Up and Down (February 2019, Round 2, Day 5)
The only noise she could hear besides her breath was the sound of water dripping onto a pipe behind her. Everything was dark and her head hurt. She didn’t know where she was or how she’d gotten there. Her whole world was that noise and the throbbing between her ears. She had been sitting, listening, and throbbing for some time, waiting for something that made sense.
The drips were interrupted by a voice and it took her a moment to process it in all its difference. When the voice was joined by light she turned towards it.
“Hey, lady? You ok?”
“Of course she’s not ok, you idiot.”
“Well, what am I supposed to say?”
“Move. Hey – lady! We’re going to get you out of there. Just stay still.”
“Who’s the idiot now, idiot? She’s clearly not going just pop up and walk out on her own.”
She didn’t know either voice but was glad that their bickering was loud enough to cover up the dripping sound and that they seemed to have access to light. She looked up and discovered there was an up to look to and that she, most definitely, was down.
The voices had gone away and the dripping was back. Her head hurt more now that there was light shining down on her. She didn’t want it to go away after having been without it for so long. The pain was more tolerable than the darkness.
“Hey, lady – I’m going to come down to you. Don’t move just yet. Shut UP, idiot!”
Legs appeared in the hole above her, followed by the rest of a man. She didn’t know how he was going to join her and be of any help. Down where she was company wasn’t needed. She wanted to join him in up instead.
It took some time, several drips, for him to land next to her. She marveled at the sight of him, trussed up as he was and bathed in light.
“Hey, it’s going to be ok now. M’name’s Ruffe and I’m going to get you up and out of here. Does anything hurt?”
She touched her head and, discovering that she could talk after all, said “here.”
Ruffe said it quietly enough for her to know she wasn’t supposed to hear it. “That bad?”
“No, no. Sorry. You’ll be fine. Your head, right. How about your legs? Back?”
She had been so consumed with the drip and the throbbing she had almost forgotten that she had a whole body to be worried about. She looked down and noticed that Ruffe’s light followed her. His “shit” was louder this time.
“Well, that doesn’t look quite right, does it?”
“No, it sure don’t.”
“I never thought I’d say this, Ruffe. I’m glad I can’t feel my legs.”
“My legs. I haven’t felt them in over a year. This is the first time that’s a gift.”