Friday, August 20, 2010

Hollow World Chapter 6


The house they were staying in had had a well stocked liquor cabinet and as Amy prepared to remove the bullet from Zach’s arm, she had him take a couple of pulls on the Maker’s Mark bottle.

They were in what had once been a boy’s room. The walls were decorated with a Red Sox poster, a picture of a Ferrari, and a Texas Rangers baseball pennant. Further inspection of the room found a pair of Playboys under the mattress. Amy had the curtains open to let as much light in as possible.

The bed had been pulled away from the wall where it had been, to allow for Peter to stand at the head of the bed so that he could hold down Zachariah’s shoulders. Brian had offered to help, and then blanched at the site of the blood caking Zachariah’s arm. He had left the room, retching, trying not to throw up.

“Zach, I’m not going to lie, this is going to hurt like hell,” Amy said.

Zach lifted the bottle of whiskey to his lips and took another swig. “I’m ready when you are doc.”

Chris grabbed Zach’s right wrist and held the arm still as Amy begun to prep the area around the bullet hole, using a cotton ball to coat the skin and the wound in iodine.

Sarah stood by with a bowl for Amy to drop the bullet in, as well as ready to hand her any tools that she may need.

Amy had a pair of tweezers that that they had bent to hopefully be large enough to get the bullet, but also had taken a pair of thin needle nosed pliers in case. These had all been boiled in water over a fire they had made in the fireplace, with the power not working to run the electric range. Also in the bowl had gone a spool of fishing line and a few sewing needles that had been found around the house. While they were moving the bed in the room, they had also found a butterfly knife, which had been cleaned off with rubbing alcohol, since the water had already been taken off the fire. Amy did not like the makeshift tools, but given the circumstances, feared that the bullet had been too long in Zachariah’s arm.

“You got him Peter?” Amy asked as she grabbed the tweezers off of the TV tray they rested on.

“Go for it.”

Amy stuck the tweezers in to the hole in Zach’s arm and had to yank it out as Zach stiffened and the arm slipped out of Chris’ grip.


“It’s ok, Zach, I need you to try very hard to stay still.” Amy saw that Chris had Zach’s wrist again, so tried again, and found the bullet this time, feeling the tip of the tweezers scrape against metal. Digging around the wound, she could feel the how tense Zach was, trying not to move. “Zach, I’m sorry, I have to use the pliers. Sarah, get one of those needles threaded with the fishing line.

Zach screamed as Amy dug the pliers into the wound, but it only took a couple of seconds before the bullet hit the metal bowl with a plink. Zach screamed again as Amy poured some of the whiskey over the wound. Sarah handed her the needle and thread, and with a few quick motions, Amy was tying a knot in the fishing line, the wound in Zach’s arm closed. She then handed Peter gauze and asked him to hold it to the wound. Winding a bandage around the wound finished the operation.

“Let him rest for a little while.” Amy said as she grabbed the TV tray and left the room, closely followed by Peter and Chris, while Zach lay moaning softly on the bed. “We will need to keep an eye on the wound to watch for infections. Someone will have to clean it with hydrogen peroxide, or rubbing alcohol if he can handle it, at least once a day.”

As they made it back down the stairs, Amy saw that the fire was still going, and asked Chris to go get the pot they had used to boil the tools in earlier. “We ought to clean these and keep them together in case we need them again.” She said.

Brian was sitting on the floor near the fire, still lacking all of the color he normally had. “Sorry, Amy. I thought I could do it, but there was a lot of blood, and that hole…”

“It’s okay Brian, thanks anyways. We got it, are you going to be okay?”

“I was fine until he screamed the first time, but I made it to the bathroom.” He gave a weak smile. “I will be fine.”

Sam, who was sitting on the ugly green chaise, got up and said, “I will find a bag to keep it in, I think I saw a duffel in the master closet.” Rocky, who had been lying on the floor next to Sam, got up, and, tail wagging, followed him to the back of the house.



alphabete said...

"laying on the floor next to Sam" wanna change that to "lying"

Well ouch, I guess most people don't think of medical care (much) after the apocalypse but here is a bunch of folk who have to do things like in Civil War days. I like that this one focused on Amy and gave us insight into her. The sort of carousel you have going on here, looking at each character and showing them to us is really cool, because it gives each one a voice and you're not focusing on the one most heroic or the most outrageous or what-have-you. Making my way through these latest few chapters, so you'll be seeing more comments from me, again, soon!

Jonathan Martin said...

In one of the very early writes of the first ten chapters, i had lost someone in the shuffle myself, so i took the time to look through and do the round-robin effect on the heroes.

I enjoy the carousel, as you call it, writing, because it allows me to reveal a little at a time about the different characters, at their own pace, without spending the first half of the story developing these rock solid characters with tons of interesting facts, but no true exposition to the story.

These are ordinary people, they have needs and fears, and right now, it is taking a lot for them just to get up in the morning.

Thalantyr the Wizard said...

Dude, if things really do turn for worse and I find myself stuck in a post-apocaliptic world, I'm gonna party everyday. EVERY DAY. Until someone comes along and shoots me. Fair game.

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