This short story is written as a response to prompt#11 in the article, "101 Writing Prompts to Inspire You" authored by HP fellow writer Earl S. Wynn.
Earl S. Wynn’s Prompt#11
Look through the newspaper for a particularly interesting line like, “It was a day like any other for Joe Everyman.” Ponder it for a moment, bend it around in your mind and explore the possible places a line like this could go…then write one of them.
The Snakebitten Day- The Response
It was a day like any other for Spencer Lincoln. He had awakened from a good night's sleep, had breakfast with family, and left for work.
He was skilled in his work being a software engineer. He had been in this office for years. He and his wife, Gianna had two children when she was studying medical science. As her studies were constantly interrupted, he realized that Gianna, after graduating, could not hold a steady job. He wished he had earned higher as he had so many dreams for his family.
He found himself pondering over his life when it occurred to him that he should focus on his work. He had indeed checked his work tasks for the day. And soon enough he got busy with them. When he next looked at his cellphone, he found it was 2 pm. Time for lunch already.
He was wrapping up his work when he got a phone call. He saw an unknown number but picked it up. The voice on the other side said, "This is Dallas police agent, Rowan Benson. Your wife, Gianna has been badly hit in the car. She has been taken to Medical City Dallas Hospital. Your children are still in school. Your wife had gone to pick up your children from the school when this accident happened.”
It was a terrible blow to Spencer. He was numb for a few seconds. He wasn't prepared for this shocking news. He wondered how bad it was for Gianna.
He grabbed a loaf of bread from the Cafeteria and sent an email on his cellphone to his boss about why he had to leave immediately.
Spencer's heart was heavy as he drove out of the driveway onto the streets. He wondered what to tell his children.
In 20 minutes he reached the school, fetched his children from there, and stopped on the way to buy burgers and coke for his kids. Then he headed for Medical City Dallas Hospital.
He gave his introduction at the counter and was allowed to visit Gianna in her ward for a brief time. She was bandaged from head to foot. Spencer couldn't help weeping. As he shed tears, a nurse came in and said comforting words, "You are lucky she survived. She will heal fully in time."
Spencer felt consoled, but deep inside him, there was doubt and fear, which he dared not share with his little children. He had a son and a daughter in grade 2 and kindergarten respectively. They were too young to handle more pressure.
After his visit, he took his children home and let them shower and do homework. In the meantime, Spencer planned what to do next. He made a few calls to some of his friends and doctors he knew to decide if he should transfer his wife to another hospital, or the current one was good enough. He discussed several questions he had regarding the recovery and healing of his wife.
In the evening, he drove his kids again to the hospital ward, and this time, the wife was awake but in pain. Spencer said, “Don’t worry. You will be okay.” He tried very hard not to cry.
With instructions from the doctors every day over the span of the next six months, and the exercises they taught her for her hands, legs, head, and body overall, Gianna started showing improvements. After another two months, they removed bandages. She walked quite well and moved hands and feet almost freely.
But the doctors advised her to continue to do the exercises. And then, she was discharged from the hospital.
The children and Spencer were happy to take the mother home. But she had to be very careful with her steps.
It was a long hard journey for the family, but they just about made it. To this day, Spencer's wife has to keep exercising her head and body to keep herself fit. Her children have grown. She is much better now, but her journey isn't over yet.
With encouragement and solace from his loving hubby and wonderful children, she has recovered 80% now. The other 20% she will still have to work out.
Things will never be the same for this family again, but they do have learned to adapt to the changes that have stirred up since that snakebitten day.
© 2022 Rosina S Khan