The baggie of white cheddar popcorn could save my life, but it’s no use. It’s right there on the table, a few feet away, and I cannot reach it.
(it’s only a slight stretch. we can do it.)
And aggravate my back? I can barely breathe, shallowly, lying perfectly still.
(we have to do something. we’ll starve if we wait here for help.)
And if I move I risk permanent paralysis. I just have to hold on. Somehow.
(why did we have to—)
Let’s not get into that again. What’s done is done. I’m just thankful the damned dogs have calmed down. Foul beasts. I just knew they were going to cripple me.
(look, outside, there on the fence. a cardinal bird. aren’t they harbingers of good news?)
I dunno. They always remind me of the Spanish Inquisition. Let’s hope you’re right. The last thing I need right now is a bunch of red clad idiots barging in here looking to string me up.
(they’d surely rile up the dogs.)
Hmm. . .
That would be an opportunity. I might be able to get the dogs riled up in the right direction: at the inquisition. Maybe it’d be enough to distract them into leaving the door open. With the door open I could—
(wait. shhhhh. whaz’zat sound? someone’s coming. oh, god, it’s happening!)
The footsteps stopped at the door. The handle clicked and the door swung open slowly. The dogs didn’t register any of it.
“Hey, sweetie. I wanted to check on you,” Vicky said, her head poking halfway in. “How are you feeling?”
“Back hurts,” I moan. “Hungry.”
“I put a snack on your bedside table.”
“Can’t reach. Not without paralyzing—“
“Okay. Okay. I’ll come get it. I don’t want you to over do it and hurt yourself more. Reaching for the tissue did enough damage.”
“Don’t disturb the dogs. I don’t want them to jump on me.”
“I’ll be careful,” she whispered.
Vicky tip-toed into the room and around the bed with cat-like precision. Rather than jump up and follow her every move, the dogs continued to snooze quietly on the bed next to me. One sighed contentedly, sliding even deeper into sleep.
Vicky picked up the baggie and handed it to me. I smiled up at her. She kissed my forehead softly. Slowly I clicked open the baggie, trying to be as quiet as possible. Vicky gave me a look that asked if I was good. I nodded.
Vicky padded back out. She closed the door silently behind her.
(phew! that was close.)
Tell me about it. That could have been nasty. This popcorn’s delicious.
(right. it’s like a cool draught of water when we wake up in the middle of the night. how does that even work? water doesn’t have a flavor yet somehow it’s the best tasting thing ever!)
Good question. I dunno. Speaking of, I sure could . . . Oh no!
My mouth is all dry from the popcorn. A swallow of water from my tumbler could save my life, but it’s no use. It’s right there on the table, a few feet away. I cannot reach it.