Short Story: The Witness

O God she was shaking. All she could feel was her body convulsing. All she could hear was the gushing of blood in her ears.

“Did she witness everything?” a rough voice asked.

She had hadn’t she, she been there from the beginning, frozen in fear when everyone else’s sense of self-preservation had kicked in and got them the hell out of dodge. But obviously her body worked differently. She hadn’t run, she hadn’t so much as moved, her eyes peeled back, unbelieving yet unable to look away.

“Is she passing out?” a different voice asked.

That probably explained the darkness clouding her vision and the heaviness she felt settle over her before oblivion claimed her.

Someone was calling her; they sounded so far away, their voice so soft it sounded like the wind itself. Eseme didn’t respond, she felt bone weary, most likely brought on from pulling an all-nighter at the archives, she really should hold on to sleep for as long as she could, but the voice was getting louder more insistent.

Then someone was shaking her.

Eseme’s eyes’ flew open, large hands on her, a male face holding her down as he shouted words she couldn’t understand at her.

She was being assaulted again! Eseme tried to struggle away.

“Stop! Breathe!” He said.

For some reason she couldn’t understand she obeyed the rough command and realised he wasn’t holding her down, but holding her still, she had been having some sort of seizure.

She took a few deep breaths as she looked into eyes the colour of warm chocolate.

She pulled away from him and he let her go as she sat up.

Eseme looked around.

She was in a hospital room.

It was real, she hadn’t dreamt it, she had really seen – she began hyperventilating.


Short Story: The Longest Bus Ride

I opens my eyes, I’m not awake, but this isn’t sleep. I’m drowsy but my mind is focused. A jolt of electricity rushes through my body. The pain is powerful; like a whispered secret in my ear. I control the trembling by concentrating on the noises washing over me. The whispers and the silence. The movements and the stillness. Another jolt, the pain wants my attention. I focus for a moment, and really try to feel. Should I be alarmed that I knows this much pain? But it’s like music, da dum da dum da dum, with every pump of my heart, fresh pain. I marvel at the body’s ability to endure so much, it’s like war and I have not yet learnt how to lose. I suck in a breath. My moment of weakness has cost me as someone turns to look.

Concern? Fear? Suspicion?

I wants to explain; I opens his mouth, then closes it again.

More attention from the stranger.

A splash of water on my trembling hands. I forgot about the tears.

I jolt in my seat as the bus stops, my eyes flutter momentarily and I almost lose control of the reins. The stranger gets up and with one last look leaves me.

I’d feel relived but all my body knows is the pain, all my feelings and all my mind. The whole world is pain.

The pulsing in my head blurs my vision for a few moments and my body stops taking in oxygen as panic seeps through vulnerable thoughts.

My stop is fast approaching and I prepare my body for what I’m about to do, but obedience will not be had and the pain ups the stakes.

It’s my stop, my eyes strain as I gazes at the open doors slowly closing.

I lurch out of my seat, my ears pick up alarm from the other commuters but all I know is the exit. I stumble but I do not fall.

Slowly I’m made aware that the bus is not moving despite my presence on the pavement. I’m being looked at but I have no time for them.

I’m single minded in my need to get home. Every step is absorbed by my body.

Stopping never occurs to me.

Something more important is demanding my attention and that’s time. I can feel the countdown scarping against my bones. The beat is obnoxious in my eardrums.

I’m through the front door.

Alarmed voices and softly spoken words. I’m at the centre of the calmest storm.

My body wants to give in and I’m tempted but peace will not be found at home.

The wait almost breaks me but I endure another ride on a different type of bus.

I’m lying still; the screams are so loud but I can’t open my mouth to voice them. The pain doesn’t no defeat but nor do I.

The Hospital is close but I know the pain is in my lifeblood, my very DNA, my sickle cell anemia.

Short Story: Doctor Luella Lee part 5

Name: Gregory George James

Age: 22

Occupation: Unemployed/ Currently volunteering at a charity shop.

Evaluation: After our last session Mr James was re-admitted to Saint Mungo’s Hospital for the mentally unstable and insane. The Doctors at the hospital believe he should remain there for another few weeks, to make sure he is stable before he re-joins society again. Mr James has been under constant supervision since I last saw him, his epileptic fit that he had in the middle of our session is one he hasn’t had almost two years. Aside from that Mr James has been doing well, although he has refused to speak to the nurses or Doctors about how he feels.

The prisoner

Luella stares at her surroundings in surprise; Mr James’s room is incredibly neat bordering OCD. Mr James stares at her as she looks around, knowing not to touch again.

“Let me guess you have come here to tell them to keep me in here for another year or something?” Mr James says sarcastically.

Luella meets his stare; he appears resigned as opposed to angry.

“I have asked them to release you as soon as I leave.”

Mr James starts; he appears confused for a few moments, his face appearing far younger than his twenty two years.

“You don’t think I’m crazy?” He whispers.

Luella shakes her head, “Mr James, it was I who arranged for you to be released initially.”

He is quiet for a moment then glares at her. “You can’t save me.”

“Mr James…Gregory, you don’t need saving.”

“Then why am I here?” He demands voice rising.

“Because you think you do.” Luella says finally sitting down on the only chair in his small room.

Mr James is silent for a long moment.

“Mr James, all I want to do is help you get past this traumatic event –”

“What if I can’t?”

“You can, you only think you need to hold it in because of your guilt –”

“I don’t have any –”

“Yes you do.” Luella says with feeling, leaning a little closer to Mr James. “You think because you somehow witnessed something you are responsible, you are not, if I can be frank with you Mr James?”

He nods.

“I think your parents were very selfish” he starts and Luella hesitates for a moment before continuing. “They were,” she says softly, “Instead of getting the professional help they clearly were in need of, they took matters into their own hands and so doing orphaned two children and consequently ruined their lives.”

Mr James’ breathing becomes erratic; Luella quickly goes to sit beside him.

“Breathe Gregory, just breathe, in out, in out, you can do it.”

Mr James blinks, a tear escaping as he struggles to draw a breath, Luella sits beside him for a few minutes until his breathing is under control.

“Better?” Luella says calmly.

“Thank you.” Mr James says quietly.