Look! It’s the first Inspiration Monday post with my new badge! (Also, because I’m a strange person who must name everything, this lil’ guy shall henceforth be known as “Iggy”. That is all.) Today’s story uses the prompt:
love at last sight.
I hope you enjoy reading it. I will guiltily admit that it hasn’t been as thoroughly edited as I usually like it to be. However, I am currently in a very busy time at university, and I feel like my poor blog is being neglected — and so, by extension, are you, my dear readers. So I wanted to supply you with this story, just to remind you that I’m still around.
Hopefully, Real Life will settle the hell down soon, and I’ll be able to refind some regular form of posting. For now, cheers, readers!
Two Minutes, Thirty-Seven Seconds
For as long as he could remember, Shannon ‘Lucky’ O’Malley had been undeniably, irrefutably unlucky. It was his friends who bestowed his nickname upon him—irony, you see. And so it was that Shannon bore the name ‘Lucky’ through car accidents and burglaries, through redundancies and divorce, through every miserable day of his pathetically misfortunate life.
It should have come to no surprise to anyone, therefore, when Shannon went to work one fine Monday morning and proceeded to slice open his finger (trying to reload the photocopier), shatter his patella (slipping on the freshly-mopped bathroom floor) and fall to his death (out the window of said bathroom).
Of course, Lucky was not lucky, as you now know. And so the poor man lay, broken on the footpath, for a painful duration of two minutes and thirty-seven seconds between his fall and the sweet release of Death.
At two minutes and twenty-eight seconds, Shannon heard the first scream of recognition. Were his spine not severed, he surely would have jumped at the sudden, high-pitched wail that assaulted his ears.
Two minutes, twenty seconds, and a cacophony of shouting and frantic footfalls surrounded him. Did he jump? Has anyone called an ambulance? Is he alive? Oh, God…
Two minutes, nine seconds, and he released a wet and bitter cough, spraying the cement beneath his cheek with blood that seemed more black than red.
Someone attempted to move him slightly, with one minute and fifty seconds to go, perhaps bothered by the macabre sight of his warped body; Shannon parted his lips in a scream not given voice. He throat released a sick gurgle and the hands mercifully disappeared.
One minute and thirty-two seconds; distantly, above the fearful, helpless cries of his gathered crowd, a voice rose out, firm and sure. Move! Everyone, please move! I’m a doctor!
Rising above the pain, Shannon managed to feel mildly surprised that a doctor was present; his luck would usually dictate that only a vet be on the scene, or a CPR-certified student with too much enthusiasm. Or hell, maybe a piano would just fall from the sky and crush him. But no—there was a doctor. His first spot of luck, and it occurred while he was busy painting the concrete. Typical.
The voice continued—one minute, twenty-one seconds—in a soft, soothing tone. Closer now: Sir, you’re going to be okay. My name is Rachel; I’m a doctor. Can you hear me?
With one minute, fifteen-seconds to go, Shannon decided that he’d very much like to see the owner of that sweet voice, but found his eyes would not open. He managed a rather ineloquent grunt, instead.
Hands on him again, but light and safe, prying gently to find the broken bones, the split seams, the displaced organs. It would do no good, of course. Shannon knew this; already, the pain was ebbing away, leaving him in some strange, in-between place. Waiting. Not altogether unpleasant.
Stay with me, the Voice hummed, and because she asked, he wanted to—at least for a while longer.
Can you hear me? Squeeze my hand. Her hand took his in a movement as light as flowing water. He ordered his fingers to obey and managed a weak twitch; satisfied, she released him, and he wished he’d stayed still.
You’re doing great. Hang in there; I can hear the ambulance. Too late, but at least they’d made the effort. What’s your name?
He took a breath, wanting so badly for her to know his name, for this angel, Rachel, to remember some small part of him after he was gone, but his ribs screamed in protest. His name would not pass his lips, so he slurred, “L’ky”.
He could hear it now, the screeching wail of the ambulance. He weakly shook his head, trying to rid his ears of its terrible whine, but her hands were suddenly there, holding him steady, grounding him against the world’s assault. It’s okay. You’re going to be okay. Can you look at me?
His eyelids fluttered, uncooperative; he saw a flash of blonde hair, glowing with the sun, before they closed. Growling lightly, he forced them opened.
Oh, look. He was right. She was an angel. “’Lo,” he mumbled, losing the word over his tired tongue.
She smiled—oh, how she smiled!—as she took his hand once more.
Tires screeched; shadows loomed.
“Stay with me, okay?”
Shannon’s eyes watered, aching to close, but he fixed his gaze on her, on Rachel, and kept it there.
And wouldn’t this be his luck?
“Hurry, he’s running out of time.”
He shouldn’t be surprised.
Of course he would fall in love here. Now. ‘Love at first sight’, and all that.
Love at last sight.
His eyes fluttered shut.
“Stay with me…”
- Love The Bad Guy