Well, this week in creative writing class, the official beginning of the novel project was announced. However, we were told to think about what we wanted to write and make sure that was what we wanted to write about. The whole problem is I’ve already thought about that, and I want to write! So, I did a revamped version of CW 15. I’ve changed it into the prologue for my novella. I’ve also changed the names, and threw in a few modifications, so if it’s not asking too much, you might want to read it. Also, note, the views of Nathaniel are NOT my own views. I just wanted to write about a biased character, so I did. Enjoy, if you read it.
Nathaniel collapsed in a dark alley, panting. Gingerly, he removed his left hand from his thigh. The alley’s light was only bright enough to show that it was stained with something dark; blood. He began unbuckling his belt. Thank God he always wore a pair of shorts underneath his dress pants.
As he worked on removing the article of clothing that impeded his access to the wound that would kill him if he let it bleed, Nathaniel’s energetic mind never stopped puzzling about what had just occurred. He had been shot at, and as far as he could determine, it had been by one person. Not a very tall person. From as much as he had been able to see in the gathering darkness, his attacker had been about five feet four inches.
He could hardly understand why the gunman would have shot at him. He had merely been investigating a lead that he had managed to pick up. Nathaniel knew that there was no way his aggressor could have known he was investigating in that area, yet the person had shot on him the instant he showed up. That could only mean one thing. The gunslinger had been guarding something, and that meant Nathaniel was only getting closer
Just then, a female voice called out, “Are you alright?”
Nathaniel looked up quickly, his ever active mind recording her British voice amongst its endless files. Straining his brown eyes allowed him to make out the silhouette of a feminine form at the entrance to the alley. He grit his teeth in frustration. Why did girls have to plague him so? They were mindless creatures, caring only about the latest thing in fashion and shopping at the mall. His father himself had been ruined by– Nathaniel did not want to think about it.
“I’m perfectly fine,” he managed to force out, all the while still removing his pants.
“And what exactly are you doing, may I ask?”
“No,” Nathaniel said shortly, stripping his pants off and reaching for the black colored bag he had dropped. He opened it and began rifling through its contents, all the while aware that the stranger was approaching. Then a thought occurred to Nathaniel, and he looked up quickly to make sure she was not a distraction for some other attack. He could see no signs of another aggressor, and as the light from a flickering street lamp struck her face, Nathaniel recognized her as Elaina, the most popular person in his school. When she came close enough to see the stain on his shorts, she gave a short gasp. Nathaniel ignored her, grabbing a scalpel from the miscellaneous contents of his bag.
He began cutting the cloth of his shorts away from the wound. Then discarding the scalpel, he put on a pair of gloves and began probing the bullet hole. “A clean shot,” he muttered to himself. He held out his hand, and felt another hand brush his as a bottle of acetaminophen was put in his gloved one. It was only then that Nathaniel realized he had asked Elaina to pass him the Tylenol. He shook his head and popped a pill into his mouth. Then he began preparing a bandage.
“You should clean the wound with alcohol you know.”
“I know,” Nathaniel said irritatedly, snatching the bottle of alcohol that she held. “Don’t worry alright? I’m an expert. It’s just a small cut; not like I’ll need to go to the ICU or have to get a cat scan.”
“It’s a bullet wound,” Elaina said quietly. “People go to the ER for this sort of thing you know.”
Nathaniel was silent for a moment, then he snapped. “Of course it’s a bullet wound! Does it look like somebody stabbed me with a spear? Anybody would know that. Hand me the long thing in the bag will you?”
She passed it to him. “What are you doing?”
“I think the bullet’s inside. What am I supposed to do, suck it out with a syringe?” He barked, as the bullet remover entered the wound. All this was a farce, Nathaniel knew. He had a pain indifference condition, and though he could feel pain, he felt no urge to react to it.
“Anesthesia would help,” she commented quietly.
“Are you some sort of child life specialist? Of course anesthesia would help! Do you think I wouldn’t be using it if I had it? It’s like I’m performing an amputation here alright? So can you please shut up?”
Nathaniel finally managed to remove the bullet. He then cut off the cuffs of both legs of his pants and used them to bandage the wound. The light in the alley dimmed slightly, and looking up, Nathaniel realized that a curtain had been drawn. The light beside them also dulled, then switched off completely. Nathaniel’s instincts began kicking in, and hurriedly, he dumped all his equipment except for a stethoscope into the bag. He put the stethoscope up against a wooden door that led into the alley and listened.
“No, I am not crazy,” he said, at Elaina’s look of curiosity. “And I don’t need an MRI to check if my brain is functioning normally.”
She was about to answer when he put a finger to his lips and listened more intently. He heard a distinct “ka-shic.” Nathaniel had heard that sound one time before, and that was two years ago when he stood in front of an firing squad and the soldiers cocked their automatic weapons. It was more reflexes than anything that caused Nathaniel to throw himself bodily into Elaina. They both landed hard on the floor. A split second later, wood chips from the door began showering around them, and they were nearly deafened as the sharp ratatat of machine guns echoed in the narrow alley along with the piercing zing of bullets ricocheting off the dirty brick walls.
Nathaniel grabbed his bag and motioned for his companion to roll out of the alley. He followed suit, and once they were out of the range of the door, they stood up and began running. Once he judged they were far enough from the alley, Nathaniel stopped. He groaned as he sat down on a park bench.
“What was that about?” Elaina asked, sitting down beside him.
“I don’t know,” Nathaniel exhaled, letting the tension from the past few minutes drain away so he could think clearly. A dull throbbing in his leg reminded him of the presence of his wound, and he reached down to adjust the bandage.
“Well why in the world would someone want to shoot you?”
“Listen,” Nathaniel said, his voice betraying more than a little annoyance. “I’ve put up with your company for the past fifteen minutes. I don’t need you prying into my personal matters.”
“Putting up with my company?” Elaina rose from the bench incredulously, her blue eyes sparkling with a mix of indignant rage and skeptical humor. “Fine, you weren’t even an expert anyway. I would know, since I study doctoring.” And with that flippant remark, Elaina left.