The Giving Voice Blogfest is your chance to express what it means for those who cannot speak in the form of a poem, excerpt, flash fiction piece. Maximum 400 words in length.
By Andrea Teagan
I wake up in a hospital.
I can’t remember what happened to me. A tube pushes my tongue against the bottom of my mouth and leads down my throat. A blast of air enters my lungs, it feels cold, unnatural. The tube hangs from my lips like a cigarette.
A nurse comes in and changes my bandages. She does not look at me, even when she adjusts the tape over the tube. I want to ask her what has happened to me but I can’t. I move my head around but she doesn't seem to notice.
The white light sears my eyes. I close them and eventually fall asleep.
“Ms. Powell, my name is Dr. Ruskin.” My eyes flutter open. His black hair is peppered with grey and neatly trimmed. "You were lucky to survive the accident.”
What accident? I shake my head no.
He checks the equipment and looks over some papers. I don’t remember the accident. I don’t remember.
“You are in good hands, just get some rest.”
Like I have a choice?
Later, he returns. “Since you won't be able to breathe on your own again we need to make a hole in your throat and install a ventilator.”
My heart beats nervously as I try to digest his words.
“Things are going to be so much better this way." He smiles.
I am on the way to an operating room. The white lights on the ceiling stream by me as I am rolled down the hall. The lights remind me of something. The headlights of a car.
Wait. I shake my head side to side.
They try to place a mask over my face. I remember I was in my car. I was driving to the store to pick up some more vodka for the party. I shouldn't have gone, someone should have stopped me. I remember a silver Mazda came out of nowhere.
Don't. The gas enters my lungs. I try not to breathe. I struggle, jerking my head. I saw them. A mother and a small boy in the passenger side. My car hurtles forward. I saw the terror on their faces.
I am falling asleep.
It’s too late.
I can't stop the car. I can't stop. I can’t stop it.
The gas pulls me under. Everything turns to black.