Blood poured between my fingers, mocking my feeble attempts to close the gaping wound in my chest. It shouldn’t be hard to keep a knife wound that small closed right? Though I suppose it was deeper than it looked… it had been a long knife. Kind of like the one I use to cut my pizza because I have always been too cheap to go out and buy a knife specifically for pizza. So stupid. If I survive, I’m totally buying a pizza cutter.
Wow… that was a stupid thing to be thinking about.
My ribs ached. I think they broke one. At least the guy with the steel toed boots that had been kicking me in the side had. I could feel something wasn’t quite right and my breathing was rattled. That couldn’t be good. Neither was the fact that I couldn’t feel my legs, probably, though that may be a blessing in disguise, because as I propped myself against the ally way’s brick wall, very uncomfortably I might add, I could see that one of my legs was bent at an angle that if possible, would have been excruciatingly painful. One of my sneakers had come off…I think it was left down farther in the ally where they jumped me.
There had been three or four of them, I wasn’t sure. I had been passing through the ally on my way home from work at around 1 am. Yes, I am completely aware how stupid passing through a dark alley at that time of night is, but it was fastest and I was dead tired so I figured there wasn’t any harm in it. I had even turned down Nick’s offer to walk with me I was so tired. He was going to walk half way with me, he lived closer, and normally I would jump at the chance, but I was just so tired. He made me promise to text him when I got home…
Don’t think that would be happening. I’m pretty sure my phone ended up under the dumpster.
The edges of my vision started going grey and fuzzy. I knew that was bad, but there wasn’t much I could do about it. I couldn’t move my left arm without the blood from my chest wound gushing, so I kept it still, but that meant I couldn’t take my sweatshirt off to use it as a pressure bandage. My voice had long gone hoarse from yelling for help, but I had apparently picked an ally in outer space; where no one could hear me scream.
“Well, Tess…you, my dear, are fucked.” I whispered to myself, then after a pause, I giggled. The giggle was then followed by a cough. Now my mouth tasted like pennies.
I thought about my cat, Cleo, and who would take care of her after I died. About the chance I had had a few weeks ago to kiss Nick, but didn’t because I chickened out. About the car I had wanted to get, but thought it was more cost effective to walk… THAT was one I particularly regretted.
My head swam and I started hearing things. My arms and head felt heavier and I knew I was beginning to lose consciousness… and then a long dog tongue licked the side of my face.
I looked up and saw a large grey dog with pointy ears and long snout standing over me. Its large brown eyes looked at me and for a minute, I thought I saw something more than the dog. There was something…
The dog licked the side of my face and I giggled weakly.
“Please don’t eat me when I die…” I stammered, watching the pool of blood I was sitting in widen. The dog continued licking my face and I mostly ignored it, apparently fascinated by the red stuff on the ground. I didn’t feel pain anymore, which somewhere in my head a little voice was shouting ‘This is bad! Bad, bad, bad! Get up and get moving or you’re going to die next to a dumpster that smells like cheese and old diapers with a strange possibly rabid dog licking your face!’ but I couldn’t seem to bring myself to pay attention to it. This peaceful feeling had fallen over me and all I wanted to do was sleep…
Maybe if I just closed my eyes for a second.
A sharp pain in my shoulder ripped through the tranquility I had been chasing and dragged me into full consciousness. The hand that had been keeping the hole in my chest closed had let go and slumped to the ground beside me. Blood covered my chest and arms, some had even managed to soak through the bottom of my sweatshirt and coat the top of my jeans. I still couldn’t feel everything, such as my awkwardly placed leg, but boy could I feel the teeth the large dog had sunk into the meat of my shoulder.
The dog huffed and let go, looking at me with those warm brown eyes and licked it’s
dripping muzzle. I screamed again in pain and fear as it leaned forward again, but this time it poked the wound it had made with its nose and licked it. Kind of like it was saying sorry and trying to make it better. I didn’t blame it, it was probably starving, being a stray or something, and I was warm and tasted good. Totally get that, food chain and what not, but it didn’t keep the pain from reaching a level so high I was seeing spots. I was starting to feel my leg again and the wound in my chest was adding to the chorus of pain my shoulder had started.
The dog moved to sit next to me, but when it did, it’s back paw hit my leg. The world lit up so much pain I forgot everything. Who I was. What had happened. Where I was. Everything. There was just white and pain.
And then there was darkness.