- Vol. 05
- Chapter 05
The woods, once idyllic, had been shattered by a shrieking scream. It had replaced the singing birds and whispering trees. Blood was flowing between my fingers. It wouldn’t stop. The bone stuck out of her thigh, red for the blood that covered it. I had always imagined a bone would be white. This wasn’t white at all. It was the same colour as my hands now. A long splinter of wood paralleled the bone in her other thigh. That would be the biggest issue. Sarah grit her teeth. Her breathing was sharp and quick. ‘Oh god oh god oh god oh god oh god,’ she repeated. It was constant. It took then I expected for my training to kick in. I threw my bag off my back and pulled out my surgery bag. I opened it and laid my tools out. I needed to get the wood out. Prevent infection. I didn’t have any painkiller. I looked around. Another piece of wood should do the job. I cut a small amount of bandage and I wrapped a sturdy piece of wood with it. ‘Come on, babe. You’ll be OK. Bite on this. This is going to hurt again,’ I said. ‘Have you called emergency services?’ Sarah asked, pushing through the pain. Ever practical. ‘First, we need to get the wood out,’ I said. Ever impulsive. ‘Marie. Call an ambulance now.’ ‘Babe, it’ll be fine. You’re OK.’ ‘You’re not the only surgeon here, Marie. Call an ambulance. Now,’ she said. I called. They answered. I put the phone on loudspeaker. I explained. They hung up. ‘Happy?’ I asked. ‘Yes,’ she replied.
This was the hardest part. She took the wood and put it in her mouth. She bit down. I laid out my tools. Scissors to cut her pant leg. Bandage and wool to stem the bleeding. Ethanol to cleanse. Needle and thread to sew. My belt came off to cinch the blood flow. Habit finally took over. I started moving with practised precision. I tightened my belt around her thigh above the wound and started working on getting the splinter out of her thigh. I worked on her until the paramedics came. I gave them a report. They nodded and I got into the ambulance with her. Sarah looked up at me and started laughing. It pained and hurt her to do so. ‘Happy anniversary, Marie,’ she said. I started laughing quietly.