'Flash!' Winter 2017

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium

A short story written by Imaginarium House member, Sue Harris.


Chapter 11 (v.1) - Snow Chaos

Submitted: November 14, 2017

Reads: 106

Comments: 2

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Submitted: November 14, 2017



SNOW CHAOS written by Sue Harris

I peer out of the window… at four o’clock the light has already started to fade, everything looks grey and bleak, the gathered clouds ominous. I notice the first soft, fat flakes of snow float from the sky and shiver involuntarily. If the forecast is right, I am in for a treacherous journey home. It is at times like this I wish I had a regular nine to five job, but patients have to be cared for, and my shift doesn’t end until ten o’clock, by which time the roads could well be impassable. I hate driving in the snow and the media is telling everyone not to venture out unless absolutely necessary. I’m already starting to feel anxious and would rather stay on to work the night shift than face the drive home, but know it wouldn’t be an option due to working-time rules.

I rinse out my coffee mug in the sink ready to head back to the accident and emergency unit.

Eve, a new registrar, breezes in and reaches for the kettle. “Hi Sarah, have you seen the snow, looks like we’re in for a quite a heavy fall.”

“I know, last time it snowed, I slid into the back of the car in front which really un-nerved me, so am dreading the drive home.”

“You can always stay at our apartment, it’s just round the corner. I can only offer you the sofa, but you’re more than welcome to it.”

“Thanks Eve, I’ll bear it in mind. What about your partner? Wouldn’t want to intrude.”

“You wouldn’t. He’s really easy going, not a problem. You’d have to take us how you find us, we only moved in a couple of weeks ago so I could be nearer the hospital. Still in a mess.”

I take one last look through the window… the snow is now falling in a thick white blanket, the sky leaden in the fading light. “Your sofa is becoming more appealing by the minute.”

“As I say, it’s yours if you need it.”

“Thanks Eve, I appreciate it.”
The accident and emergency unit is heaving with patients in varying stages of distress. In addition to the usual Friday night rush, the snow is adding to the chaos involving victims of either road traffic accidents or falls. It’s a non-stop conveyor belt of admitting and treating patients, while trying to maintain a calm, courteous and efficient service.

An ambulance pulls up outside the double doors and yet another patient is wheeled through, hooked up to an intravenous drip. The emergency team rattle off their findings. “Identity unknown… suspected serious spinal injury, unconscious, possible paralysis and internal bleeding.”

Once in the critical care unit, Doctor Sinha assesses his injuries, takes blood samples and shines a light into his eyes, while I record vital signs onto a chart. “Sarah, see if you can find any clues to his identity from his personal effects.”

“Will do doctor. I glance at the patient’s face, his head supported in a protective neck brace and reel backwards, my palm covering my mouth in shock and disbelief.

“Sarah, what’s wrong?” Doctor Sinha asks.

“I can tell you who he is, he’s… he’s my ex-husband and his name is Jake Hammond.”

“Take a break Sarah.” Doctor Sinha orders. “I need help in here now,” she yells, her tone grave.

My head is spinning and I feel sick. It is the first time I have laid eyes on Jake since he walked out on me, and all the pain comes flooding back. I trusted him when he told me he was working late. I had loved him with all my heart and he had betrayed me. After he left, I had sunk into a deep depression, drank too much, wallowed in my grief. I truly believed I would have coped better if he had died, at least I would not have had the mental torment of knowing he was with someone else… making love to her, enjoying holidays together, cosy meals, exchanging tender words. It had been a torture I had endured, more painful than any physical assault, but in time, I had healed… or so I thought.

I stagger into the rest room and slump down in a chair by the window. The snow has now turned into a blizzard lighting up the night sky and forming deep drifts. As I watch it fall, I let the tears flow unchecked, guilt tugging at me for having wished him dead as his life now hangs in the balance.

The door bursts open. Eve is sobbing hysterically, accompanied by Mia, a colleague, who is trying in vain to offer some words of comfort.

I jump up. “Eve, whatever’s wrong.”

“It’s J-Jake,” she stutters, too upset to continue.

Mia explains. “It’s her partner Jake, he was involved in an RTA and brought into the emergency department not long ago, but they couldn’t save him.”

Realisation hits me like a blow to the head. I should be angry, should want to slap her face, tell her she’s a whore, but Eve’s tear filled eyes meet mine. She opens her arms to me and we embrace, united in our grief.

“I know, they told me,” she says.



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