It slipped Chuck's mind to do 'Flash Fiction Friday' last week. So, I thought to have a go at doing one myself. This week, I'm not well. I have Laryngitis... yep, I can't talk to anyone for a while and have a nagging cough to boot! So here's a story based on my illness.
“I’m afraid to say, but you have Laryngitis – it’s a slight case – but I don’t want you talking to anyone or leaving your house for anything for the next three days.” The gruff-looking doctor said as he typed on the keyboard.
I couldn’t believe it.
After going to the class reunion, I thought my ticklish throat wasn’t anything to worry about – but waking up without a voice yesterday was horrible. Mum was worried sick about me; and urged me to head off to the doctors today.
So, there I had it, I wasn’t allowed to be anywhere near people, not allowed to talk and so there goes my singing career in my shower. My life is going to become very quiet if I can’t answer the phone; which gives screening my calls a whole new meaning (yeah, I screen them for telemarketers – but then, I’ll have to get onto Facebook and tell my friends that I’ve lost my voice – again! – and to either text me or talk to me on messenger on Facebook… thank the Gods for that invention, right?).
I arrive home, follow my doctor’s orders and don’t talk to anyone. But the cough it horrible… I sound dreadful. It’s just the irritation of the virus that’s attacking my vocal cords; and it feels horrible. So, I make myself some nice Green Tea and settle in with a book for the afternoon… yep, this is a good time to catch up with my reading.
After I’ve made dinner, baked up the best batch of scones I’ve ever made in my life (why is it that this happens only when I’m sick), whipped some fresh cream up with a whisk and settled in to watch a movie, I hear a noise outside that doesn’t sound like a possum.
Out of habit I pick up the phone. Exactly what am I going to do with that? I’m not allowed to speak – not that I can get any sound out anyway. So, putting down the phone, I picked up the waterproof torch and my mobile and sussed out what was going on.
I didn’t need the torch, I could see from the darkness of my front door that somebody was trying to break into a car in the parking lot. Opening my phone, I called the police and waited for them to answer just as I turned the torch onto the would-be burglar.
At the soft sound of somebody talking, the man turned around, “Who the fuck are you?” he blurted holding a metal bar in his right hand.
I stepped back, shining the torch in his face and the phone down by my side, facing out, so the police could hear him.
“What? You stupid?”
I shook my head.
“You’re not talkin’ so you must be.” He snorted.
The phone said something and I heard it hang up. Damn. They probably didn’t hear anything going on. I hesitated just before I turned and ran from him towards my house, pulled the door closed (locking myself out) and kept on running along the darkened unit complex.
“Come here you bitch!” he shouted, his footsteps approaching from behind.
I still had the torch on and I used it like a baton, swinging it up and down, shining it everywhere to get people’s attention – but the shit thing was that nobody came out of their houses.
I redialed the police, this time I’d talk to them.
“Hello, fire, police, ambulance? Which one do you need?”
My voice was almost non-existent as I ran and cold night air invaded my lungs, “Police. Hurry!”
“Okay, just a moment.”
“Don’t have a moment…” I said, “Don’t have a voice.”
“Okay…” I heard him say and another took over, “Logan Police, how can I help you?”
“Being chased. Kingston Road. Inside unit complex… near fire station next to Puma. Hurry! I’m scared!” I panted then started to cough as I came to the pedestrian gate and dropped the torch to press the button to get out. But…
…as I turned, he was there…
“Whodja call?” he asked.
I shook my head.
“Why don’t you speak?”
A coughing fit caught me and I curled up on my side, sitting on the ground. Still I shook my head.
“What the fuck is wrong with you!”
I found ‘Notebooks’ on my apps on my phone, pulled up a new page and wrote ‘Laryngitis’ on it, ‘Can’t talk’
He smiled, “Well, then, you wouldn’t have been able to call the cops then?” he raised his arm with the bar, ready to strike me hard.
I shook my head as tears welled in my eyes; my gut turning cool… I felt sick at the idea of what he was going to do to me.
Behind him, one of the tenants from unit 1 came out slowly from her car port and placed metal object on concrete to let a car in. As the car came in, two people walked in after it… these two people walked straight up behind the man and grabbed him, “Drop it!”
“She would never have said anything! Not after I’d beaten her.”
The cop shook his head, “Dude, you’re the one who’s sick – and I mean in the head.”