Welcome to Wednesday Briefs. I'm continuing the story of Jeff's Way, the second story from the New Orleans Nights series. To catch up read the beginning of Jeff's Way.
This week's prompt is: find a creative way to use a salad - doesn't have to be eaten, or the alternative prompts: moonlight, cotton, Mr. Ed, or "Play it again...", or "He/she had a certain fondness for....", or Kentucky Derby, English toffee, silence
Now sit back with your favorite beverage and enjoy Jeff's Way
The men exited the building, their shoulders straining against the load. Jeff raced towards them, praying he’d see Cam’s curly brown hair and pale cheeks at the head of the stretcher, instead he saw blond locks. Everything stopped. His steps faltered and he sunk to the ground.
The sound of people around him intensified before disappearing, fading into the rush of blood pumping through his ears. Everything grew dim and he felt himself falling backwards, the sky expanded above him as his whole world went fuzzy white, like moonlight on a clear night, then faded to black.
A dark shape hovered above him. Muted voices spoke, sounding like Mr. Ed and making no sense. Everything seemed off, the colors not right, the sounds muffled. Snippets of conversations hit him.
“Blood pressure one...”
“Sir, do you...”
“...transported to the...”
Jeff tried to focus, tried to respond then he remembered Cam and everything faded to black. Another shape hovered over him, this time he pushed past the fog and saw Cam looking down at him. His friend looked so beautiful, and pure, smiling at him like all was right in the world. Cam laughed, so happy and sweet, the content look on Cam’s face filled Jeff with a pleasure he’d never experienced before. Exhilaration jolted Jeff and he fought to sit up. Cam disappeared as he opened his eyes to the scene of firemen, paramedics, ambulances and police officers. Confusion made his heart race and his head pound.
“Cam? Where’s Cam?”
“Oh good, he’s back. Sir, do you remember your name?” A dark haired lady in a blue uniform asked.
Jeff squinted, staring up at her. Paramedics uniform, what the hell. Cam had been right here. He swore he’d seen the man, had to have. “Where’s Cam.”
“Sir, I’m not sure, right now I need you to answer some questions for me.”
“Mmmm, what happened?”
“That’s what we’re trying to figure out. What’s your name?”
Jeff rubbed his head, noting the IV line sticking out of his arm. He reached for the plastic tubing but the lady stopped his hand. “What?”
“Your name sir?”
“Last name, sir.”
“Barton. Jeff Barton.”
“Okay Jeff, I need you to lay right here and don’t move.”
“Where’s Cam.” Why wouldn’t anyone tell him where Cam was? Didn’t they know he needed to see him again? He’d been here only moments earlier.
The paramedic spoke into her mic, her voice too quiet and muted for him to hear the words. Maybe she was calling Cam over. Jeff closed his eyes, remembering Cam’s sweet smile and his funny laugh. Why hadn’t he asked the man out before today?
Someone touched his shoulder and Jeff opened his eyes, surprised to see Mr. Johnson beside him. He tried to sit up, but his head was too full so he dropped down, wondering why Mr. Johnson looked so sad.
“Jeff, they are telling me that you’re asking about Cam.”
“Yes, where is he?”
“I don’t know how to say this, but the smoke got to him. They worked on him for more than thirty minutes. I’m sorry.”
Jeff clawed at Johnson’s arm, trying to sit up, desperate to prove him wrong. Cam was here, he’d just seen him. Everything blurred and he realized tears blocked his vision. He tried to blink them away but no matter what he tried, he couldn’t see straight. People rushed over, he fought the oxygen mask. Yelling broke through the roar in his ears.
“Cam! Cam!” Jeff called out to him, searching frantically for his friend. He had to get to Cam.
Someone held him down. He felt the prick of a needle and swiveled his head to the paramedic to his right. Disorientation washed over him, his head feeling like cotton had invaded. The lights dimmed and he was gone again.
To be continued...
For more flashes, read these blogs