The pain leaches into the soil with his blood as he lies silently studying the pines. The long straight trees pierce the clouds with geometric precision. The cold calms him; he no longer feels a need to call for help. Studying the perfection of the moment, he dozes into a mindless peace.
Without warning, he jerks into consciousness with a brilliant electrifying pain. Strangers loudly push and pull trying to move his body. Terrifying sounds, he can’t comprehend. “Stop, stop, why won’t you stop?” He doesn’t want them to disturb the beauty of the welcoming moment. Young men yell and slap him to stay awake. In the confusion, he only wants to go back to the trees. Trying to stop the rude invasion, he fights, but he doesn’t have the strength to lift his arms. As a witness to this assault on his own body, he slips back into the comfort of oblivion.
Abruptly more strangers intrude on his serenity, wrapping him in blankets and jabbing him with metal, he is amazed as they turn anguish into torture. The people seem to be trying to help, but he wants to be alone. His misses the perfect loving embrace of the forest. They won’t listen. He tries to demand his wishes be respected but drifts back into silence; all dreams stripped away.
Awakening again, he hears beeping and sees the tubes and machines as an angel in light blue quietly offers ice chips. Her touch is painful, but welcome as she moves about the bed. He tries to speak and she comes close, putting her ear near his mouth. She is the first to try to understand him, encouraging and tender in her intrusions. He calmly drifts back home.
The room is dark when he re-enters consciousness. The pain is his constant companion and he still can’t move. He watches two women in the room, their motions choreographed with a shared purpose. They attend to the body attached to his thoughts. He asks about the angel but he can’t form the right words. As he speaks, they accelerate into a cacophony of activity and he becomes agitated when they don’t understand. Fade to black.
A soft yellow light enters the room and he feels the sun warm his face. He opens his eyes to a new day as the angel appears in his room. She brings food and disconnects some of the tubes. His grief slips away and eagerly eats a few bites. The pain is tolerable and he can move ever so slightly. Peace is gone, but he is happy to be alive. He looks directly into her caramel colored eyes and asks, “Do you have my banjo?” Her laugh fills the room as she responds “Welcome back, nice to meet you.”
Author and Occasional liar