Archive for December 26th, 2011

26th December
written by amber

Jonah in the Hospital

Jonah knows where he is. He’s in a hospital. Again.

He recognizes the sensation of being in a medically-induced coma. He can smell the hospital smell and hear bustles and clanks, distant conversations and amplified announcements, but he can’t move or speak. Last time this happened to him, he’d panicked – and found the panic worse for his inability to communicate his fear to anyone around him.

He can’t remember how he got here, why he got here. That’s familiar too. His friends had to tell him about the accident which cost him the use of his legs, he couldn’t recall any of it. He wonders if his brain has played a trick on him – is this the same hospital stay? the same helpless unconsciousness? Are his memories of the months of rehab, of buying a house in his home town and adapting it for his wheelchair, real or fantasies?

Jonah recalls an incident in high school – he’d crammed for a test all night and fell asleep at his desk, only to dream about waking up, eating breakfast, walking to school and writing the exam. Then he woke up for real and had to do it all over again. That had sucked.

He hopes this isn’t like that.

He figures he must have been hurt pretty badly. The doctors don’t knock people out this way for nothing, but he must also be recovering. Once the coma begins to wane, he knows he’ll have more and more moments of near-lucidity.

He tries to push this one, at least to see if it’s the same hospital room as before. A superhuman effort is required to force his eyelids open and focussing is totally impossible. A flood of relief washes over him when he sees the window. Last time he hadn’t been facing a window. He hasn’t lost all those months.

A face eclipses the glow of the window. Not his mother or father. Not one of his friends. A nurse then, or maybe a doctor, since she doesn’t seem to be wearing a uniform.

“Jonah, Jonah,” she says, “I’m so sorry!”

He’s fading, he can feel it, but he makes an effort to concentrate on her face. It’s unfamiliar. Who can she be?

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story for every day of the year and posted on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line or topic suggestions in the Comment section of any story. If you’d like me to use your name in a story, I’d be happy to do that.