Friends With Shadows – Chapter 11 (As Promised!)

Writer’s Note: Chapter 11 is here! For some reason, it feels like a milestone, to be celebrated! Woohoo! For my new readers and followers, I’m writing this book as an experiment – I’m basically writing the rough draft online for everyone to read. The upside is that you can comment and participate in the writing process. The downside, is that while I do try to edit before I post, I don’t catch everything so, you’re getting the chapters in a raw format. Anyhow, enjoy Chapter 11! Happy reading!

Chapter 11

When do I get to know? When do I get to find out how this ends?

A clearing, a misty meadow. Maybe early morning, maybe late evening. The green of the treeline is still visible. The sweet smell of the blooms. For a moment, I forget where I’m at. For a moment, I forget that my body aches. For a moment, I take in the view and the smell one last time.

Where is everyone?

Looking down, my t-shirt is painted in Rorschach. Is that my blood? Is that mud?

Surrounded by rusted gray walls, I sit up on the make-shift table. A short woman walks in. Her appearance, comical, her hair is pulled tight while dozens of individual curly strands are sprouting all over her head. She has had a rough week apparetly, I almost can’t believe she’s a real person – the type of character that you would only see on a comedy series. Smiling, she uses her middle knuckle to push her glasses up onto the bridge of her nose, “Oh hey! I’m glad to see you awake. How are you feeling?’ Her obvious exhaustion betrays her otherwise chipper demeanor.

The smile I return is painful.

“That bad, huh? Don’t worry, I’ve got some stuff that will make you better. Take two of these green pills,” she runs her hand on my sternum as part of some kind of medical exam and I let out a painful grunt, “…better make it three of the green ones.”

She hands me a fresh set of clothes, still warm from the dryer, she tells me to get changed and come outside when I’m done. She leaves, her alfalfa sprouts flying around her head like tiny bobble heads.

Peeling off the Rorschach of my mother yelling at me, my abdomen reveals new stitches and gauze. Disbelief overcomes my thoughts – only a few days ago I was delivering mail for Dean, and now, I’m literally stitched together. Wearing the clean clothes the apparent nurse gave me, I linger in the room for another moment. Taking in the peace, the quiet, and a deep relaxed breath, one last time. Something has changed. I don’t know what I will do or what is going to happen but, I know whatever I was doing before is over. I need to talk to Big Rich.

I step through the door, the light is the brightest I’ve known.

…to be continued….