April A-Z blogging challenge 2012
X is the next letter for stories in this sequence of 26 short stories of 250 words or fewer. All the stories are about the life and times of a fictional character called Alice.
Alice had never broken more than a fingernail. The day she slipped in the kitchen she lay on the floor, gazing at the ceiling and wondering if it would be advisable to try and get up. Her elbow hurt but she thought everything else was in working order.
Norman called out, ‘Is tea ready?’ and Alice grimaced as she replied, ‘Not quite. I’m a bit incapacitated at the moment.’
Norman came to investigate. As soon as he saw her he said, ‘I’ll call an ambulance.’ Alice told him not to be silly but despite her protests he insisted she should at least have her arm x-rayed. He drove her to the hospital where she joined a waiting room full of patients in varying states of medical distress.
It was an opportunity to see Joe Public at his most vulnerable. A young mother nursed a small baby and comforted her little girl who was whimpering in pain. An older boy with a face as pale as his sports kit held his arm protectively against his body and tried to joke with his pals. A man in workman’s dusty overalls sat stoically staring ahead out of the eye that wasn’t covered with a bandage. Ambulance men carried in a still form on a stretcher. Alice shivered, feeling she was there under false pretences.
After several hours her arm was x-rayed; as she expected, it wasn’t fractured. She returned home, exhausted. She realised afresh how fortunate she was. A bruised arm was nothing.