|At the Stroke of Three (standard:drama, 2602 words)|
|Author: Walt||Added: Aug 30 2006||Views/Reads: 1972/1222||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|A man faces life after suffering a stroke.|
At the Stroke of Three It must be snowing again. The soft white flakes are floating around, swirling on a breeze like autumn leaves that refuse to touch the ground, circling around and around. It is warm for snow. At least my arms are warm. My foot is cold. Just my left foot. I hear voices calling, Mr. Watson, Mr. Watson. I cannot see them. They must be lost in the snow. Or maybe I am lost. I will just wait here until they find me. My left leg is cold and numb. I try to rub it to get the circulation moving, but my left hand feels odd, tingling pins and needles, as if I have been sleeping on it. Sleeping. My bed is hard. Like the old bunk bed in the hunt camp - a bed formed of a thin tick mattress on a sheet of plywood. I open my eyes. Perhaps I am dreaming. I am not in the camp but neither am I at home. This is a strange place. I try to sit up. There is someone lifting me, pulling me up, but I do not know who it is. Mr. Watson, Mr. Watson, can you hear me? "Yesss," I hear myself say. "Do you know where you are?" this woman asks me. I have to think about that. "No. Where am I?" "You are in the General Hospital." "The hospital," I confirm. Why am I in the hospital? I cannot remember. I was at home. I remember watching the football game. "Why am I in the hospital?" I ask. "You're sick, Mr. Watson." "Sick?" I do not remember being sick. "Yes, you had a little stroke," she says. I can see her now. She is dressed in blue. It has stopped snowing, but my left leg is still cold. "A stroke?" I ask. "I don't remember. My leg . . . ?" "Yes, your leg and arm were affected, but don't you worry, we'll make you better again." "Okay," I say. What else can I say? I want to think about this but I am so tired. "I am going to sleep now," I tell the woman. I sleep and dream. My dreams are broken, interrupted by sounds and feelings that I do not understand. There are strange sensations coursing throughout my body as if it is doing things that I neither command nor comprehend. Perhaps I am drunk on whiskey but I swore to myself that I would never drink too much again. Not since Nattie left me. Nattie. Nattie. "No, Dad, it's Cathy." "Cathy?" I open my eyes and see my daughter and someone with her. "Who's that with you?" I ask. "He doesn't even know me, Cathy. I told you . . ." I recognize the perfectly modulated voice of my preacher son-in-law but decide to play a joke on him. I always found Robert to be a pompous ass. "Is that you, Jerry?" I ask. Jerry was Cathy's first husband. I liked him. "No, Dad, it's Robert," my daughter says. "Well, I don't have my glasses on. Hello, Robert," I say. Cathy finds my glasses and puts them on. I try to adjust them but my left hand will not work right. I look at it. My vision is a little blurred but I can see Cathy and Robert clearly enough to recognize their features. "My hand . . . " I say, looking for an explanation. "You had a stroke, Dad," Robert says. I wish he would not call me Dad but let it pass. I vaguely remember someone telling me I was in the hospital and that I was sick. I think back to my dreams and recall people saying I had a stroke. It must have been Dr. Halliday. Doc Click here to read the rest of this story (206 more lines)
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