I Can't Handle This

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Literary Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Really short story about an experience I had. It's really exaggerated and only took me like 30 minutes to write.

Submitted: September 15, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 15, 2012




What a summer day. What a beautiful summer day. Grass blowing with the summer breeze. Along with the waves in the blue green lake. Perfect day for canoeing.


Josie grabbed the canoe and pulled it down to the water. Not too far, probably 100 yards at the most. But he still complained, as he always does. Someone else was there. But, who was she?


I could have sworn that Sam and Josie were back together. After all, I saw them kiss in the A-frame. Was she merely a friend? Or was she more, an affair, perhaps? I would never know why she was there, or who she was.


Anyway, Josie guided Ms. Unknown into the boat with his hands. Her gentle hands touched his manly hairy hands with a daintiness only princesses can pull off. Josie followed her into the boat. Then they pushed off into the lake. What? Why would they push off without Sam and I? After all, it was one of those four seated canoes I specifically bought for this occasion. Oh well, they'll return soon enough.


Then, everything started changing. The beautiful blue sky started to turn gray and cloudy. My mood, fouled by the audacity of the clouds to do such a thing. And the change was not slow, it was rapid. Too rapid to be real...


I was sitting on the dock when I noticed the clouds. I stood up and hollered as loud as I could for Josie and her to come back. But, it was too late. The downward spiral had already begun.


They heard me after the third hollar. Thank God. They rowed as fast as they could until they got to about 20 meters from the dock. I threw them the rope. Ms. Unknown caught it with lightning fast reflexes. She looked at it for a moment. Almost as though she were confused with the notion of "rope". What is this? What do I do with it? Those are the questions she must have been asking herself inside.


She did not express these questions. She simply took action and pulled the rope as hard as she could. She grinned and  chuckled slightly as the boat flipped over while barreling towards Sam and me. Crack, skadoosh, bam. A mixture of the sound of the boat flipping and the thunder booming in the background. I immediately dived in the water, worried for Josie. I did not care for Ms. Unknown. I felt like she had brought this upon us, she was not worth saving.


The water was biting. Cold as Antartica. How could it be this cold on a summer day? I endured the pain and swam under the boat. There Josie was. But, something was wrong. Something out of place.


I ignored this fact, possibly out of adrenaline rush, possibly out of my conscious knowing what it was but also knowing that I couldn't handle. I yanked him out of the water. Oddly, there was no difficulty, lanky me vs. previously-footballer Josie. I seemed to gain the strength of 100 men at that time. Then, I allowed myself to hear the banshee scream of Sam.


She was kneeling over what was supposed to be her arm. I could see the tears running down her face. Mixed with blood. Never a good sign. She looked at me. Both of us startled gazelles. Ms. Unknown the lion that we could no longer find. I broke out of my startled gaze and ran to her. My immediate instinct was to pull her up. What a terrible idea. She screamed. I dropped her. She screamed louder.


I was no help. I had always lived away from emergency situations. And even when they did happen, I would either run away from them or I would panic. I chose to panic in this one. What a mistake.


Sam yelled to just break the board off the deck with her. I tried, believe me, I tried. But it would not break. So, like a vet to a dog, I had to amputate half her arm. I pulled and I pulled. And the yelling was interrupted by a snap. Her bone broken in half. Bone fragments lay all across the dock. Her yelling stopped she was passed out. Now to go help Josie.


He wasn't moving. I listened closely. Breathing. Thank the heavens. I looked over him. Blood. Where was it coming from? My eyes past from his face to his torso down to his legs. Nothing. They went back to his torso and then left to his left arm. Nothing. Back to the torso one more time to the right his right bicep then what was supposed to be his forearm... There was nothing but blood and skin. His forearm bones, the radius and ulna, lay in the water, floating in the cold, biting water. I could not handle this.


Hyperventilating is the first part of a mental breakdown. I could not handle this. Then the loss of vision. I could not handle this. Then laying down in the fetal position. I could not handle this. Loss of hearing. I could not handle this. Loss of complete feeling. I could not handle this. Then nothingness. I. Could. Not. Handle. This.

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