A Stroke of Luck


by Nick Allen

That day I saw you slip, my life changed forever.

It was gone midnight and I was in bed pretending to be asleep. Sometimes it worked, usually it didn’t.

The gate creaked, my heart began pounding and I instinctively pulled the quilt high to my neck. The most frightening sound in the world for me was your key in the latch.

Then I heard a soft thud and a curse. I was terrified that something would make your mood worse and was at the window in a flash. It had been blowing close to a blizzard earlier and I saw you lying on the path in snow. You caught my eye and I saw the dark look about your brow, the curl of your mouth.

Drunkenly you tried to stand and were just about upright when your feet went from under you again. Your head rang like a bell when it struck the concrete and red spilled from the base, staining the snow crimson. You didn’t get up.

They say that on the way to hospital you had a stroke. Can’t swallow or talk now, can’t walk.

I call it my little stroke of luck.

Now you live at Brookfields, wearing a nappy, being fed through a tube. You know what’s going on though which really pleases me. I visit when I can and always take something nice to eat. Éclairs, you loved them, but you’re not allowed food so I eat them all while you watch.

I sometimes visit when football is on TV. You love football but I usually get fed up pretty quickly. I’m sure you don’t really mind when I turn over and watch my Soaps. Well you never say anything.

Tomorrow I’ve a real treat for you; I’m going to bring Peter my new boyfriend to meet you. I’m sure you’ll like that.

Nick Allen is a 47 year old nurse living and working in Manchester. When not writing, he enjoys walking, scrabble and poker.

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  1. #1 by David Tait on January 7, 2009 - 2:05 am

    Hey there,

    I really liked this piece – very striking and not saying anything more or less than it needed to. The only image that jarred slightly was “rang like a bell” which as an image i think you could have made slightly more of, especially given the very strong images that followed this.

  2. #2 by Bob Clay on January 7, 2009 - 7:59 pm

    This confirms my belief that revenge is a dish that is best served warm, never mind that cold stuff.
    Nice one.

  3. #3 by Nick Allen on January 7, 2009 - 8:04 pm

    Thanks for the kind comments David. A bloke fell by the pool when I was on hols and cracked his head on tiles- not a nice noise!

    Bob, I think we all enjoy a revenge tale now and then! Thanks for commenting.

    Nick

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