Life after Life: Part 7
Oh, hi :)
So... how's your day going?
That's some weather we're having, eh?
And what about that local sports team? Their season appears interesting.
*Awkwardly staring at my screen because I have nothing prepped for a personal blurb*
So, uh... seen any good movies lately? ---> That was my clever segue to "My 3 year old has been watching Coraline lately and really enjoys it. We also watch a lot of Monster House and Teen Titans."
Small talk: my clever attempt at an interesting personal blurb. Which I believe has failed now that we're both awkwardly staring at the screen and slightly uncomfortable, possibly cringing. And, if you weren't staring awkwardly and getting slightly uncomfortable, now you are... because I said it.
Apologies, I'm tired and my humor suffers for it... which means others (such as yourself) suffer through what my exhaustion takes for humor. It was a busy week, but a really good one, and I'm more excited than the kids to have a long weekend. My goals are to find the living room floor, make at least one real dinner (with sitting at the table and using forks and all that), and maybe - if I'm super lucky and motivated - catch a glimpse of the inside bottom of the dirty clothes hampers because they'll be momentarily empty.
LOL! :D Hope you have a great long weekend and a very happy Canadian Turkey Day!
7. One Down...
He fought the gravity that made each movement nearly impossible, crawling on all fours to get over himself. Kaylynd tripped on one of his legs and the paramedic setting up the stretcher noticed the movement and thought it was spontaneous. The pair redoubled their efforts, and each step that Liam took away from the scene was easier than the one before. Another car with an open door beckoned straight ahead, on the path of the catwalk, and Liam crawled inside. The interior of it changed part way through and the closed door in front of him evaporated to reveal a door hanging open. They climbed out into a perfect summer day.
“I’m a doctor! Can I help?” the man yelled, leaving his car running as he slid down the steep edge right beside the road to the knot of kids that had just dragged Kaylynd out of the lake and toward the nearest trail up to the road.
“She’s not breathing!” one of the kids cried out as she looked up at the approaching doctor.
“Dad, help!” one of the boys with Kaylynd’s arm over his shoulders yelled.
The doctor swore and sprinted the few steps across the gravel beach toward the kids, yelling orders to lay Kaylynd down and asking how long since she’d stopped breathing. Somewhere in the confusion, he was able to get answers and get to her and get working to get her breathing. Kayland let go of Liam’s belt so she could stand beside him and watch the scene that was unfolding below. Liam knelt to feel the slope the doctor had slid down and his sleeve encountered the same smooth edge as the dish he’d been in when he’d first arrived in the grey.
“You’d better hurry,” Liam told her. “Wait too long and you risk brain damage.”
“What about you?” she asked, tucking her hand into his and looking up. He smiled at her.
“I’ll be good,” he assured her. She smiled her brave face, then her eyes watered up and she gripped around his waist in a hug that he felt all the way up to the top of his heart before she let go and spun away.
Her feet slid as she scooted down to the gravel beach. She stopped for a moment and waved back up at where Liam was still standing. He returned the wave and was rewarded with a huge smile, and then she turned, crouched down, and touched her fingers to her own ankles. This time the scene evaporated, she went with it. Liam closed his eyes and held tight to the fading sound of coughing and vomiting that started the instant Kaylynd went back.
The growling was closer than expected when the grey settled into silence. The catlike motion of what had been stalking them was now easy to attribute to the creature because proximity provided a clear view of the black stripes caging the orange fur. Something in the tone of the growl wasn’t right though and, as Liam watched the distant tiger, he saw it ducking and cringing from its own worst day. The big cat was terrified as it slunk and clung to the edges of the catwalk.
When Liam turned back to face what he considered forward, there was a jeep parked across a straight run at what he figured would be a few turnings away. All the doors were hanging open. He’d never seen a vehicle with a snorkel except in jungle movies, so he assumed this was for the tiger. That was good. It meant if he got to the other side of the jeep, the tiger should just stay in its own life because (Liam figured) animals preferred to stay alive.
Liam found the edge of the catwalk and hurried forward, smiling that the memory of Kaylynd’s grip on his belt had been replaced with the view of her brightest smile. He was doing some seriously comic book level hero stuff right now.
The jeep was idling, keys in the ignition, and all four doors opened wide. The radio started when he slid into the passenger seat and played in some other language for some song that didn’t make much sense because the rhythm of the lyrics didn’t seem to match the beat the way he understood popular music should be. When he looked up, heavy jungle had replaced the grey on all sides. Liam climbed over the manual gear shift and into the driver’s seat, letting the yelling he could hear be his guide once he climbed out and had feet on solid nothing again (the edge of the catwalk was, of course, leading him straight to the scene of the yelling).
A heavy caliber gunshot boomed. The leaves and branches directly behind his spine rustled and a few fell to the ground. A little moment of panic where his instincts told him he’d been shot almost made him run, but then he remembered he was already dead… after looking down to check his chest was still intact. The next corner swung left and broke out into a clearing that had been made only because it was packed flat by the amount of tromping on the low vegetation. In the middle of the flattened area was what was left of the tiger that was fighting its worst day back in the grey.
Liam stayed crouched low as the games officers and poacher finished their short shootout with one more shot, this time from a small caliber pistol. Kudos to the lady in uniform for just firing one shot into the poacher’s leg and then running over and smacking him in the head with the butt of her pistol while he was still screaming in shock. The rest of the game officers tied up the poacher and stripped all his gear and weapons before attempting to deal with the bleeding as the lady started going through his truck and pulling out whatever trophies he had with him. The growing pile of animal bits, collected from a lot of different animals, was enough to make Liam sick to his stomach.
The dead tiger was missing only one paw and had a long gash between its ribs and hips. One of the game officers was obviously swearing as he checked over the big cat, even opening its mouth, his shoulders hunching up in honest grieving over the waste of a beautiful animal as he set determinedly to try and resuscitate the tiger because all the needed bits for living were – if the man’s actions could be believed – still there. Liam couldn’t understand anything the officers were saying, but when each of the other officers paused, one by one, in whatever routine they had in order to pay silent respects over the warm body and offer help to the veterinarian, Liam empathized with them completely. He dropped his head and closed his eyes, mourning in his own way, until he felt the tickle on the back of his neck of thick whiskers and in-drawn breath. He froze in place. The same part of his mind that had noted the irony in his world ending by taking a day off school now ever so helpfully noted that he’d forgotten to pay attention to the tiger behind him because he was absorbed in the final moments of the one in front. Liam turned slowly and with an awareness all the way to his core that perhaps screaming in pain and oozing bodily fluids in the road really was a better place than right here and right now.
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A weekly blog updating on Fridays with quick personal blurbs about me, as in what's going on during my life as an Author and mom, and that doles out my short stories and novellas in bite-sized parts for everyone to read for free!