San Francisco Writer’s Grotto, 642 Things to Write About strikes again. I peruse this book from time to time, especially as a way to put off domestic chores. When something strikes me as interesting, I take up the challenge. Today’s prompt:
You wake up by the side of the road lying next to a bicycle, with no memory and no wallet. What happens in the next hour?
What is that? I reach up and put a hand to my face, pushing back sprigs of soft springy grass tickling my nose. Am I dreaming? Open your eyes!
I open one tentatively; the sun shining brightly, too brightly, and then the other. The smell of grass and dandelions and lingering bits of oily tar invade my senses as I sit up. My heart skips harder as I come further awake. Where am I? Who am I?
My heart rate speeds up as I look at the blood on my hands, both of them scraped and filled with tiny bits of gravel. Hands pounding and stingy, I see more wounds on my legs and one shoe missing. Tears spring to my eyes as I cry out in a state of confusion and hear what I recognize as a car whizzing past me at high speed somewhere above me. I turn my head and look toward the sound. A pain shoots through my neck. A bicycle, lying on its side is further up the embankment, I’m somewhere close the bottom, hidden from passing vehicles.
I realize I must have been in an accident, but where am I? My eyes spy a small purse lying near the bicycle. I begin to stand, but pain shoots through an ankle and I plop back down and grab it. My Keds, my favorite red and white sneakers, only remain on the uninjured foot, the other nowhere to be seen. Rolling down my sock, I inspect my ankle which doesn’t appear to be injured, but certainly hurts. My head gingerly scanning the area for more clues, I begin to crawl to the purse.
Reaching it, I leave a bloody trail which has now transferred to my favorite t-shirt with a stubby sequined crown on the front. How do I know this? I grab the long strap of the leather purse with shaky hands and drag it towards me. The flower-embroidered leather flap open, it feels light as I look inside. Chapstick. Coins. A few pieces of pastel-colored taffy.
My head shakes, and a sob escapes as my eyes search for some form of identification. I comb the grass with my hands and see something under the wheel of my new blue bike. New! How do I know this? A wave of nausea sweeps over me, one hand covers my mouth, the other protectively grabs my stomach as I realize I’m close to vomiting. I crawl a bit away from the bike and let it happen, sickened literally, that I’m in such a state. My head swoons and pounds now as I crawl back to the bike and the item next to it.
I reach out and lift back the wheel. From this angle, I can’t assess the damage, if any to my sweet bike. My hand grabs hold of the item, a wallet, but shake as I try to open it. It’s so bright! I close my eyes and feel my body sway, begging me to lay down. I’ve got to find help. I’ve got to get to the top of the hill and get help!
I lay down in the fetal position, wallet clutched to my breast, my pulse hammering now, and know, somehow, that I need to rest before I take the journey, albeit smallish, to the top of the hill. But I have to open the wallet. Eyes closed tight, holding back another wave of nausea, my teeth begin to chatter, and I suddenly feel very cold. Pain shoots through my head and I vomit, this time sudden and spewing next to my head. I open my eyes, stars and tears fill vision as I lay next to my mess, my long blonde hair filled now with the disgusting contents of my stomach.
Mom will take care of it. Mom! I have a mom! I cry. I have a mom, and I know in that instant she loves me. A joy, knowing that, sweeps through me with grace. The certainty of that love waits for me out there engulfs my pitiful beating heart as it hammers. Oh God, I can see her face! She is smiling at me…..I love her too.
“Mom,” I plead. “Help me.”