Knocking The Rust Off

I took a break from ‘The Last Alive’ today, during a scene which has a little bit too much of the draft one wanders about it (ie, you carry on writing the scene in question despite being all too well aware that it’s rambling and you’ll have to cut it later). Whilst sitting at my computer and realising that my son was busy playing Minecraft on my Xbox therefore meaning it won’t be free for any Black Flag related pirate plundering for a few hours I started to writing some fiction again.

It’s like stretching a muscle you haven’t used in years, I’m writing thinking that it’s all a bit trash but still trying to pay attention to the details. It feels a bit basic right now, it’s more like a prologue to something much bigger which I still might go ahead and write but for an hour I was sent back years to the creative writing classes of college and the English department of Annan Academy thankfully minus the vast shedloads of teen angst.

I probably won’t be putting up the entire thing on here if I did write it, The Unlocked Project was all about that and it pretty much failed to get any attention, but I’ll put up this first section for you all to read. Please bear in mind I’m coming back to this after about ten years of doing scripts so it’s a little shaky.


“You don’t half talk some crap sometimes Nigel”.

“Is this like the time you saw that spaceship?”.

“Yeah we all remember that one, little green men and everything”.

Nigel sat in the break room, the victim of a mocking interrogation. He’d often told stories before after being out on jobs, sometimes overextending the details in the smallest fashion for effect but not this time. He had seen this one in broad daylight, happening before his eyes. The difficulty was that nobody else had.

The emergency call had come though, something about a bus crash near the city centre. Nigel had done what he always does, driven his ambulance through the traffic towards the scene in the quickest manner possible. This part had not been anywhere near as unusual as what would happen once they got there.

Arriving first, Nigel and his colleague had surveyed a landscape of carnage. The bus had come off the road, sliding as it did so, before tilting onto one side and coming down across the pavement. A cascade of broken bones, blood and glass had spilled across the road, soothed only by the drone of blue lights.

Amongst the screaming and the smoke Nigel looked up and saw a man limping towards him, his shirt stained red with the blood running from a wound in his head. As he came closer Nigel could make out that half the skin on his face was burnt, possibly still cooking as he walked. Their eyes had met and the man had suddenly changed direction, walking off down a side street.

“Seriously Nigel, you think this guy was walking around with his skin still sizzling like a steak or something?”.

Nigel had experienced a jolt within his consciousness. He become overrun by the thought of this guy slowly dieing in an alleyway and nobody being there to save him. Nigel gathered his bag and gave chase, hoping he would find this confused man further down the road.

As he turned the corner he saw his prospective patient double over on the pavement, coughing up the smoke in his lungs. “Are you alright there” Nigel had ventured, having to shout a little over the noise. There had been no answer, instead he had stood up and ran in the opposite direction. Nigel had to gather his pace to keep up and no amount of yelling would stop him.

“If he’s that bloody injured then why is he belting it down the road Nigel, answer me that?”.

The blood, that’s the main thing Nigel can remember of the pursuit. There was a constant trail of it on the ground where ever this man was going. What began as a small, red line had now become puddles of the stuff, enough to cling to Nigel’s boots and make prints whenever he took his next step. The guy must be feeling faint by now, he had to stop.

Nothing like it.

He had seen him take a sudden turn down some steps towards a doorway. Nigel had slowed down partly to get his breath back but also because he knew the running was over. They’d covered a considerable distance now, the sound of the accident scene only vague in the background. He’d at least have a moment to talk.

Nigel reached the stairs and stood at the top greeted only by an empty doorway. A large pool of blood on the first step was the only sign, by the bottom step there was nothing. He stepped down to try the door which had revealed itself to be firmly locked shut.

“He probably had a key you stupid prat!”.

But Nigel still wondered why the blood had stopped? Why this guy had so many injuries yet still outran him?

“Because you’re a fat bastard Nigel!”.

A chorus of laughter ripped through the room.

When Nigel had returned to the scene he saw that most of those who had beforehand been unable to move were now walking wounded. More ambulance crews had arrived in the meantime and had been preparing for the worst but they were soon deemed surplus such was the sudden improvement in the conditions of many. One woman had approached Nigel with a large gash in her arm, one of the worst he’d seen in his years as a paramedic, but her only complaint was that it was ‘a bit stiff’.

“Something your wife never bloody says Nigel”.

Again with the laughter.

Nigel made his last stand. How, he asked those in the room, were we looking at multiple deaths a few minutes before and yet nobody died? There had been a moment of muttered consultation before one came back with an answer.

“Sometimes Nigel, whatever bloody God you believe in smiles down upon you and wants to make your day easier. Can’t you just accept that?”.

Nigel slumped down in his chair as another call came in.

“Let’s hope it’s another bus crash like that one guys” said one as they headed for the exit.

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