Sounds like a scary experience! Fortunately, I have not had a similar experience.
It was certainly a memorable experience!
Your book sounds awesome! Adding to my TBR List. I don’t know if I would have done the research like you did.
Hi. It is so nice to meet you. Thank you for sharing. God bless you.
Sounds like a great read.
Years ago when I was a teenager (in the 60’s), my Mom was in the hospital. After hours the only vending machines were located in the basement which had all the tunnels like you talked about. So visualize late night, dark and traveling the twists and turns all alone going to get a pop and candy bar for a young person with a vivid imagination. PLUS you did actually have to walk past the door marked morgue! 🙂
Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a copy of “Ex’d Out”! I would love the opportunity to read and review it.
2clowns at arkansas dot net
I will never forget my first solo trip to the morgue when I was a 16 year old nurse’s aide. I had nightmares for weeks. Then I went on to marry a funeral director!
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