Mornelly Short Stories: The Nurse is In- Part One

Greetings, readers!
After much prompting and trying to get the Mornellys to tell me some more stories, Aileen finally admitted to this story of a time when she tried to be a nurse. I have done my best to recount it correctly. I hope you enjoy. This story is in two parts.


It's not about knowing all the answers, it's about knowing where to find them.


The Nurse is In
Emily McConnell

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Ten-year-old Aileen Mornelly frowned and set down her book. What was that? She listened closely.
There it was again. A faint, but definite, sneezing sound. And not just a mild sneeze, someone was sniffing and spewing non stop.
That’s odd. It was six in the morning. Aileen had gotten up twenty minutes ago, finding none of her big brothers awake. Someone was awake now, though, and he sounded sick. Perhaps she should find which one of her brothers had decided to come down with an illness.
It’s not fair. She stood up and stretched, then headed down the hallway to where Damhán’s room was. We can’t age a day, we can’t die, and yet we can get wounded severely and sick. This fourth dimension stuff didn’t make any sense.

Quietly, she tiptoed to the doorway of her seventeen-year-old brother’s room, careful as she pushed it open. She didn’t want to wake him up if he wasn’t awake yet. He’d stick her head in the toilet. Not a fun thought.
A glance confirmed that Damhán was quite well and fit. He lay half on, half off his bed, snoring like an elephant. Drool dripped from the corner of his mouth, and his blond hair looked like someone ran a lawnmower through it.
She shut the door and rolled her eyes, somewhat appalled by Damhán’s appearance. One down, four to go.
Next was Ciarán. He was also someone she didn’t want to wake. He preferred a dryer to a toilet, though. That wasn’t much fun either.
Aileen turned the knob of the door, wincing when it squeaked. She peeked into the bedroom to see Ciarán on the floor, hugging a pillow and muttering in his sleep. It was all she could do to keep from laughing right then and there. She managed to smother her giggles and shut the door, making it to Breandan’s room before she burst out laughing. Ciarán hadn’t been sniveling at all, so she knew it wasn’t him who was sick. Though he probably would turn green as a kiwi if I told him I saw him hugging his pillow.
He’d also stick her in the dryer. Best to keep this observation to herself.
Breandan lay quietly in his bed, so she knew it wasn’t him she’d heard. Bran, too, seemed to be fast asleep when she visited his room. That left only one person to be sick.
Perhaps I imagined it, she thought, making her way to Aichear’s room. Aichear and sick don’t go together. I’ve never seen him sick a day in my-
Aileen squeaked and stared at her oldest brother. Aichear was sitting up in bed, a Kleenex to his red nose and his glasses on the nightstand. His hair stuck out at weird angles, and his eyes were watery.
“Big brother!” Aileen gasped. “You are ill!”
Aichear looked up, his eyes the only giveaway he was surprised to see her there. “What are you- achoo! Doing- achoo! Up?” He sneezed twice more.
Aileen slipped into the room and came to sit next him. She looked at the pile of Kleenex on the floor and frowned. “You are very sick. What happened to you? How did you get sick?”
Aichear pulled out a new tissue and blew his nose. Upon closer inspection, Aileen could see he was sweating at the brow. He has a fever, too!
“You should go out,” Aichear sniffed. “I don’t want you getting whatever I have.”
“Aichear, you need some medicine. What should I bring you?”
“I’m fine.”
Aileen raised an eyebrow as Aichear burst into another fit of sneezing. “I’m having a hard time believing that.” The idea of helping her big brother and being his own personal doctor popped into her head. She leapt off the edge of the bed and began cleaning up the tissue. “You should lay back down, Aichear. You are not well at all. I will retrieve you some medicine and orange juice.”
Aichear moaned and put his hand to his head. He didn’t reply, but Aileen could tell he didn’t really want her there. Why doesn’t he want me to see him sick?
Boys were so weird. They thought they should be manly all the time, even Aichear.
Aileen threw away the tissues and returned to half shove Aichear back down in his bed. She threw several blankets on him when she noticed he was shivering, then fetched some orange juice and ibuprofen.
“This will help you,” she announced.
“Why are you doing this?” he mumbled under his breath, rolling onto his side.
“You need to feel better,” she insisted.
“No. I mean why are you doing it, instead of getting Ciarán? Ciarán is trained in medical procedures.” He looked doubtfully at the orange pills she set on his nightstand. Grabbing his glasses he put them on and peered at the medication. “Little sister, that’s ibuprofen.”
“Yes it is. You give that to me whenever I have a fever.”
“I’m allergic to ibuprofen.”
“Oh.” She picked them up sheepishly and stuffed them in her skirt. “I forgot. Small mistake. I’ll get you the aspirin, then.”
He frowned. “No, not a small mistake. If I hadn’t put my glasses on, I would have taken those without knowing what they were. That would have been a very bad thing. I’m not sure you should be treating me, little sister.”
“You take care of me all the time when I’m sick! Now you’re sick for the first time that I can ever remember, and I’m going to take care of you. I am going to be your own personal doctor for the day.”
“I’d prefer one of the boys.”
Now she was agitated. She was trying to show her brother her great love and care for him, and he was asking for one of her brothers. I’ll show you! I’m just as good at taking care of you as you are of me!
“They’re all asleep. I’m the only one up,” she announced. “So I’m going to take care of you. Now take off your glasses and lay down.”
“I believe it would be best if I left these… on.”
So he didn’t trust her to do what was best. Fine. She didn’t need his approval on everything. He needed help, and she was going to help him, like it or not. She left the room and his semi-concerned look to hunt down some aspirin. I’ll just have to show him I’m capable of this. He doesn’t think I can do anything. Well, Doctor Aileen knows a lot about helping people get better. Now, which one is the aspirin? This bottle or the other one?

By the time her second oldest brother, Bran, rolled out of bed, it was nine o’clock and Aileen had successfully gotten her patient to go to sleep. It had taken a lot of reassuring and convincing to get him to take the aspirin she’d brought him. At long last he gave in and took the medicine, only to murmur fifteen minutes later, “I think you got it wrong, Aileen…” and then drifting off to sleep.
Now Aileen sat reading next to Aichear’s bed, Aichear’s glasses across the room where he couldn’t get them, should he wake. She’d managed to slip them off when he’d fallen asleep. She didn’t want him to think he had to oversee everything.
“Uhh… Aileen, what are you doing?” Bran rubbed his eyes and glanced from her to Aichear. He scratched his black hair and frowned. “Why are you in Aichear’s room?”
“Aichear’s sick. I’m taking care of him.”
“Oh. And he’s okay with this?” Bran peered at his older brother. “Wow. He’s asleep. He never sleeps during the day. What did you do to him?”
Aileen shook her head and set the book down. “I gave him some medicine. He’s fine, he needs to sleep. He has a fever, you know.”
“And he was totally fine with you helping him out?” Bran leaned against the doorframe. “That doesn’t sound like Aichear to me at all.”
“Well, no… he didn’t want me to be his doctor,” she admitted.
“With good reason. You still get the vitamin C pills mixed up with the acetaminophen.”
“That was a long time ago! I’m older now!”
“You’re still the exact same age.”
“I’m more experienced, then.” She shot him an irritable look, flicking a strand of her light brown hair behind her shoulder. “Now be quiet. You’re going to wake Aichear up.”
Bran crossed his arms. “You gave him medicine, then? You didn’t give him ibuprofen, did you?”
“No.” She decided against telling him Aichear was the one who’d stopped her. “I gave him aspirin.”
Bran shot up and eyebrow. “Aspirin? We don’t have… where did you get this- aspirin?”
“From the cupboard,” she replied.
“Show me.”
Aileen sighed and got to her feet. “I’m positive that’s what I got him. It was in the aspirin bottle. Why does everyone doubt my abilities? I make a very good doctor.”
“Just show me.”
Taking her twenty-seven-year-old brother to the kitchen, Aileen climbed the counter top and opened the cupboard. She handed him the bottle. “See? Aspirin. It says so right there.”
“Did you notice that right beneath it someone wrote allergy medicine?” Bran’s brown eyes snapped. “Can’t you read?
Aileen snatched the bottle back and read the label. “Oh. Why does it say that?”
“Because Damhán broke the allergy bottle and this was the only empty bottle we could find!” Bran did a face palm. “You gave Aichear allergy medicine. How much did you give him?”
“Three… no, four pills. He has a high fever, you know. I was just trying to help!”
“No wonder he’s asleep! You gave him too much! Aileen, you should have gotten me or Ciarán!” Bran hurried off to Aichear’s bedroom.
Aileen sighed and kicked herself in the leg. So much for being a good doctor. Maybe she should have read the label a bit more thoroughly.
She trailed behind Bran and found him in the bathroom, pouring water into a bowl. He then got a rag.
“What are you doing?”
“We can’t give him any more medicine for at least another hour or so, because you overdosed him.” He shot her a hard look. “But we can help make the fever go down by cooling his head off.”
“I can do that,” she offered.
“Sure. Why don’t you.” He handed her the rag. “You can’t really mess up this task.”
She glared at him. “Thanks a lot.”
“Don’t drip the water on his shirt, though,” Bran instructed her. “And try not to get him too wet. I’m going to get Ciarán up and find out if any of the stuff that’s in ibuprofen is in that allergy medicine you gave him. I doubt it, but we should check just in case. We don’t want him breaking out in a rash. That was horrible last time!”
Left to her task, Aileen got to work dipping her rag into the water bowl and patting Aichear’s face down. She did her best not to drip water on him, though one time she forgot to wring out the rag and splashed water all over on him. He stirred, moaned, then muttered something about Damhán being out of control.
When Aichear’s head felt a little cooler to the touch, she located Bran and the now awakened Ciarán and asked what to do next.
“See if you can wake him up, and we’ll give him some acetaminophen,” Ciarán told her. “He will survive with the overdose you gave him, surprisingly.” He shrugged. “You are very lucky.”
“What’s going on?” Breandan shuffled into the kitchen and yawned. “You two are up early.”
“It’s ten-thirty,” Bran retorted. “So no, we’re not up early. You, Ciarán and Damhán… sheesh. You sleep like rocks. Oh, Aichear’s sick and Aileen gave him allergy medicine.”
“Oh. Why did you do that?” Breandan looked in Aileen’s direction.
“It was an accident. I didn’t mean to. I thought it was aspirin,” she defended. “Now I’m being Nurse Aileen and Ciarán’s being the doctor.”
Ciarán rolled his eyes and ushered her out of the kitchen. “Go wake Aichear up.”
Aileen trudged into Aichear’s bedroom and assessed the situation. Nurse Aileen isn’t sure if this is a good idea.
She stood at the edge of the bed, unsure of how to wake her oldest brother up. He wasn’t exactly short and easy to push off the bed, though since he was sick she shouldn’t do that to him, anyway. Nurse Aileen is not quite sure if he’s going to do something bad to her if she wakes him up.
Well, it was an occupational hazard that she had to accept, being a nurse and all.
First, she tried to push him and coax him awake. “Hey Aichear, wake up. You’re supposed to wake up now.”
Aichear rolled onto his side and groaned.
A couple more attempts in that area proved it would not work. Drastic measures were needed to wake the patient, and Nurse Aileen knew exactly what to do.
She took hold of his blankets and jerked them off the bed.
Aichear sat up like someone shot a gun next to him. He glanced around the room wildly, then his eyes rested on Aileen. “You.
“Aichear, you’re supposed to wake up now,” she explained sweetly. She leapt back, just shy from getting herself snagged by the angry patient. “Ciarán said. You have to take morphine or something.”
“I hope he’s not giving me that. I think you mean acetaminophen.” He sighed and put a hand to his head. “Why is my hair wet?”
“I dropped water on your face by accident. I was trying to make your fever go down.” She edged forward, then clambered onto his bed when she was sure he wouldn’t try and do something to her.
“The amount of aspirin you provided me should have diminished the fever by now.” He gave her a hard look. “That was aspirin, wasn’t it?”
“She gave you allergy medicine.”
Aileen snapped her head around and leveled her eyes at Damhán. He laughed and walked into the room, flopping himself into the chair.
“Dang, Aichear, you look bad,” he remarked.
“If I look half as bad as you do right now, I will be concerned. But I doubt that’s possible.” Aichear turned his gaze to Aileen. “You gave me allergy medicine? I asked you to retrieve Ciarán for this very reason.”
“I’m sorry. I wanted to help you.” She looked down at the bedspread. “I’m not the doctor anymore, if that makes you feel any better. I’m Nurse Aileen.”
“That’s stupid.”
Aileen leapt onto Damhán and tackled him, knocking him and the chair down. “No it’s not!”
Damhán shoved her off. He grabbed her arms and pinned her to the floor. “Is too!”
“Damhán!” Aichear warned. “So help me, I will come after you if you don’t let your sister up.”
“What are you two doing?” Ciarán entered the room with a glass of water and the medication on a tray. Bran was behind him. “You two are so childish.”
Damhán let Aileen up, muttering under his breath, “We’ll finish this later.”
“You bet we will,” she snapped.
“Out, you two!” Bran ordered. “You’re not helping Aichear get any better by fighting next to his bed.”
Aileen’s cheeks turned pink. She stood up and shot an apologetic look at Aichear. “I’m sorry Aichear.”
He nodded. “You are forgiven.”
“Now go on!” Bran shooed them out of the room. “He needs his rest if he’s going to get better. Now, why are all your blankets off, Aichear? You’re going to get cold…”
Aileen and Damhán wandered out to the living room, and Damhán grabbed a banana.
“When did you get up?” Aileen murmured. “You were asleep just a bit ago.”
“Who cares? I’m up. And I heard all about your accident.” Damhán smirked. “I think the “nurse” needs some medical training.”
“I was trying, okay?” she replied hotly, her cheeks turning red.
“Ten-year-olds aren’t nurses for this very reason.”
“I’m three hundred twenty-nine, Damhán!”
“Aileen! Why don’t you come outside with me?” Breandan appeared at the doorway, smiling and beckoning her out of the room. “I think you’re about to head into another fight if you stay here much longer.”
Aileen followed Breandan outside, doing her best not to turn around and interject the reasons behind her doings as Damhán laughed at her early exit.
“Thanks for trying to be Aichear’s nurse, Aileen,” Breandan said once they were outside. “I’m glad someone was up early enough to see he was sick.”
“Yeah, well, a lot of good I did.” She plopped down on a rock and crossed her arms. “I don’t think Aichear likes me very much. I wanted to help him this morning, but he didn’t seem very happy to see me.”
“Oh, that’s not true. Aichear’s just hard to understand… and read… and figure out… well, basically, no one really “gets” what Aichear’s thinking or why he’s thinking it. No doubt he didn’t want you around so you wouldn’t get sick.”
Aileen considered this. “That’s true. He told me he didn’t want me to catch what he had.”
“You see? He was looking out for you.”
She nodded slowly. “I guess. But I wanted to look out for him. No matter what I do, it seems I end up being the one taken care of and Aichear is the one who ends up doing it. I want him to see that I’m not just a little girl anymore, that I can help out and even help him sometimes.”
Breandan ruffled her hair and chuckled. “Well, no one has been able to convince Aichear yet that we can get along without him. He’s still got the banishment fresh in his mind and is worried we’d pull a stunt like that off if he leaves us for a second. He’s just caring, Aileen.”
She supposed Breandan was right. Breandan was observant, and he knew how to help all the siblings get along. Breandan would know.
“Let’s go for a walk,” Breandan suggested. “I wanted to show you someone I found in the sixteenth century. You’re going to get a kick out of these kids. They’re hilarious.”
“Oh, really?” Aileen stood up and took Breandan’s outstretched hand. “That sounds fun! What are their names? Can they See?”
“No. None of them can See. But wait until you see the trouble the wild boy and girl get into…”

To read more click here>>> PART TWO


  1. I SO enjoyed this story! Glad to see that others can enjoy it as well!
    How's your sister doing? I request prayer for her at my church at prayer meeting!
    God bless!

    1. Thank you, Indi! That's right, I sent this one to you, didn't I? I couldn't remember if I had or not... :)

      R is doing okay, she had chemo yesterday and today is not feeling very well, but now she's outside on a short walk with my Mom. Thank you sooo much for praying, we really, really appreciate it. <3

  2. I LOVE this story!! It's so much fun and it shows all the brothers's personalities so well! :) And Aileen's. :D
    I definitely don't know how I can wait until next Friday. . .but I guess I must. ;)

    1. Haha, I love this one too... I can't decide which is my favorite, though. I do enjoy this one a lot. :)

      Thanks so much for commenting! Glad you're enjoying thus far!

  3. Yay! A story about Aileen! (my third favorite character! ;)
    Love how it's going so far! The Mornellys are fantastic! My new favorite story family. ;D
    Oh, and I also can't wait to "meet" those kids Breandan is talking about. :)

    1. Awww, thanks, Megs! As you know, Damhan has a lot of fondness for you as well. ;) Glad you're enjoying it thus far! Unfortunately Breandan doesn't elaborate any further about those kids, so maybe I'll write a story about them someday. :) Thanks for commenting!

    2. I know. He's a great pal. ;D
      Rats! Oh well, I can always imagine what they're like...until you write that story. ;)

  4. Love it! Reminds me of times I'm trying to "help" and end up doing more harm then good! :P Happens to every one Aileen... :) Breandan is an awesome older brother. He's always so sweet to Aileen. ;)

    1. Hmmm, am I detecting someone is a Breandan fan? ;) Because no one's claimed Breandan as their guardian yet... so far Bran and Damhan have been "claimed" as guardians to two people who read the stories. I'm curious to see which of the Mornellys all of you would chose as your "imaginary friend/guardian". :)

      Thanks for commenting! Glad your enjoying the story thus far!

    2. No one has grabbed the best ones???? Aichear or Breandan???? :O Can I have both? :P

    3. Uhm, Aichear actually IS technically taken... by the author... ;) But Breandan is available! :D

    4. I'll take him then. Before someone else can! ;)

  5. Love this family. Great story, Emily! Yeah, giving ibuprofen to someone who's allergic....not good. Sounds like something I would do! LOL :)

    1. I would do it too, Faith! I can totally relate to that... ;) Glad you're enjoying it thus far and thanks for commenting! More to come tomorrow.


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