Fade – A Different Version

I found this version of the short story ‘Fade’ in the back reaches of my hard drive. Thought I’d chuck it up here too for everyone to see. Personally, I think I like this version better. But oh well…

_____________________________________________________________________________________________

Screeching filled the air along with the smell of burning tires. Bang! Then silence. Not long after that the s0ft sound of sirens shattered the quiet. People stood on the sidewalks, frozen in shock and horror as they stared at the scene before them. As the sirens grew louder they were started into action.

They scattered, every one of them trying to be as far from the area as possible before the ambulance arrived. No one wanted to explain or describe what had happened. Nobody wanted to know about it.

The ambulance squealed to a stop by the now destroyed car. It was followed quickly by a pair of police cars. What happened next passed by in a flash. The police examined the scene and the medics removed the bodies. Two bodies were removed from the wreckage, one went to the morgue straight away, and the other went to the hospital.

 

Beep.

Silence.

Beep.

I lay there on the cold white bed, my eyes closed, my limbs stiff. I couldn’t move, but I fought anyway. It was as though some strange power had taken over my body and was preventing me from doing what my mind wanted to do.

Beep.

The instrument beside the bed continued to announce quietly to the room that I was still alive. But only just. The door opened and I tried to look at who it was, but as before, I was frozen.

When the door closed, I could almost be sure that at least four people had entered. The first spoke quietly, explaining what had happened to the others. A car had spun out of control, hitting me as it slammed into a shop along the road. The driver had been killed instantly, I was in a coma. They didn’t know when, if at all, I would wake.

One of the other people began to sob almost inaudibly and a deep voice spoke back to the medic. What could be done? Was there any possibility at all that I might recover?

The medic replied that everything that could be done was being done, but as to whether I might recover… Well, not many people woke up from a coma. But there was a chance. The option was theirs.

My parents… it occurred to me that my parents wouldn’t know what to do. I vaguely remembered a conversation had with them a long time ago. A conversation about people in coma’s.

Beep.

We were watching one of those pathetic medical shows on TV. Someone had fallen from a cliff while climbing and ended in a coma. The family had been given the choice of letting them live, attached to a machine in the hopes they would wake. And if they did wake there was always the possibility that they would be a vegetable for the rest of their life. Or, the family could ‘pull the plug’ and let them die.

I seemed to recall that I had told my mother, if that sort of thing ever happened to me, I would want to be pulled. I didn’t want to live as a mentally inactive lump for what was left of my life. I would want to be able to take care of myself, and if I couldn’t, then there was no point in living.

I started to struggle at the darkness that bound me. I tried to scream, to tell them that I could hear them, that I was awake. I fought and kicked and screamed in my mind, but my body remained frustratingly still.

Beep.

Don’t do it! My mind bellowed at them. I’m still here! I’m alive!

An ominous silence filled the room, but the loud battle that was going on in my mind rattled back and forth as I clashed with the coma. I wanted so badly to just twitch a finger or frown or something that would let them know I was still there, still with them.

Beep.

Still the machine told them I was alive. In my head, I screamed at them, pleaded with them to listen to the machine. To listen to what it was telling them. That I was alive.

Beep.

The battle raged on.

Please, I begged them in my mind. Please listen to the machine. Please…

My mother was still crying softly. My father was silent and the medic was patiently awaiting an answer. A pen scrabbled across a surface. More silence.

The medic spoke in a low voice. Something about having finished. Whatever it was, it was done and it sounded ominous to me.

Beep.

Again I strained at the hazy blackness that surrounded me.

Wake up! I roared at myself. Get up! Move! Live!

I thrashed my unresponsive body and my mind screamed for my parents to see reason. To listen to the machine. To see me there alive. I begged my body, my eyes to open, but no matter how hard I fought the darkness, this almost waking state I was trapped in, it didn’t let go. I was a prisoner in my own mind, unable to tell people where I was, incapable of escape.

Beep.

Heavy footsteps moved across the room and my mother’s soft sniffles turned into sobs that wracked her body.

Beep.

I could almost see her shaking there.

Beep.

I heard my father take a deep breath as he forced himself across the room.

Beep.

I felt, more than heard, as he grabbed something by my bedside.

Beep.

He sucked in one more deep breath and pulled.

Beeee…

My mother’s tears increased and my father broke down, but I didn’t really hear this. As soon as my father pulled that plug, my mind began to wander. The darkness rushed in as it tried to crush me. I didn’t fight it now, I couldn’t concentrate on what I wanted to do, I just let it carry me away, drifting on it’s suddenly kind and gentle waves.

The machine that had once pulsed with the unseen life within me was now the only thing in the room that knew what had been done. The battle was over.

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~ by reliquiaen on April 12, 2012.

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