Posts Tagged ‘Jessie&Jonah stories’

26th April
2012
written by amber

Jonah’s Dream

I’m at a birthday party. I’m dancing, left foot, right foot, hips swinging one way then another, round and round. A circle of girls rotates the other way and I’m making my steps shorter so that when the music stops I’ll be right in front of her. The new girl in school with the pretty red hair.

She blushes easily. When Mrs. Powers said that Dirk had to pretend to be her husband in the wedding game, Dirk said he wouldn’t marry her and Jessika’s face turned as red as her hair. I liked it. My favourite aunt turns red like that. But all the other kids laughed at her.

I said I would marry her. Mrs. Powers gave me a plastic flower to pin on my shirt and she put a piece of curtain or something on Jessika’s head. All the kids threw little bits of coloured paper at us and now we’re doing this dance.

This is fun. I can’t wait to tell my friends, Matt and Luc, about it.

But maybe I shouldn’t. They think girls are silly and I bet they think dancing is silly too.

I know I can’t talk to Jessika at school. Boys and girls can’t be friends at school. But when I’m old enough to have a girlfriend, I want Jessika to be my girlfriend.

But I’m not going to be able to stop in front of her when the music stops. We’re too far from each other and my wheelchair won’t go fast enough.

Now she’s walking away from me quickly, carrying a picnic basket. I realize I’m not a grade 3 anymore. In grade 3, I could walk.

I’m an adult, and I just took Jessie out on our first date. And she’s mad at me because I thought it was a joke when she asked me out in high school. I’m mad at me too. When did I change my mind about wanting her to be my girlfriend? The kids still laugh at her because she is so shy and blushes so easily, but I should know better than that. Why don’t I?

No, I do, now. I was cruel to her in high school, but I’m older now. Losing the use of my legs has made me grow up, fast. I want to make a future for myself, and I want her in it.

The minute I think this thought, a darkness descends. I’m trapped, I’m cold, I’m feeling very far away from Jessie.

No! It’s been too great of a struggle – her feelings for me all those years when I’d forgotten about our early connection, my pursuit of her after meeting her again after my accident. I have to overcome this darkness. I have to find my way back to Jessie.

My legs won’t work. My eyes won’t work. But I can twitch my hands a little. Yes, they’re moving. Tied down with something. Okay, got that loose. And my eyes – they do work, there’s a cloth over them.

Push the cloth away. Try to talk.

Something in my throat. Pull it out, even if it makes me gag.

Still can’t see. No, wait, I can, a bit. The room is dark. I don’t recognize the room, but the smell’s familiar. I’m in a hospital, and I think it’s night time.

Someone in a chair next to my bed. Snoring gently.

It’s Jessie.

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.

By popular demand, here’s the final story of the Jessie and Jonah series.

26th December
2011
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.

20th December
2011
written by amber

Jessie Calls For Help

I am murmuring into Jonah’s ear, “It’ll be all right now, you’re safe,” when I realize that I might be lying. Sure, he isn’t alone at the bottom of this mine shaft any longer but I’m not sure any of the plans Jonah’s friends made when they sent me down here are going to pan out.

The first thing is the walkie-talkie, but no one had high hopes for it because of how far underground I might find Jonah. And it feels pretty far. And yes, when I try it, I get nothing but static. And no signal on my cell phone either.

Matt and Luc were going to scout around for another entrance to the mine while Andy minded my ropes. I swing my flashlight upwards and see an opening, round and dark, blocked with something.

Jonah notices my focus. “It’s nailed down or something.” His voice is weak, his breathing laboured.

“You rest,” I urge. “Andy and Luc will pry it open for us.” But I’m afraid they haven’t found it yet, otherwise I should be hearing them up there. It must be well-camouflaged. I took a long time to crawl here through from the shaft we discovered.

And the last part, after I realized Jonah was below me and hastily descended maybe 20 feet, trusting to Andy to play out my rope slowly enough to keep me safe without any way for me to let him know what my situation was – that part was a nightmare. And I don’t think I can climb back up. The rock was loose. I’m lucky that none of the rubble I disturbed hit Jonah.

Even if I could leave Jonah, I really don’t want to. He seems so fragile. I just want to stay with him, keep him from sliding further downhill. His friends will have to figure out how to get us out of here.

Some time later, it seems that they have. I can hear someone struggling through the same side passage that I used. I hear him curse as he gets caught by the final pinch, and I call out to warn him that the passage ends with a precipitous drop into this shaft. But I’m too late. He pops through with a “Bloody hell!” and an avalanche of stones rains down on us.

A large rock hits Jonah right on the head.

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.

30th November
2011
written by amber

Jonah No Longer Alone

I’m floating, not in water, not in air, but in a state that ought to frighten me, it’s so similar to the way I felt after my accident. I don’t remember the accident. The guys told me about it, the blue Camaro that barrelled around the corner and hit me, hurled me across the street and against a parked car. Andy said I looked like a rag doll without enough stuffing. They thought I was dead.

Meanwhile, I was floating in a timeless, painless place where the sounds of them screaming slowed down to whale music, spread across the sky like pastel soap bubbles. My own personal acid trip, years after the 60′s. I didn’t come down until I was wheeled out of the operating room. Reality sucked. The hospital smell. My mother crying. The pain in my head and arms, the alarming deadness in my lower body.

The floating this time is similar, but there’s a big difference. Like last time, there’s no glowing tunnel, no offer to choose to go toward the light or return to my life, but I feel that the choice is mine and there’s no doubt what I’ll choose. Just before the psychic lava lamp swallowed me, I heard something, I had a notion, I asked a question. In exactly the way dreams evaporate when you wake up too quickly, the sound and the notion and the question have faded. But I retain one image. The image of Jessie.

She is a promise. Life has sucked a lot since I’ve been in the wheelchair but she’s made me look forward to a future. I can see the future. I just can’t figure out where I am now, or why I’m in this floating, near-death state.

But now there’s a feeling. Gentle hands patting me softly. Now there’s a sound, pushing back the unreal peacefulness cocooning me. A voice, “Jonah, are you all right?” Suddenly I’m as alert as a dog who hears the word, “Walk.” It’s Jessie’s voice and I detect a sharp edge of panic. I need to reassure her that I have no intention of floating away from her.

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 suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

To see all the Jessie and Jonah stories, click on the category tag at the bottom of this story.

8th November
2011
written by amber

Jessie in a Tunnel

I guess this is like caving, except I think cavers have hard hats and coveralls. I’m wearing the old jeans and sweat shirt I put on for today’s search, plus a jacket that Matt forced me to wear at the last minute, just before I put on the harness and ropes to descend into this mine entrance.

This mine where, if I can believe a note I found attached to a cat’s collar, my boyfriend Jonah has been trapped for three days.

The hard hat would have been useful. Already I’ve clonked myself on the head a couple of times, but not too hard because I’m not going all that fast. I can see why Andy couldn’t fit in this side tunnel – he’s a pretty big guy and this is tight. Luckily, I’ve discovered that I enjoy caving. Who knew? If it wasn’t for the desperate nature of my mission, I’d be having a ball. Instead, I’m anxious, moving as quickly as possible while still staying safe. It won’t do Jonah any good if I get wedged in here, or fall down a hole.

But I think I do need to hurry. Jonah’s note said, “My name is Jonah and I’m in the mine shaft where or near where you find this cat. I am not hurt too bad, but I hope you hurry anyhow.” The writing was very shaky.

“Jonah! Jonah!” I call, then wait for a reply. I’ve been calling out continuously, but this time I think I hear something, a low moan, or is it the echo of my own breathing?

No, it really does sound like a voice. I wriggle forward but the tunnel clenches in on me. Refusing to be stopped, I squeeze through, like a difficult birth, one shoulder at a time, and only the circle of rock holding my hips keeps me from plunging over an edge.

As I steady myself, I hear a voice from far beneath me. “Jessie? Is that you?”

It’s Jonah.

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 suggestions in the Comment section of any story.

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