The Wound

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Story written as part of my book Distorted Perceptions of Reality.

Submitted: September 03, 2012

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Submitted: September 03, 2012

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The Wound

Dane Broome

I had fallen real hard and hurt my right shoulder. I tried to bite my lip and bare the pain but it hurt real bad until eventually I could go no longer. I stopped not even half way home and took my shirt off to look at the wound and I could see the bone was popping out. I used my shirt to wipe the sweat off of my face and attempted to continue but it hurt real bad, I’d have to reset the bone quickly and get the wound stitched shut. The dirt road was narrow and winding and I stopped to take out my flask and noticed that it was greater than half empty. I drank a good swig to cure my thirst. I figured that I wouldn’t make it home before sundown and I continued to stumble along the way. I decided to stop again because my shoulder hurt real bad and the wound didn’t look real healthy. I began to remove the pebbles from the outer membrane and poured a bit of spiced rum atop.

The sun was still bright and the sweat continued to drip off of my hair and onto my bottom lip, my mouth tasted of salt the whole way. I was unsure if I should continue for home or stitch it up, though I didn’t have a needle or thread and the wound was in such an awkward position that it would have cost me good work to stitch it up. I used my shirt to smother the wound and stop the bleeding. I stopped to pick off a needle from a large thistle but it was useless; I hadn’t a thread-like material. I decided to continue with the bone popping through. I thought of my mother and my sisters and my grandmother who had passed away and her brother who served in the Korean War, where he shot and killed a 13 year old boy and in a different occasion was the only survivor on an ambushed train in which he waited until the commies slain his comrades and when they turned to abort the train he pulled out his personal handgun and shot them dead all three. If he’d done such a heroic thing then I would surely make it home that night where I could fix up that wound. The only thing to worry me was that I’d leave a good trail of blood behind, where they could track me down, pinning me to a precise location.

Finally I arrived to the creek and walked down to wash myself well. When I jumped in I found a few leeches on my toes that I decided to tear off and set on my wound. One submerged completely but I let him be, I knew he would clean me out the wound real good. The water around me turned to red and likewise did the sky. It was getting dark and I had to continue for home. My flask was nearly empty and I stumbled along.

As the sky turned to black I began to shiver. My shirt was a bit wet but I put it back on. I had lost quite some blood but it looked as though the wound was no longer bleeding. I was quite tired and I stopped to finish my flask. Later I woke up. I couldn’t get back up. I had fallen again and now the world was spinning real fast. The cold of the night had my teeth chattering and I turned myself over onto my stomach to ease the pain. I closed my eyes but the world continued to spin. I lost feeling in my entire right arm and then I drifted off into some other state or dimension.

I met a man who came by in a vehicle. He was well dressed in black pants and a white shirt. He wore a well groomed mustache and sunglasses and was not surprised to see me. We talked for some time before he asked me anything logical. I told him of my fall but then commenced to tell him of my mother, my sisters, my grandmother who had recently passed and the legacy of her brother who survived the ambush of the train. The strange man then pulled out a rope of twine and fastened it tight to my neck and began to drag me up to his car. My wound drug against the ground and the bone bent back and forth and had me in a state of shock. I looked behind at the dark, wide trail of blood that was left behind.

I awoke soon thereafter and was relieved it was a dream. I saw the wound by the light of the stars in that hazy night and I could see the bone needed to be reset, though I was in no condition to do so. I lay there quietly awaiting the light of the day.

The bushes to my left began to shake and I heard the grunting of a bear. She came out with a real hungry look on her face and I knew she had smelt me from miles away. As she approached me I saw her tongue come out and clean her leather lips and she showed me her teeth and I knew they were good and sharp. She stood on her two hind legs and started to talk to me, though I didn’t understand well what she had to say. Her paws were bigger than my head and each one bared long, ungroomed claws that were liable to rip me right open. I stopped hesitating and reached for my satchel where I carried a blade of steel. I fumbled with the zipper and it was too late. The bear was atop of me and working me over real good.

I was relieved to awaken and see that the morning light had begun to shine. I figured it was around five in the morning and I knew that I’d have to start the walk soon. The ground was frosted and my heart was beating slow. My head was throbbing and my shoulder still numb. My clothes were all wet and I drifted in and out of consciousness. I could have sworn that I heard the noise of a car and then sure enough, one had come down the dirt road and stopped to see my blood trail. Two men got out, dressed nicely in black pants and white shirts, with carefully groomed mustaches; they looked to be identical, but soon I realized they were the same person so I closed my eyes real tight and when I opened them they were gone.

The whole incident had me startled so I got up and decided to take the long way home, back through the meadow and the tall grass prairie.


© Copyright 2017 Dane Broome. All rights reserved.

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