IX. Repristination [1]

IX. Repristination [1]

A Chapter by Writer #00

IX. ~Re ~pris ~ti ~na ~tion


             I wanted to scream, vomit, cry, and run all at the same time, my vision spinning and balance faltering.  I had to grab a nearby bike handle to steady myself, making sure not to touch the body or the message written in a suspicious scarlet.

            “ ‘Ey, Laddie, wha’s th’ ma’ter?”

            I’d almost forgotten I’d managed to reach Felix, maybe because it was hard for me to retain anything other than the corpse lying--breathing, the breathing I’d heard earlier, I could hear it now, faint but still present.  Was he…?

            “Laddie.  Laddie?!” the counselor’s voice was full of panic as it shouted through Ali’s phone on the other end.

            I brought the cell to my lips, trying to ignore everything and relay the information mechanically, but all I managed was a higher-pitched “F-Felix.”

            “Wha’s goin’ on?  Tell me wha’s happ’nin’.”

            I fought back the bile beginning to rise in my esophagus as my nose became conscious of the ferocious scent of blood and exposed organs.  “I--I found someone who’d gone missing.”

            JJ’s whisper of a breath filled the silence, then: “Is ‘e livin’?”

            I gulped, “I-I think so.  Just barely.  What should I do?”

            “Bring ‘im over, ‘f you can.”

            I shook my head, forcing out an “Mm-mm.”

            “To ‘eavy?  Is he ‘urt?”

            “Mm-hm.”

            “How badly?”

            “G-gutted.”

            Another silence.

            “I’ll give you Mrs. Diaz’s number.”

            In a few minutes, I was repeating the ten digits of her contact information in my head as I tapped it out over the smart phone’s onscreen keypad.  My fingers were trembling inexorably, making me press the wrong number many times over, but I eventually reached her.

            [cell phone rings]

            “Hello, Felix~!” Mrs. Diaz answered the phone, cheerily greeting who she assumed would be on the other end, “has law enforcement arrived, yet~?”

            “Someone’s been g-gutted.”  It wasn’t any easier to say the second time.

            To my surprise, her voice shifted over to a serious, sterile, take-command sort of timbre without any trace of shock, she didn’t even ask who she was talking to, just dove right in to the matter at hand.  “How much of the organs are exposed?”

            “Um…” I flashed the cell-light over JJ’s torn abdomen, what appeared to be a small, maybe double the size of a fist, clump of bloody violet-grey spilled out onto his thighs, “a medium size, I guess.”

            “Is the victim lying supine?”

            [rummaging of some sort, perhaps through a drawer?]

            “No--should I put the intestines back in--“

            “NO, no, no, no!  Never try to put the organs back inside.  Just carefully lay him on his back, okay?  Make sure not to disturb the organs.  Where are you?”

            [hurried footsteps; jingling of keys]

            I had to actually think about this for a moment.  Where was I?  Where was I that something like this would even occur.  Oh, right:

            “Th-the bike shed near the baseball diamond,” I finally responded, putting Mrs. Diaz on speaker and setting the phone atop the helmet box so I could cautiously move JJ’s body.

            “Okay, I’ll be there soon; about five minutes.  Have you laid him down?”

            [the hum of an old engine]

            “No, not yet, I’m not sure how to without…”

            “Just do it slowly, is he conscious?”

            It didn’t appear that he was.  His eyes were closed, and his head just hung.  The breathing was steady, though ragged.  “I don’t think so.”

            “Is he leaning on something?”

            “Sort of.”

            “Just put your arms gently beneath his shoulders and set him apart from the wall, lowering his torso.  The rest of him is flat, correct?”

            [tires bumping over rises]

            “Yes,” I affirmed, averting my gaze to JJ’s…you know…and somehow finding a way to do as Mrs. Diaz instructed, no matter how uncomfortable it made me.  I mean, it was the least I could do considering JJ’d saved my life only the day before.  Though I didn’t think about it then, of course, it may have looked like I was dry humping his body--or wet humping, if the consistency of his intestines were taken into account--just in case you wanted a visual of how uncomfortable the task really was...  Then again, unless you’re into necrophilic homoeroticism, that probably isn’t the visual you wanted.  I apologize, especially if you have an eidetic memory.

---

            Mrs. Diaz pulled up alongside the shed in a worn down, navy blue pickup truck that I estimated to have probably been built in the 1950s. Dale rode shotgun and medical equipment of some sort was bouncing around in the trunk.  I hoped nothing had been damaged on the way.  She rushed into the shed the moment the vehicle stopped (maybe a little bit before, actually) and Dale came in after her, carrying a bag of various treatment utilities.

            She didn’t seem to take note of the random Greek dripping, though less-so than when I’d first stumbled upon it, on the wall above JJ’s body, but I could tell Dale registered its existence as he flinched slightly, almost dropping the bag.  Well, that could’ve very well been his reaction to seeing an abdominally mauled person lying on the floor before him.  Even with a warning I don’t think I’d’ve been able to brace myself for its level of grotesqueness.  Just thinking about it makes me queasy.

            “You can wait outside, if you’d like, Harrison,” Mrs. Diaz offered, perceiving my feelings towards the whole situation accurately.

            “But…what about the…“ How did I express my fear that the ‘M’ (which JJ’s body was now covering) had been an initial for ‘Merida’, and I was worried her ghost would pop out of the dark and kill me?

            “Dale can wait with you, if that would make you feel more comfortable, just make sure to leave the trauma pads and kling gauze with me,” Mrs. Diaz suggested, pulling plastic gloves over her hands and producing some sort of saran wrap-like thing from one of her trench coat’s pockets.  Saran wrap.  Like the ones used to preserve half-eaten sandwiches.  Why would this be used to treat disembowlment?  I suddenly got an image of Mrs. Diaz putting the intestines between two buns, wrapping the thing up, and popping it in the fridge.  Eww, gross, curse my imagination/unnatural reaction to gore.

            “Um, shouldn’t we stay to help you?”  I inquired, not exactly sure how involved the treatment of an evisceration wound(?) was.

            She didn’t look up from her work, which she was thankfully covering with the back of her body--the sounds were bad enough, I don’t know what I would’ve done had I seen where they were coming from--and simply waved a gloved, bloody hand dismissively, saying: “Oh, silly Harrison, it doesn’t take a whole team to stabilize a few intestines and create an occlusive dressing.  You and Dale just wait outside and be ready to carry him once I’m done, okay~?  Shouldn’t take longer than five minutes~.”

            Dale set the bag beside his mother; then walked out of the shed, gesturing with his hand for me to follow.  I nodded, looking around the little structure for some tool I could convert into a weapon if needed--like an electric weed whacker or something--but I didn’t find one, and ended up settling on a shovel for myself and a hoe for Dale.

            I exited the shed, the sky having now become an ominous dark blue bordering on black, the stars beginning to show as if the sky were gradually opening its eyes after a twelve-hour slumber.  When Dale saw the tools in my hands he gave me a what-the-heck-are-you-doing sort of look from the other side of his glasses, his eyebrows furrowed curiously as I approached him.

            “For protection,” I explained, thrusting the hoe out for Dale to take.

            He took it, but the expression I described earlier was still radiating from his face.  “Protection?”

            I nodded.  “Yeah, from whatever did this to JJ, from whatever made our team go mad, from whatever wrote those messages in the shed.  If it comes back, we need to be prepared--what if it’s watching us, and it’s done all this just to get a specific person and failed, so it’ll keep making these things happen until--“

            “Can I hug you?”

            I narrowed my eyes in confusion, looking up at the pitcher who was staring at the stars.  “What?” I wasn’t quite sure I registered what he’d said.  Was this really the time for stuff like that?

            “Well, if a proper response force were here, they’d probably give you a weighted blanket for the trauma.”

            I blinked.  Trauma?  I guess I hadn’t really thought of it that way, but everything that had happened was hitting me pretty hard.  Mill’s death had made me see a disembodied, mutilated head, and now the horror I’d found in the shed was making me rant like Sasha.

            “I’m not a blanket--definitely not,” Dale continued (though it wasn’t like that was something I needed him to tell me…it was kind of a given), still watching the sky as more stars seemed to ignite into being, “but there’s a significant weight-difference between us…and a hug might just help you feel a bit more…grounded.”

            I hadn’t noticed at the time, but those were probably the most coherent sentences I’d heard him say to me thus far. 

            He stood there for a bit, leaning against the outside of the shed with the light-besprinkled sky reflecting in his glasses, and when I didn’t answer--I didn’t want to tell him about my personal space issues (the churning in my stomach, internal shudders, all that jazz)--he just went for it.  Before I knew it, he was standing in front of me, looking at me and beyond into some unseen infiniteness, and I was buried in his chest.  I mean buried, as in: suffocating-- unable to breathe.  A feeling reminiscent of my dwindling breath in the memories and/or dreams I’d been having; the same claustrophobic encasement and panic began to coarse through my brain.  Yet, there was a vague sort of comfort from Dale’s warmth, from the smell of deodorant clinging to his underarms to the sound of his rapid heartbeat echoing layers beneath his baseball tee, a sound that was just so…alive, which was a great reminder after the death/near-death the universe had just decide to plop into my life.   Despite this, though, the fact that he was smothering me--trapping me between his chest and arms--made my stomach contents toss themselves about, my esophagus readying for reverse peristalsis, and I had to pull away.

            “I can’t do this,” I murmured, thinking I’d thought it, which, in hindsight, may have been misinterpreted as: ‘I can’t do this, hugging another guy makes me uncomfortable’, though what I actually meant was ‘I can’t do this, I’m feeling queasy and I’m about to vomit all over you.’

            Which I seriously almost did.  A few moments after I’d spoken, I found myself heaving my dinner onto the wood chips in front of Dale, some of it splashing onto his shoes.  That’s right, all that hard work I put into peeling and chopping the potatoes didn’t even benefit me.  Fooey. 

            “Sorry,” I muttered, wiping my mouth, which was thankfully clean.

            “N-no, it’s fine,” Dale replied, kicking a bit of the stomachial fluid (I made up that word, by the way, so don’t lose it when you can’t find it in the dictionary) from the toe-tips of his running shoes, “It’s probably a good thing.”

            What, a good thing I just got some of my vomit on your shoes? I thought.

            “Okay, guys~!”  Mrs. Diaz called from the shed a little too lightly given the circumstances, “He’s stabilized~!  Now toss him in the trunk~!--Not literally, of course, that would just make things worse~!”

            I looked to Dale, wondering if Mrs. Diaz was his biological mother, then decided to add:  “Won’t the ride itself make things worse?”

            “Um… we brought a gurney with us,” he informed, making his way to the pickup truck and producing a portable stretcher from the trunk.

            “Oh, you mean a stretcher,” I clarified, seeing as that was what he was currently unfolding and a gurney wouldn’t reasonably fit in a recreational vehicle such as Mrs. Diaz’s truck.

            He shook his head, sliding his glasses back into place with his index finger as they began slipping off the bridge of his nose.  “There’s a gurney in the trunk.  Mrs. Diaz built it in.”

            “Oh.”

            I really don’t want to get into the awkwardness of carrying a nude, unconscious, barely living lifeguard out of a shed and onto the built-in gurney residing in the back of a beat-up pickup truck--sounds like I was an accomplice in a murder, doesn’t it?--so I’m just going to skip over that.  All you need to know is that we did get said lifeguard onto said ambu-truck and strap him down to avoid ‘jostling of the organs’, as Mrs. Diaz put it.   

            Once everything’d been secured, Mrs. Diaz, who was in the back of the truck with JJ, gave Dale the okay to start the engine.

            “And head for the runway, okay~?” she added, “Felix just sent me a text, says the police will be arriving over there in another ten minutes~!  Isn’t that great~!”

            “What about the others?” I asked, rolling down the window so she could hear me.

            “Felix and Mrs. Castillion are getting everyone else over there as we speak.  I’ve got a van that’ll carry seven, they’ll just make two trips if necessary~!”

            I relaxed, leaning back in the seat.  Everything was going to be all right.  Henry, Ali, Kami, and the other people I’d managed to get back to the Mess Hall would ride back home on one of these cops’ boats, we’d be taken to the closest airport or something, and then we’d be flown back home to our families and the normalities of our lives.  An investigation team’d find out what was up with that strange music, and they’d rescue the rest of the team--including Kami’s dad--and everything would be all right.  Everyone would be okay. 

            Sasha,” the mangled face rasped, blood spilling from its wounds, “you’re just going to let him die, aren’t you?

            No… my eyes became wide, and I tried to see past the vile visage and onto the now dirt path Dale bumped the truck along.

            “Sasha’s still out there,” I realized gravely.

 



© 2013 Writer #00


Author's Note

Writer #00
Finally, after a brief period of writer's blocks combined with laziness, I have produced the first part of chapter nine. I guess the main thing I struggled with is Harri's reaction to all the weird things that are happening, trying to keep his personality while showing that these traumatic events ARE affecting him in some way. Of course, if you haven't already figured this out, Harri is telling this in retrospect, so some of his narration that may seem out of line with trauma is because he is recounting the event as something of the past, but still feels pain from it...does that make sense? Anywho,thanks for reading/reviewing/hopefully enjoying and suggestions or any comments (even the blunt ones) are welcome.

Notesies:
necrophilic homoeroticism--> it's not relevant to the story, really, so if you don't know what this means, then I'll spare you : )
eidetic memory-->another name for photographic memory
occlusive dressing-->the saran-wrap insulatory thing
kling gauze-->a type of triangular-shaped...gauze
repristination-->returning something to its original state/health/pristinity...as Harri hopes Mrs. Diaz will be able to do with JJ

Again, thanks for stopping by! : )

My Review

Would you like to review this Chapter?
Login | Register




Reviews

About the question, yes, narration does make sense. Earlier I got that impression that Harri is suspiciously unemotional about all the traumatic stuff that is happening around him. After all most of the people would probably curl in the ball and keep crying. It's just my personal opinion, but I guess he could be more shocked. Well, seeing a gutted person is a shocking experience. I'm getting off topic here, but I'll tell you a short real story. One time a garderner working in my dad's working place fell down with a lawn mower and it chopped half of his foot, making a bloody pulp from his fingers. He crawled to where the others were, but no one was willing to help him and patch him up, because they were so scared and grossed out at the macabre sight of his injury, and that was only his foot. See my point? Usually people panic while faced with serious wounds, people who don't are gold - like Mrs Diaz. I really appreciated her reaction, she handled the situation admirably.

Okay, enough about bloody pulps. I liked the description of gutted guy though, it was terrifying. As for the plot in this chapter, I was entirely satisfied after reading it - the tension was there, the pace was great, there wasn't even a moment of filler. If I had to vote on a single chapter of the Songs of Sirens, this one would get my vote.

The moment when Mrs Diaz told the boys to toss the gutted guy into the trunk cracked me up. I know the timing wasn't right since it was a serious situation, but adding a pinch of black humor there was great.

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

That is quite a gruesome thing to have seen, and I do see your point. To be honest, I started feeli.. read more
Now that's some serious gruesome imagery right there. The half dismembered body has created a huge foreshadowing. And wow now I learned a new word. Eidetic. Well I don't think its good for Harri to have a photographic memory of all of that!

Hopefully I hope he will be okay physically and mentally. Seems like he wont be later on. What if it's all happening because of him for some reason. He probably believes that anyway!

This story just gets interesting and better! Keep it up!

Posted 6 Years Ago


Writer #00

6 Years Ago

Don't worry, Harri doesn't have a photographic memory...but the image was still so scarring he'll re.. read more

Request Read Request
Add to Library My Library
Subscribe Subscribe


Stats

268 Views
2 Reviews
Added on July 31, 2013
Last Updated on July 31, 2013
Tags: song, of, the, sirens, SOS, fantasy, restreat


Author

Writer #00
Writer #00

Irrelevant



About
I'm participating in the Summer Writing Project through Jukepop.com, an online serial website, those entering had to submit a novella on Jukepop.com. The finalists will be decided by the number of +V.. more..

Writing
I. Sinking I. Sinking

A Chapter by Writer #00


II. Enigma II. Enigma

A Chapter by Writer #00