Monday, October 10, 2011

Excerpt from Deathly Compromise

* Reference last post prior to reading *

A young couple who had gotten into a car accident came storming in on gurneys in the middle of the night. I had long abandoned the magazine doodling and was elbow deep in vending machine cookie wrappers and sugar coma when the slamming of the doors and medical alarms rustled me up. Both the girl and guy were attached to oxygen and nurses began swarming them as they turned into separate rooms across from each other. Their invisible tethers called to me. For a moment, I hung in the middle of the hallway, my boots squeaking along the tile, watching the life unravel around me. I stepped into the man’s room first. The smell of iron hit my nose like a hammer and the desire for sleep completely dissipated. I watched patiently as the nurses worked in a circle around the doctor. The sound of clothes being ripped echoed in the room, and drops of blood seeped down from the surgical bed to the cold floor. I found myself licking my lips instinctually, and flicked my eyes back towards the man’s chest.

            When his shirt came off, and the deep gashes in his side and abdomen came to life from the oxygen exposure, I let out a small gasp.

            The crunch of bone gritted in the air.
            For once I didn’t feel queasy.
            I was transfixed.
            I was entranced.
            I was hungry.
            I was…smiling.

            I walked over to the man, getting a close up of the damage. Internal bleeding, collapsed lungs, broken hip and collarbone, and a heavy blow to the abdomen; not exactly an easy fix. I felt for the girl across the hall, but all I could see was silent life there. I could tell she was already stable. The call came through and it was for him. When it pulled me in, I stuck my arm out between two nurses, and reached for his abdomen drenched in blood. The blanket of images enveloped me, making me let out an exhalation of relief. When it was over, there was nothing but static and emptiness. I stared at my hand for the longest time, turning it from side to side, fascinated by the staining of A negative. The crimson glistened in the luminescent light, thick with iron and gloss. It felt extraordinary, the overcoming of rapture, so much so that I found myself putting my hand up to my mouth, and licking each finger one by one like a cat bathing its self after a messy dinner. As the clean up began, I walked into the hallway, vaguely aware of the residue left on my face and hand. I sat in a nearby chair and contemplated, waiting for normalcy to return. It was achingly slow, but I started to get a grasp of where I was again.

            It had been ages.

            This body was starting to fail me, or my mind was. I couldn’t tell anymore. The lights in the hall flickered, and it was then that I noticed the rain had finally come, smashing like a titan on the rooftops of the building.