Thursday, June 26, 2008

Stained Woman

She lays upon a stretcher within the cozy confines of a white ambulance. The thin hospital mattress is covered in a white fitted sheet, its unfitted match covers her below the torso, hiding her spread legs and swollen belly. The emergency vehicle is parked in an abandoned parking lot in an equally desolate section of town. There are no sirens, no speed or haste. The back double doors are open, allowing the quiet breeze to enter the small rectangle. Her torso is uncovered by the sheet, but she wears two blue cotton T-shirts layered upon each other. Over the T-shirts, she has on a blue hooded sweatshirt and a green feather down vest on top of that. Her clothes indicate the cold, but outside, the sky is an unclouded blue and the sun continues to beat upon the black asphalt surrounding the vehicle. Inside the light is dim, illuminated only by the residual light of the day streaming in. A soft breeze enters and lingers, gently touching her face.
The blinking lights from the dashboard continue to flash red and blue and green. Every now and then, a bit of static comes through the radio, kkkkkchhhh….it lasts for a couple of seconds then stops as suddenly as it began. The pillow beneath her head is packed to the seams with fluff, being unrelenting in girth, her head as fallen almost completely off the pillow. Her torso and head lean at a diagonal angle to the left. She moans with pain, unable to control her neck and the heaviness of her head. Her forehead drips with beads of sweat, tiny glistening drops roll from her hairline, down her cheeks, collecting at the tip of her nose teetering on the brink of collapse. Her eyes are open just slightly, giving the faintest indication of consciousness. The eyelids flicker occasionally, but mostly, they remain still and just barely open. Her hair is straight, cut in a strawberry blond bob that reaches just above her shoulders. Her hair is tousled and tangled in the back and because of the drooping angle of her head off the pillow, strands from the right side of her face have streamed over her face to the left, creating diagonal wet lines of hair upon her pale white face. A sprinkling of tan freckles and sunspots dot her nose.
She stares at nothing, consumed by pain but unable to move or scream. Within the silence of the vehicle, she whimpers. After a moment of silence, she moans. There is a red blood stain across her lips. The blood is fresh and wet, still glistening bright in the reflecting light of the windshield. Her mouth is covered in a red gagged puddle of thin liquid, it reaches her upper lip and has stained her chin. She whimpers.

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