Some flash fiction
A Sign of Life
When I opened my eyes, the first thing I saw, beside the floor of my room, was a copy of In the Mist of Life, a collection of short stories by Ambrose Bierce. And just my luck, the book was open at An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.
A chill ran thought me.
The thought that Eric Roth’s shot had indeed killed me, or about to kill me, wasn’t a pleasant one.
Seven months ago Eric Roth shot me for absolutely no reason at all. It was an act of complete homicidal mania with no motive behind it at all. I was shot by a Glock 19, coincidently the same weapon Kip Kinkle carried when he strolled through the cafeteria of Thurston High school.
The bullet, the one that hit me, was a nine by nineteen millimeter Parabellum ball round, if it was a hollow point, the doctors told my mom, the damage would have been more devastating and I would of likely died. If it hadn’t already. The bullet had missed my lung and my heart, striking and shattering a rib. I won’t be able to eat baby back ribs for awhile.
I got the sudden haunting feeling as I closed the book and shoved it under my bed, that it is still seven months ago. It was hollow point bullet, the mushroomed shape projectile ripping apart my heart and lung as it travels through my torso and finally stops when it slammed into the back of my ribcage, shattering it like glass. Am I in my room, kicking off my blanket? Or lying on a stretcher, a mask over my face, my skin is pale because my blood is not where it should be. I can see a blood soaking bandage on my chest, the IV sticking into my hand. A look in my eyes as if I’m trying to look at something far away. I’m looking at the angel of death, coming towards me, he still a far ways off, but I know it’s him. And there is nothing I can do about it.
I crawled out of bed and rotated my back. There is a dull ache, a small reassurance of life.
Getting shot is a weird feeling. The first thing I felt was a very hard and sudden thump on my chest. The next thing was a sudden burning heat of a foreign object rushing through my torso, not long after that a sudden cold that hit me like a baseball bat as the inside of my body was exposed to the outside air. That wasn’t a pleasant feeling.
It was some kind of reflex that caused my arm to strike Eric in the face with and upward palm thrust to his nose. Sending the cartilage in his snout up into his brain. That’s when I felt the exploded rip.
Man did it hurt.
Ambrose Bierce is no longer on my reading list. Nor any movie with Tim Robbins in it, even though he’s my favorite actor.
I shuffled out of my room, the cold of the house, like cold of death, embraces me like a blanket fresh out of the freezer.
I see my self on the stretcher, looking pale, the color of my eyes is fading, I feel cold and hot at the same time. The smell of plastic and copper is filling my nose. Death is coming closer, he’s not wearing a cloak, he’s wearing a suit and carrying a brief case. There is a sudden dripping sound, I don’t want to know what it is, even though I’m looking at the ceiling that starting to swirl in a vortex with a businessman at the event horizon, I can some how see crimson dots on the tile floor.
The businessman looks like my dad’s accountant. How tacky.
I go into the kitchen; sun is shinnying thought the windows, casting a gold light in the room. I don’t feel any warmer, but the spicy smell of sausages and the hiss of the frying pan warms my back. Some sigh of life.
My mother hears my feet shuffle across the floor, she turns to me, her soft green eyes look straight at the con-cave pucker of flesh on my chest, the mark of being shot. That wasn’t the only mark.
From a distance you think I have some strange tattoo. The powder burn looks like a circler rash with my little scare right in the middle. Like a strange red sun or a follower.
I’m at home, not in a hospital ward slowly bleeding to death like. My heart is still pumping. I sit down at the table, my mom sits with me, her perfume fills my senses, her lips touch my face. I pull her closer, I swear to god that I will believe in creation if the past seven months and the future months are real, not a fantasy, not the product of a drying brain trying to stay alive.
My mother hugs me, tight. “I feel like I’ve been living a nightmare.”
I hug her back. “I know how you feel.”