"Hello, Sally, it's Evangeline Flowers here."
"Who? I'm sorry, the line's not very good. Can you speak up a bit?"
"It's Evangeline Flowers. Can you hear me now?"
"Yes, clear as a bell now. Shrimp? Is that really you? It's been ages!"
Dr Flowers winced. Trust Sally Holton to remember that old nickname. Still...
"Yes, I know, doesn't time just fly by when you're having fun."
"Oh, are we having fun then?" Dr Holton laughed, "I didn't get that memo. Anyway, what can your old Aunt Sally do for you?"
Trust her to remember that nickname too, thought Dr Flowers as she quickly marshalled her thoughts. Sally was as sharp as ever so it would need to be something credible. Ever since they had begun studying medicine together, Flowers had known Sally Holton to possess the twin drawbacks of being nobody's fool and of being extremely curious. She would have to tread carefully to get her help without too many awkward questions.
"Yeah, er, I was wondering if you could get me out of a bit of a hole, actually."
The lady detective, Charity Lambert, dressed in the tight-fitting leather jumpsuit she had sported on the cover of her latest adventure Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death was standing over his bed smiling down at him. In her hands were two empty bottles. He thought it was rather odd that she should be here given that a) he was in the hospital (at least he thought he was, he was no longer sure now), oh, and b) let's not forget the fact that she was a fictional character from the cheap trashy novels which were his secret guilty pleasure. Why on earth was she here? He gazed up at her, puzzled, as she leant down and opened her lusciously-painted lips to whisper something into his ear. Her voice was low, with a slightly husky quality. "Listen very carefully..." He strained to hear whatever it was she was about to impart to him, it was obviously important, maybe it was something to do with the bottles. "...I shall say this only once.."
Abruptly, she dissolved into pink fluffy clouds which cleared to reveal a nurse standing beside his bed.
"Mr Box," she said, "We're taking you down to surgery now."