Friends With Shadows – Chapter 4 (….Continued!)

Writers Note: I apologize for the delay in postings. However, it was a delay well spent. I’ve made some adjustments, working through a writer’s block, made some spelling and grammatical adjustments, and I am developing a more solid delivery of information to the reader via characters. While I continue to expand and develop, I hope you enjoy this next section! And as always, please leave any comments, concerns, questions, or burritos that you feel may warrant my attention – not to mention, please be certain to share and like this page! Word of mouth does wonders!

Chapter 4 (continued)

Even though you, the patient, have just been through a traumatizing life event that may or may not be the fault of this hospital and or this doctor or other subordinates and employees that may or may not have been in contact with you or any equipment actually used to evaluate or perform surgical or *cough* posthumous operations, you will hold harmless this hospital and any personnel under its jurisdiction including the Board of Directors. Further, without admitting any guilt or innocence on behalf of the hospital, we would like to offer a settlement of $10,000 as an expression of our sympathy and compensation to amicably bring this matter to rest. All that is required is you initial here. Sign here. Date here.   

Her fingers pointed to each spot like a flight attendant telling you where the emergency exits are. I doubt her fingers have resembled that of a woman for decades, save her gaudy rings. I can see the festering bacteria seeping from her gums. I can smell the volatile sulfur compounds pouring from her breath in every syllable she indifferently blathers.

Lawyers and disclaimers have replaced our human sympathy with dozens of pages of legal jargon no one was ever intended to read or understand. Scripts written by these ambulance chasing blatherskites for the purpose of protecting the potentially accused from every possible circumstance of life; an opera of language that might as well be dead to the person listening. Confuse and disorient; leading the signer to give up any recourse he or she may have been able to access.

I ask the man-woman, Phyllis, what are all of the other pages.

She simply states that it just says you won’t sue the hospital later for this incident.

Then why not just write that one sentence and save the time and money on that fancy education?
Check in hand, the ink forming my name has hardly dried. I initial there. I sign there. I date there.

The doctor says they’ll release me after a day or two of observation. Release me. A medical prison. The sutures, still fresh from where they opened my chest cavity to harvest my organs. I run fingers down the biological Braille, close my eyes and my mind clears a path down to a long sleep.

Everyone is so interested in recounting their own terrible experience, they forget to tell you that they made it through anyway; they forget to give you hope, “You can do this.” Though, I am certain no one I’m aware of has been through this or has had an experience remotely relatable. There’s not exactly a support group for the living dead or dead living – I can’t be sure which I am.

Something many would call a gift has been my ability to fall asleep anywhere and at any time. Like narcolepsy but completely voluntary.  I spend the remainder of my time at the hospital sleeping, mostly hospital strength narcotic induced.

The orderly insisted he push me out on the wheel chair to the sidewalk. I took advantage of the forced generosity by choosing not to press the situation. The hospital released me.   The orderly told me to take it easy and that things could have been a lot worse. He explained to me that I’m lucky, as best as he could.

That was the day I met the man. That was the day I was never given a choice. That was the day it got worse.

Friends With Shadows – Chapter 4 (A Continuation) – AKA What is still happening?

Writer’s Note: By the time you read this, I’m hoping you, yes you, are settled into a comfortable spot and ready to read the continuation of Chapter 4!! AND I WILL ANNOUNCE THE WINNER OF THE TAGGING/SHARING/LIKING CHALLENGE TO HAVE YOUR NAME AS ONE OF THE CHARACTERS TOMORROW!!!! WAHOOO!!! …it’s going to take me a moment to count them all. 😉 In the meantime, quell your anxious spirit and dig on this sweet, sweet flow of word combinations.

Chapter 4 (continued)

By the time my eyes flutter open, the digital noise of a heartbeat soothes my panic. Tubes coming from my veins.

A manly woman sits in the corner with a stern sympathy and a condescending smile smeared across her brutish palette of facial features.

The doctor walks into the room, clearly upset that his patient is awake. He sits on the edge of the bed, his indentation into the mattress gently tugging on the tubes feeding into my arm. The man looks like he never leaves the hospital and has seen more of the worst life moments that its greatest hits. He breathes deeply and does his best to soften his age battled face. Dr. Emmett Fine. He describes what happened to me starting from when I was riding the bike. When descriptions got to be too gruesome in layman description he shifted his body, tugging at the tubes, and began using medical jargon and hand motions.

In summation, I crashed – an economical, environmentally friendly, electric, super quiet engine, ain’t-gonna-get-a-date-in-this car was moving towards its destination on the road, and I went into a crosswalk while I was having some kind of epiphany. I was taken to the emergency room. The manly woman in a beige pant-suit nodded, and gave grunts of approval to continue; she was now standing on the opposite side of the bed and appearing cautiously ready to pounce. And this is where his words had more pause, more purpose. Dr. Fine tells me I was alive when I arrived at the hospital but obviously badly damaged. He says my heartbeat slowed and my blood pressure dropped. He began restraining his vocabulary while his tone became uneasy. The anticipation and uncertainty dripping from his nervously condensating brain; eager to be done with this conversation and watch his malpractice insurance cost be launched by an intercontinental ballistic missile. Dr. Fine tells me they did everything they could to keep me alive and mentioned that I’m an organ donor. The waiting list for organs is long and the would-be recipients are in urgent need. He said my organs are a perfect match for several patients on that list. They needed to move quickly to get my organs to the recipients once I had passed.

For a time, I hadn’t realized he was talking about my organs when I died. Wait. When did I die? Pop. Zip.

Dr. Emmett Fine told me I died and they had prepped me to take my organs.

I told him I’m not dead.

He quickly corrected me while the man-woman began to shift, pulling out documents, official in appearance. Forsooth, I had died for 45 minutes and spontaneously reanimated right when they were about to remove my body parts and repurpose them. He emphasized that there were absolutely zero vital signs indicating life; neither through physical observation or on the digital life readers.

Now, I’m not one for fainting, though I did on this occasion – briefly. The man-woman, Phyllis Bradsteen, recited a disclaimer for all situations, covered with feigned sympathy. Disclaimers have taken the place of human sympathy.

….to be continued….

Friends With Shadows – Chapter 4 – What Just Happened?

Writers Note: If you haven’t done so already, I’m giving everyone a last chance to like, share, and tag as many people as possible on this post of Chapter 4 and Chapter 3 to have an opportunity to have YOUR NAME as a character in the book. Don’t make me threaten you. 😉 Enjoy the beginning of Chapter 4. The end of it will actually leave you wondering what the heck just happened…and if it doesn’t, then you cannot be surprised by anything and should have been a zen master. So, take a break from your day and read the next 300 words or so and escape from reality.

Also, be sure to provide feedback, so I know what my readers are thinking…and if you catch any errors, let me know, I don’t always see them. Good luck to those doing their part by tagging and sharing and liking and providing feedback!

Chapter 4

My eyelashes, glued together, resisted being open. It’s like when you’re awakened suddenly because you heard a loud noise. A muffled popping sound; the sound a couch cushion makes when pierced with a fork. I then hear a muted zipper sound. My eyes break open, squint, and I wonder what that popping sound was, where that zipper noise had come from. It’s almost exactly like that, except and until you feel panic, a rush of pain.

Curiosity beckons me to look down and see why I feel so cold. I saw all of the light my eyelids had shielded from me. White gauze spanning the length of my arms. The gauze had been but an indicator of what I was about to feel once I decided to get up or, heaven forbid, use the water closet. Hardly beginning to comprehend what has happened when I see a perfect crimson line down a part of my torso. Feels like I have to wake up from a dream. Pop. Zip. These hopefully sanitized personnel – with eyes that only those having lived through a live zombie horror movie would know – have torn into my flesh, pop, and found a zipper I hadn’t known existed. A noise made of writhing fear beginning in my lungs, draining them and then forcing my throat to open and bellow a loud and long series of “a” sounds.

It’s just good to know they haven’t taken my lungs out yet.

The surgical masks rush me to an operating room. I feel a pinch somewhere on my body and I begin to float. Over the course of who-knows-how-long, I would awaken in a panic, my pores salivating all over my second-hand pajamas. Panic and fear, from dreams I can hardly remember. Living lifetimes in those sleep hallucinations. Entire worlds, with history and people only existing for a few hours after my eyelids fall. Waking up leaves me feeling guilty, like I sacrificed everything for something stupid.

….To Be Continued….Bum bum buuuuuuum!