Friday, November 21, 2008


Noah opens his eyes and waits for his mind to catch up. The images come, jagged, erratic. He lies in a space where a stretcher should be, in the back of an ambulance. The comforting hiss of oxygen flows through a mask that is hugging his face. He struggles upward, ripping the mask away.

“Mate, take it easy there,” It’s the voice of his chief next to him. Noah turns and their eyes meet. “Where’s Jonah…where’s my wife… …is Lizzy…is she here…I saw Jonah…where are they…” Outside Noah hears the scream of a siren as another ambulance arrives at the scene. The siren warbles its way down into silence. The sound helps piece some of the fragments together as Noah remembers what is happening outside.

“This can’t be real, this isn’t happening,” he says, pressing his fingertips to his forehead, like they might rearrange the mess in his head; contain it until he can cope. 

He looks through the yawning mouth of the ambulance, to the confusion outside and he is suddenly sick. He leans and vomits out the back of the truck. A long stringy bridge of saliva swings from his lip like a rescuers rope. He wipes it away with the back of his hand. He rambles, frustrated, as his garbled and fragmented thoughts form an incomprehensible dialogue.

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