Out of Sight
My thoughts are confused, the world is pitch-black, voices from another room are an incoherent chatter.
I pinch my arm. Why can’t I wake up from this nightmare?
I slap my face, my heartbeat quickens, a loud squeak; the hinge pins that needed oiling.
“Mr. Wells,” a melodious female voice, “Why did you hit yourself?” In my mind’s eye, she is beautiful and seductive, but who is she?
“I’m dead, aren’t I?”
“No Hon,” her laugh is rhythmic, “I’m your nurse, Maggi.”
“This is not a hospital, this is my bedroom, and why do I need a nurse?”
“You hired me after the accident.” Maggi said.
“I don’t remember an accident, and I can’t see,” shouting, “yesterday my sight was perfect. I remember taking the Porsche out for a drive with the top down.”
“That was ten years ago.” She said.
“That’s not possible… why do I smell vinegar?”
“It’s your medicine.”
“I need a shot of whiskey.” He shouts.
“The medicine will calm your nerves, Mr. Wells.”
She placed the cup in my hand and, reluctantly, I drank.
I would remember an accident, losing my sight, and hiring a nurse, unless my mind has left me.
Could this be God’s curse for an unscrupulous life of womanizing, drunkenness, and unethical business practices?
Stop wallowing in self-pity and form a plan. If Tom was here he would make sense of this dilemma. Pity, dad’s favorite son is dead and Me, the oldest, still alive. The one who squanders the family fortune.
There are voices again, two people downstairs. I sit up, dizzy, and put feet to the floor. My stomach is tied in knots. Frustration rises as I pivot my body, clutch the mattress, and shuffle along till my other hand finds the wall. I take a slow deep breath; getting out of bed use to be a simple task.
Panic creeps in, I can’t remember where the door is. I’ve always had trouble with direction. In this pitch-black-state I’m lost. How can I not remember where the dam door is?
I slump to the floor, and crawl away from the wall. After a few feet I stop to rest. My ear lies against the wood, the voices are clearer. Maggi and a man in the living room.
“How’s the old coot, Mag?”
“The same, he can’t see, and believes he’s in a dream.”
“Good, soon his bank accounts will be drained.”
“Dam those two,” Marston thought. He heard their wicked laughter, but it stopped when the doorbell chimed.
“See who’s at the door, Mag.”
“Who are you?” Another man’s voice.
“I’m Mr. Wells’ nurse.” Maggi said.
“You’re not dressed like a nurse. Nurse’s wear uniforms, not jeans and halter tops. I demand to know what you’re doing in this house.”
“Just you stay right there,” Maggi said, “You can’t push past me until…”
“I’m Tom Wells, Marston’s brother.
Marston rolled over on his back, “My brother is back from the grave.”
M. E. Syler and his wife are retired living in East Tennessee. A graduate of Wright State University M.E. enjoys writing short stories and poetry.
Richard Edwards has a BFA in Creative Writing and Journalism from Bowling Green State University and an M.S. in Education from the University of Akron. Managing editor of Drunk Duck, poetry editor for Prairie Margins, reporter for Miscellany, Akron Journal, Lorain Journal, and The BG News. He has also worked as a professional writer and editor in the medical publishing industry for several years. For the last 15 years Richard has also taught literature and writing at the secondary and post-secondary levels. He works much of the time with at-risk students.