Short Story: The Witness part 2

Door

Cool hands on her skin that felt feverishly hot.

“Miss Nansam?”

Eseme jumped and he removed his hands.

“Miss Nansam?” he said again.

Eseme looked up, and around the room, they weren’t alone, a least seven other people were staring at her, had witnessed her seizure, not a single one of them were medical personnel.

“Get out,” Eseme said, her voice hoarse from screaming, but only at the need had she screamed, throughout she had been silent. What kind of monster was she to not scream as she was subjected to what she saw? Only at the end when it was already too late.

“What was that Miss Nansam?” the detective asked leaning forward.

Eseme cringed away from him but repeated her request.

He looked confused for a moment before turning around to the other people in her hospital room.

“I think she wants you all to leave,” a nurse who had just walked back in said firmly.

There was a moment of indecision as the detectives and other law enforcement officials looked like they wanted to argue before filing out. Six men and four women in total.

The detective that had been speaking to Eseme hesitated at the door before the nurse ushered him out.

“I’m so sorry for what you witnessed,” the nurse said before heading out.

Eseme nodded.

What she witnessed, not what happened to her because nothing had happened to her, she was perfectly fine, a few scathes, maybe a bruise or two, but she had left that road with her life, which was more than she could say for the others who hadn’t been fast enough, who hadn’t been spared, and she made no allusions about this, she had been spared. Why? She didn’t know.

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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 Tate Therapy part 3

As we looked around the galleries on level 5, I began to feel calmer, I even responded to some of Megan’s remarks about the artwork. Although I was calmer, I wasn’t as moved. Megan only had to mention a giant box to me, and I was hyperventilating, but most of the paintings – beautiful pieces too – didn’t and couldn’t have the same powerful effect on me. Mostly I looked around at the different paintings with indifference. Megan seemed to sense this and so we moved around much more quickly.

On level 4, I entered one of the galleries, and saw one of the most breath-taking sculptures that I had ever seen. ‘The kiss’ it was named, the statue was of a couple locked in a passionate embrace. There love is set in stone, it says the lovers where killed by the women’s jealous husband, but in that moment there love has been captured and it will last forever. When I saw it, I felt – so moved, it was so strange, there was this warmth that I suddenly felt. The effect it was having on me took me by surprise. There was something so real about it. I guess because the story behind it is real. It was the first time, in a very long time where a powerful emotion had been tied to something good. I am not used to feeling so passionate about something; I could have stayed there forever. Megan and I then, sketched and took photographs of the kiss. After we had lunch, then desert, then a quick toilet break, we made our way to the Box.

I glanced up at the structure as we approached it, my heart was racing. Megan hadn’t been exaggerating.