To Be Determined – Part 22

See the end of this post for other writers posting this week…

Three weeks had passed since Shawn’s head injury and seemed to be fully
recovered except for the memory gap around the time of his fall.  He still couldn’t remember from just after he’d met Patty and Caleb to waking up in the hospital after the surgery to put in the drain in his head.

Shawn had only been out of the hospital for a week and was recuperating at
Bryan’s farm so that he had constant supervision in the event something else happened. The neurologists were confident that Shawn was out of danger but Bryan and Caleb weren’t.

It was fortuitous timing for Shawn as the weather had warmed and the first thaw of the coming spring had started cutting into the deep layer of snow across the farm.  He and Bryan had taken to walking along the 3 River Bike Trail to Eagle Grove.  It was a brisk five and a half mile walk from the farmhouse to the Family Table restaurant in Eagle Grove. The fresh air and the quiet time with Bryan seemed to help as much as anything. The days he did the walk with Caleb, it wasn’t the same for Shawn.  He could share anything with Bryan and they had their history but he was still getting to know Caleb and that led to occasional silent gaps in the conversation where neither man know just how to restart to the conversation.

Shawn was on extended leave from work but found himself missing it.  It would be another week before he went back to the neurologist and underwent another series of exams to determine if he could return to work.  He was hoping he’d be able to go back to work soon.  He was getting bored with just laying around and the walks to Eagle Grove.
The only thing he was more ready for was the return of warm weather.

It was the weekend again and Shawn woke up from a nap and found Caleb and Bryan sleeping on either side of him.  He reached forward and rubbed Caleb’s fuzzy abdomen while simultaneously pushing back and Bryan’s quickly stiffening manliness.

Caleb responded by rolling over and giving him a passionate kiss and Bryan reached over them both pulling Caleb closer, squeezing Shawn in a man sandwich.  Bryan managed to find some lube and applied it to his now hard cock and slipped it into Shawn’s crack eliciting a moan of pleasure.  Caleb’s smile turned to a smirk as he continued making out with Shawn but reached down to start slowly stroking him. The
seconds of pleasure stretched into minutes and into hours.  It wasn’t until late evening had rolled around and Patty pounded on the door for dinner that their bliss came to and end.

After dinner, they retired out to the hot tub.  Caleb broached the subject that had been the white elephant in the room for the last few weeks.

“Shawn…Bryan…it’s been a week since Shawn came home and we’ve been taking care of
Shawn.  More importantly, it’s been almost two weeks since we decided to see if things worked as a throuple.”

Bryan picked up the conversation, “Yeah it has Caleb and it’s been interesting for me.  I’ve always thought of myself as a one man kind of guy.  There are things about both of you that I love and adore.”

They both turned to look at Shawn who tried to slip down in the water.

”Oh no you don’t!” Caleb said as he pulled Shawn back up to one of the benches in the hot tub.

Shawn blushed and didn’t say anything, grateful that the water was hiding his rock hard erection.

“Well Shawn, what about it.”

Shawn tried to hide a smirk but failed, “Honestly, it was kinda…no, really weird. The idea of being in a relationship is something I’ve been struggling with since I met Bryan. I’d not dated anyone much less …” Shawn paused for a moment, “You know, I could try to explain it all but we’ll be frozen out here if I try.  Bryan, I love you and I am so happy to have you in my life.  Caleb, I don’t know how to explain you. I met you by accident and I look like your late husband. I didn’t expect to warm up to you much less find myself falling in love with you as well.”

Shawn stopped to wipe away tears, “Caleb, I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough for what you did the night of my accident.  Driving through a blizzard, sacrificing your truck…for someone you’d just barely met.”

Caleb started to stay something but instead just opened and closed his mouth repeatedly.  He looked over at Bryan who was doing the same.

“You didn’t have to do that for me or anyone else for that matter. From what Patty said, you were out getting the truck ready and warming it up before Bryan was off the phone.”

Shawn stopped, too choked up to continue.

Bryan and Caleb reached out and scooted together with Shawn in the middle. The group hug would last for a while before they spread back out so they could see each other while continuing to talk.  By the time they realized what time it was, it was midnight and they’d come to realize that they were actually on the road to a strong stable relationship: Caleb, Bryan, and Shawn.

They didn’t even bother with how they’d explain it to their neighbors,
in town, or anywhere else. They didn’t care how they felt. They had
love and that was enough for them.


Other Wednesday Briefs authors posting this week:

Cia Nordwell

Louise Lyons

Mann Ramblings

Nephy Hart

Carol Pedroso

Julie Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 21

Caleb was quickly returned to the here and now as Shawn reached out to him and motioned him to sit down. As he sat down, his emotions kept swirling. He was overjoyed that things seemed to be going so well for Shawn and see Bryan so happy, yet he was also torn in his love for Bryan and his lust for Shawn.

Shawn reached out a hand and motioned him closer.  Bryan turned to Caleb and smiled, indicating that he should sit closer to Shawn. As he scooted closer, Shawn took his hand and squeezed it just as he was squeezing Bryan’s hand.

Bryan got a bemused smile on his face.  Caleb was unsure what to think of it all.  Had Bryan told Shawn about his feelings? Did Shawn realize how much he lusted for him? He and Bryan had cleared the air but Caleb felt even more confused.

When the neurologist satisfied and left the room for a while, an uncomfortable silence settled over the room. Shawn was struggling to understand what had happened.  The last thing he remembered was getting out to Bryan’s farm…then he was in the hospital. Bryan and Caleb kept giving each other knowing looks, but what they knew, he didn’t know.

Shawn tried to speak and found that he could although he sounded as if he was speaking slowly.

“Bryan, are you guys okay?  How long have I been here?”

“It’s been a day and a half now Shawn. We weren’t leaving until you get out.  We can’t get back to the house anyway with the blizzard and Caleb’s truck didn’t make the trip all that well.”

“Oh.” Shawn said quietly, “Did we finish cleaning up the barn?”

Bryan stopped for a moment, realizing where Shawn’s memory of the night might have ended.  He gave a glance at Caleb who nodded in agreement with the shared insight. Bryan had a huge internal sigh of relief that Shawn likely wouldn’t remember what led up to his fall and what had happened at dinner.

Bryan wasn’t able to stifle the laugh remembering Shawn’s reaction to the cattle barn. “Well babe, you were okay until you walked into the first stall and saw, as you put it, liquid beef shit.”

Shawn smiled a bit, “Sounds like something I would have said.  You know it’s really weird knowing that you’ve lost almost two days of your life and you can’t remember them.”

Caleb answered first, “I bet!  Yes Sean, we had dinner.  We were about to have dessert when you fainted and hit the floor. You really know how to crash a marriage proposal!”

Shawn turned red and stammered out, “I hope I said … well…” he said as he looked between Bryan and Caleb, “I mean…”

Caleb cut him off, no time like the present, “Shawn, it’s okay if you are attracted to both of us.”

Bryan’s head snapped around but he couldn’t find it in himself to scold him.  It was something they’d talked about but he wasn’t expecting Caleb to broach the subject.

Bryan turned to Shawn, “I’ll just put it all out there.  While you were in the coma, Caleb told me that he had been in love with me for years but that seeing you and your resemblance to to Christopher…and knowing that I had chosen you…” Bryan trailed off.  He wants us both but doesn’t want to come between us.” Bryan gushed forth in spite of trying to keep it calm and measured.

“Shawn, I wouldn’t want to come between the two of you. It was a deep conversation while you were in the coma and we didn’t know…”

Shawn looked at them both, “Did you have the buttsex?”

Both exclaimed “NO!” in unison.

Shawn turned a bit red, “That’s good.  I want to be there when that happens.” and he tried to wiggle his eyebrows but they got stuck up in a look of surprise more than a salacious wiggle.

Caleb turned a deep shade of crimson and Bryan let out a laugh, “That’s my Shawn.”

Shawn smiled and squeezed both their hands, “I don’t know who long I’ll be here or what all is wrong with me but it helps knowing that you are both here for me.”

Shawn and Caleb looked at each other and then both felt the stress rush out of their bodies.

“Now there’s one big problem with all of this.” Shawn said as he sat up a bit more. “The three of us together will raise some eyebrows if that’s what happens.”

Caleb giggled, “Yeah, no kidding. I have no idea what Patty will say.”

Bryan looked at Shawn then at Caleb, “Yes you do.  She knows all of us better than we know ourselves.”

Shawn looked at them both, “Who’s Patty?”

Bryan and Caleb looked at each other. Bryan’s thoughts raced, “How much does he remember and what does he remember? He remembers Caleb well enough but no idea who Patty is?!

Caleb answered, “Patty is my sister.  She runs the farm and is the reason that I have a job and a place to live.  My parents…” Bryan reached over and squeezed his shoulder to comfort him.

“Not now Caleb. There’s plenty of time for that.” Bryan said as he turned to Shawn, “Patty is my farm manager.  She runs the operations during the day, making sure that the chores get done and all that. She’s also a damn good cook and feeds the crew as well.  I’m the owner and overall manager deciding on what crops and livestock we raise, sell, and all that.”

Shawn brightened, “Okay. There might be something I can do on the farm then.”

Caleb and Bryan both let out a laugh.

Caleb thought to himself, “Oh, there’s lots of things you’ll be doing. I’ll make sure of that.

Bryan’s thoughts were just as basal as a smile spread across his face, “Caleb…Shawn.  I love you both and I want you both in my life.”


Other Briefers posting free flash fiction:

Carol Pedroso

Mann
Ramblings

Nephy Hart

Louise
Lyons

Julie
Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 20

(Author Note: I’ll be going back and cleaning up the previous posts in this series.  Part 12 is especially bad as I flipped names around.)

Caleb walked into Shawn’s room to find Shawn slowly waking up and the doctor trying to explain to Shawn what was happening.  Shawn wasn’t fully understanding which didn’t surprise the doctor but the fact that Shawn understood enough to not pull on the drain in his skull was encouraging.

Bryan was sitting at the edge of the bed holding Shawn’s hand, his face a mixture of happiness that Shawn was slowly coming around but also the fear of losing Shawn and how much of a recovery Shawn would make.

Caleb was also lost in the swirl of his own thoughts.  The conversation earlier in the day had completely rearranged how he thought about Bryan and, more importantly, how he felt about Bryan.

He’d always had feelings for Bryan and working on the farm with him all the time hadn’t helped that.  Once he found Christopher, Bryan became his boss and that was the end of that. Well, except for the nights when Christopher couldn’t call home and he’d let his mind wander off to the thick muscled body of his boss.

Caleb had come to the farm when his sister Patty took the job as the farm manager.  He was still living at home, deeply closeted and both he and Patty knew it wouldn’t be long before something slipped and that would be the end of living at home.  Their parents had always been loving and had provided well for their children, but they were also deeply religious and had made it clear that they believed that GLBT people didn’t deserve a place a polite table and should go off to ‘suffer their sickness elsewhere.’

Patty had negotiated Caleb living and working on the farm as part of her getting hired.  She didn’t know that Bryan was gay and didn’t bring up that Caleb was gay.  It wasn’t long before she realized that Caleb was in good hands here on the farm. Time went on and Patty could tell that Caleb had developed a crush on Bryan.

After Caleb graduated, he started at the local junior college and had been planning on transferring to Iowa State to get his degree in farm management and livestock husbandry.  He’d done quite well in school and transferred to Iowa State with his 2-year degree after a year and two sessions of summer school.

A couple of months after starting at Iowa State, Caleb got up the nerve to go to a campus LGBT meeting. He had not idea what to expect but he found that most of the guys attending the group were stereotypical and fairly effeminate.  He was just about to leave when one of the guys started flirting with him.  He finally managed to get away and was about to walk about the door when a tall uniformed soldier came walking in the door.  Caleb looked at the name patch “Holmquist” and then he looked up at the soldier’s face and stopped.

A deep voice with a touch of gruffness asked if this was the LGBT meeting.

Caleb said it was and prepared himself for some sort of incident but still stuck out his hand and introduced himself.

“I’m Christopher.  I wasn’t sure what to expect but I’m tired of being alone and spending all my time with my battalion.” Christopher said with a bit of a smirk, “Anything interesting going on here?  You look like you were just about head to head out.”

“Yeah, I was just checking it out.  I’ve never met another gay guy, well, if I did, I didn’t know he was gay.”

Christopher smiled, “Well you have now. I really shouldn’t be here in uniform. I can get into serious trouble being in uniform in some places.  You still thinking about heading out?”

“Yeah,” Caleb blushed, “Even as a farm boy I’m expected to be effeminate and dress like it too.  Not really my thing. I’m comfortable in the Carhartts and boots.”

“Yeah? Well, I dunno about you but…” Christopher trailed off for a second, “Caleb, you wanna go grab a bite to eat and talk more?”

Caleb’s blush went from red to deep purple. “I, uh…”

Christopher’s smile faded, “I didn’t mean anything more than that. Just a burger and maybe a beer.”

“I know..it’s just…I’ve never been asked out before.” Caleb stammered.

“Well then, it’s gone well for both of us as I’ve never asked a guy out before. Always been to scared to go after anyone.”

Both of them let out a laugh of relief at the same time and turned to head out the door.

As they walked out of the student union, Christopher turned to him and asked if they could stop by his dorm. Caleb said it wouldn’t be a problem but had to pick up his pace to keep up with the soldier walking in front of him.

After a good twenty minutes, they arrived at the dorm and went up to Christopher’s room.  The door wasn’t even shut behind them when Christopher started methodically taking off his uniform.  Caleb backed up against the door and watched the show that was unfolding before him.  Before long, Christopher was standing there naked and started hanging up his uniform.

Christopher turned around to start getting regular clothes to put on and saw Caleb standing there with a satisfied smile on his face and an obvious lump in his pants.

“Well, I’m glad you like what you see.”

“How could I not?  You are a beautiful man with an excellent body.”

“Well,” Christopher said with a smile, “Your happiness is obvious!” and then let out a laugh.

It was then that Caleb realized that he was more than just aroused, he was rock hard and actually…he looked down in a panic to see a growing dark spot in his jeans.

“Oh my god.  I should really go now.  I’m sorry Christopher.” Caleb said as he fumbled the door open and escaped to the hallway.


Other Wednesday Briefers writing this week:

Mann Ramblings

Shelly Schulz

Cia Nordwell

Julie Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 19

The phone ringing again woke Bryan from the bath.  He’d managed to rig up the drain to let out the same amount of water as was running into the tub, in essence, creating an endless hot tub.

He stood up out of the still running water and stumbled out towards his phone.

“This is Bryan.”

From there, the day went from bad to worse.  Shawn’s condition had started to deteriorate.  His breathing was labored and his vital signs were unstable.  While not entirely unexpected given the length of time before he got care, it didn’t make Bryan feel any better.

As he hung up the phone, he realized it was now almost two in the afternoon and they’d still not gotten Caleb’s truck into a shop. That’s when he realized that Caleb wasn’t there. He looked out the hotel windows and saw that the truck was gone.

He put his phone back on the nightstand and saw the note sitting on the TV.

Bryan,

I had to get away for a bit after our conversation earlier.  I found a shop that’s open and could take my truck.  I’m going to head out to Schreffler Ford in Urbandale.  Rough estimate is about $2400 as the transfer case and the front end will likely have to be rebuilt.  I let Patty know about Shawn’s condition.  She’s planning on heading down tonight.

Think about what you want for dinner.  My treat.

Love,

Caleb

Bryan folded up the note and put it in his pocket. Nothing could have prepared him for what was happening.  Finally finding a man who made him happy and man that he’d wanted who had gotten away wanted him after all.

Bryan quickly dressed, putting on his good boots and preparing to stay by Shawn’s side as long as they would let him.

It was a brisk ten minute walk to the hospital and another ten minutes to get checked in and up to the critical care unit where Shawn was being treated.  The nurses took Bryan aside and explained what to expect and what he was and was not allowed to do in the unit.  After that, they walked him down to Shawn’s room.

Bryan was stoic until he saw Shawn laying in the bed with his head wrapped up with tubes and wires coming out of it.  The nurse didn’t leave his side but explained they had implanted a pressure monitor inside his skull and had placed a drain in the event of any drainage.

Tears started streaming down Bryan’s face.  All of the battling to get Shawn here and yet he was just laying there.  The nurse lightly touched his arm and guided him into a chair. “Bryan, you’ll be fine.  If you want to hold his hand, please feel free to do so.  It may help his recovery.” she told him as he sat down. “The chairs do move around so move it to where you are comfortable.”

Bryan thanked the nurse and watched her walk out of the room before turning to Shawn.

Taking Shawn’s hand into both of his, Bryan offered up a prayer to his Gods and hoped they were listening.

He squeezed Shawn’s hand and started talking to him as though he was there.  Bryan’s beliefs told him that Shawn’s soul was still present and that his subconscious would remember the care he had be shown.

“Shawn, I love you. I know this is a bad time for you but I know you’ll recover. There are so many things we still want to do together.  Caleb’s off getting the truck looked at and Patty is planning on trying to get down here tonight.” Bryan paused for a moment and rubbed the back of his hand on Shawn’s cheek.  Much to his surprise, Shawn leaned ever so slightly into the touch.

“You can hear me Shawn.  Squeeze my hand.”

It was faint, but there was a distinct squeeze back from Shawn.

Bryan couldn’t hold back his tears. Shawn was going to be okay. He knew it. He sat there holding Shawn’s hand and talking to him for an hour or so when one of the doctors came in.  Bryan quickly pulled his hands away from Shawn.

“I’m Dr. Deb Maderski and I’m the chief neurologist in charge of Shawn’s care.”

Bryan stood up and introduced himself.

“Bryan, I’m going to be honest here. We don’t know how much, if any, damage Shawn’s brain has at this time. The fact that he is semi-lucid at times and responds to pain stimuli is very encouraging but we’re still guarded.”

“Dr. Maderski, he’s responding to more than that.” Bryan reached over and asked Shawn to squeeze his hand, which he did, “He also responded to me brushing his cheek with my hand.”

“The healing power of touch is what I call that effect. Sometimes, it just takes that touch from a loved one to start someone on a faster and better path to recovery.  Given that Shawn is responding to regular stimuli, I want to give him another neurologic exam and see if we can start bringing him out of the light coma he’s in.”

Bryan stood out of the way and let Dr. Maderski do her exam.  Shawn’s was responding to light normally, was almost responsive to commands but was likely unable to follow through due to the heavy sedation. Dr. Maderski logged into the computer in the room and updated her notes and issued new orders.  After she was done, she told him that Shawn would likely start come out of the sedation in about six hours, so this would be a great time to get dinner as once Shawn woke up, he’d likely be there for a long while.

Bryan thanked Dr. Maderski and thought to himself that she was quite the doctor. She didn’t bat an eye at him being Shawn’s lover and fiancé.  He fished his phone out of his pocket and called Caleb.

“Where are you?”


Other Wednesday Briefers posting this week:

Cia Nordwell

Jon Keys

Mann
Ramblings

Nephy Hart

Louise
Lyons

Elyzabeth
VaLey

Ravon
Silvius

Julie
Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 18

 

Shawn was scheduled to be in surgery for several hours and other than the hourly status updates, there wasn’t a reason for them to stay at the hospital.  Caleb and Bryan were both exhausted both physically and mentally.

After asking the information desk, they found there was a decent hotel just down the street. They gathered up their jackets and headed back out to the truck which seemed so much more inviting now that they weren’t battling a blizzard to try and save Shawn’s life.

They looked down the street and saw the hotel.  They moved the truck to the parking lot, reserved a room for at least a week.  They left everything in the truck and headed up to their room.  Bryan looked at the bed and fell into it.  He was asleep before he landed on the bed. Caleb took a hot shower and fell into bed as well.

Bryan woke up the next morning to his phone ringing and Caleb snuggled up behind him. As he tried to get out of bed to get to his phone, Caleb tried pulling him back into bed.  Bryan pushed him back and Caleb woke up enough to realize that it was Bryan.

“My bad Bryan.  I’m sorry.” and with that Caleb was back to sleep.

Bryan answered the phone and got an update on Shawn.  The surgery had gone well and he was now in an induced coma.  His vital signs were stable and now it was a matter of recovery and seeing what issues may be been caused by the prolonged bleeding on his brain.

Bryan looked at the time and saw it was barely 8am. The critical care unit that Shawn was in only allowed visitors from 2-4pm so it wouldn’t do him any good to go back to the hospital.  Sitting in the family waiting area would just ratchet up his nerves.

“I should just take a shower, wake up Caleb and we can get his truck into the shop.” Bryan thought as he stepped into the bathroom.  Just has his pants and boxers hit the floor, Caleb wandered into the bathroom.  Bryan looked up and saw him standing there, morning wood poking out the fly of his boxers. o/~ I’m standing next to you, in silent turgidity o/~ (my apologies to Queensrÿche!) went through Bryan’s mind.

He quickly shook his head to clear the thought out of his mind but he couldn’t help but stare at the large cock in front of him.  He managed to tear himself away from staring but realized that he was quickly getting rock hard as well and jumped in the shower.

“Caleb, you wanna get cleaned up after I’m done and see if we can find a repair shop to get it into?”

“Uh…” Caleb yawned, “sure.  I’m no where near awake yet.”

“Don’t worry buddy, I’m not either. Shawn’s doing well.  He’s in a coma now to help reduce the stress on his brain. Otherwise, he’s stable.”

“Oh thank the Gods. I was surprised I could get to sleep.  Between the drive and keeping energy flowing to Shawn, I was drained but was still wide awake.  I’m not sure what time I finally fell asleep.”

Bryan let out a laugh, “I was sleep before I hit the bed.  I remember looking at one of the beds then my phone was ringing.  If I wasn’t planning on heading out to get your truck fixed, I’d just go back to bed.”

Caleb finished with his business and yawned again, “Are we in any rush today?  I think we’re gonna be down here for the long haul.”

“I know Caleb, I know. I’m holding on to hope that it won’t be that long.”

“You are always the optimist Bryan. It’s one of the things I’ve always loved about you.” Caleb said with a note of cheerfulness in his voice.

Bryan smiled to himself, “Yeah, what else do you love about me?” he asked, goading Caleb.

“Well, you are beautiful and you have a great personality.  If I hadn’t married Christopher, I’d…” Caleb trailed off realizing what he was saying while at the same time, Bryan was turning off the shower.

“Caleb, you do realize what you just said.” Bryan asked haltingly.

“Yeah Bryan, I do.  It’s also why I never call you Rowdy like everyone else.  It’s too familiar, too close considering I’m not spending my life with you.”

“Wow, this just got all kinds of weird. I mean, I’ve thought you’d make a great catch but you never seemed interested in me and after you met Christopher, I just buried the thought.”

Caleb and Bryan looked at each other and in unison said, “What about Shawn?”

Bryan started, “I don’t know. He seemed rather smitten by you and I know you are at least physically attracted to him since he kinda looks like Christopher.”

“Yeah, but only in the face, Shawn isn’t as well built.  As for personality, he’s got a temper on him, but if you’re marrying him, he has to be a good guy.”

“Yeah, he is Caleb. I never thought I’d find someone that would melt my heart like he has. In the meantime, we have to make sure that Shawn pulls through this and then we can figure out how Shawn fits into this.  Who knows, maybe we’ll just become a throuple.”

Caleb fumbled for an apology for being so forward at the wrong time.  Bryan accepted it and told Caleb to start calling around to find a garage to get the truck fixed.

Bryan started up the shower again as Caleb left the bathroom and shut the door behind him.

“Aw fuck it, I’m gonna take a hot bath and try to relax.” he said as the switched the shower to start filling the tub. ‘The one great thing about a hotel, never ending hot water’ he thought to himself as he laid down in the tub.


This week’s Wednesday Briefers posts:

Mann
Ramblings

Nephy Hart

Jon Keys

Louise
Lyons

Elyzabeth LaVey

Cia Nordwell

Carol Pedroso

Julie
Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 17

The dispatcher was right.  By the time they got to Ames, the roads were wet but cleared.
The snowplow driver lifted his blade and got up to highway speed with Caleb hitting the gas right behind him.

The deputy pulled along side them and took off, Caleb got the message and followed
right behind him.  The last 40 miles to Des Moines went by quickly. Bryan was watching the time and it was about 25 minutes for the last 40 miles. The only alarming thing was how quickly Caleb’s truck was going through gas. The big 4×4 was a work truck, not a highway cruiser, and keeping up a steady 80-90 mph to keep up with the deputy
was doing a number on the truck.

Caleb wouldn’t say anything about it until later but the maximum speed for the 4×4 with
the lift kit was only 70mph.  Caleb was determined to get to Iowa Methodist as fast as he could, truck be damned.  The truck was replaceable. Shawn, and the resulting hole in Bryan’s heart, would not be replaceable.

They saw the glow of the lights of Des Moines growing brighter in the clouds and Bryan
finally allowed himself a little hope.  Shawn hadn’t said anything or even moved in the last hour which had him worried sick.  Their thoughts were interrupted when the taillights of the squad car flashed ahead of them followed by the right turn signal.  As Caleb tapped the brakes to slow down, a loud metal clang followed by the sound of something spinning out of control filled the air. Caleb hit the clutch and shifted down a gear and was relieved that it wasn’t the clutch that they had heard.  It wasn’t until they tried to take off from the bottom of the ramp that the source of the noise became apparent.

Caleb slammed the 4×4 into 2×4 and the truck took off with a jump.

“FUCK!” Caleb screamed.

Bryan reached forward and put his hand on Caleb’s shoulder.

“Tell me how much it costs. Get it fixed and get it done right. I’m paying for it.”

“Fuck if you are Bryan.  We are damn near there and she decided to break something.
Why not in the parking lot?”

Bryan let out a laugh, “Caleb…” he started but a moan escaped from Shawn’s
mouth quickly followed by a lurch forward and Shawn started throwing
up.

“Aw shit.” was the combined exclamation.

Caleb grabbed one of the blankets tried to fashion a basket/bucket of some sort while
Bryan was trying to keep Shawn somewhat upright.

“Caleb, drive!
I’ll take care of Shawn as best I can from here.

Caleb focused on driving and narrowly avoided the squad car which had stopped when
they were no longer following.  They took off again with the snow plow behind them. It was going to be a parade pulling into the hospital.  The squad went into the ambulance entrance and they followed him in.

What happened next was like watching choreographed chaos.  Hospital staff appeared from seemingly everywhere.  Shawn was quickly gotten out of the truck and onto a gurney.  He was wheeled in the trauma unit as quickly as they could.  In spite of all the action and chaos around him, Shawn’s eyes briefly opened for a moment and a pleading “Wowdy?”

Caleb wasn’t behind Bryan this time.  Bryan paused for a moment and stood frozen. One of the nurses quickly whisked him away towards registration where they got all of Shawn’s information from Bryan.

Caleb came back in to find Bryan  sitting in the waiting room with a blank stare.

Caleb sat down next to Bryan and put his hand on his knee, “Bryan, what’s going on?”

“Well, they’ve wheeled him into the trauma unit.  As they were about to bring him
back there, his eyes opened for a moment and he asked, “Wowdy?”

“Oh wow. Have you heard anything more yet?”

“No, it’s been 10 minutes and I’m sure there’s going to be a battery of tests done.
They know I’m engaged to him but there’s no power of attorney or advanced directive on record for him. I know what I need to do.”

Caleb squeezed his leg, “You have to contact his parents don’t you?”

“Yeah, if I can find them.  I’ve met them a couple of times and they seemed to like
me but this is going to be an awful call to have to make.  I can tell them that Shawn’s in the trauma unit after a fall and hitting his head.  That’s all we know.  I’m just praying that we didn’t wait to long to get him here.”

Caleb looked Bryan in the eyes, “We couldn’t have known how bad it was.  He hit his
head and a bit later told us that he had a headache.  He took some ibuprofen and laid down to rest. We couldn’t know.”

“I know Caleb but…”

“I’ll be here for as long as you are here.  I’ll be here for you, like you were there
for me. We are family…”

“Caleb, I need to see if Shawn has his cell phone on him. His parents need to know
what’s happened.”

Bryan walked up to the registration window to see if he could see Shawn.

The registration clerk typed for a moment, “I’m sorry, he’s marked as unable to have
visitors at this time.”

“Why? I’m his fiancé Bryan.  What’s going
on?”

The clerk typed again, muttering an expletive about their computer system, “Well, he’s being prepped for emergency surgery.  It looks like they’re going to have to remove part of his skull to reduce the swelling.  He’s in CT right now.”

Bryan felt himself get light headed and grabbed on to the counter.  Caleb
saw Bryan get weak in the knees and bounded across the waiting room
to catch him if necessary.  Bryan was startled by Caleb’s sudden appearance behind him but was also comforted by it.

 


Other Wednesday Briefs authors posting free flash fiction this week:

Louise Lyons

Cia Nordwell

Carol Pedroso

Jon Keys

Mann Ramblings

Nephy Hart

Elyzabeth LaVey

Ravon Silvius

Julie Lynn Hayes

To Be Determined – Part 16

The plow had been a god-send for the trip, but even with the plow’s assistance, they were having difficulty. Caleb was starting to get highway hypnosis from following the back end of the plow and the constant swirl of snow. Brian was doing his best to keep Caleb on the road, but it was obvious when they were drifting out of the path that had been cleared as they started into 18 inches of snow that was more than four feet deep in drifts.

Brian strained to see a milepost along the side of the road but couldn’t see anything but snow.  Finally he was able to make out the sign for the Story City exit.  They were about 20 miles from Ames.  He called 911 again to advise them of their location.

It wasn’t until they tried to talk to Shawn that they realized he was non-responsive.  He
was breathing regularly and his pulse was steady, but he was not responding.  The ED doctor that he was speaking with let out a huge sigh and Bryan held his breath.

“Bryan, I know you have been fighting this storm to get him here but we could just try to
stabilize him enough to get him to Des Moines.  If you can get him to Iowa Methodist, that would be the thing that could happen.  They are a level 1 trauma center and best suited to handle his situation.  I’m sorry to have to tell you this, but you need to know.  If he’s now comatose, he will likely be in this state for at least a few days if not a few weeks.”

Bryan nodded before realizing that the doctor couldn’t hear a nod.

“Yes sir. Thank you doctor.  I’ll let the plow and police escort know that we are needing to head to Iowa Methodist in Des Moines.”

“Thank you for the confirmation of the instructions.  Mary Greeley out.” the doctor said and the line went dead.

Bryan punched in the number for the officer that was following them.

When they answered, Bryan told him that there was a change in plans.  Shawn had become comatose in the last hour and they were being directed to Iowa Methodist in Des Moines.

“Ames told us that he needs to be there…”

Officer Jackson finished the sentence, “as they are a level 1 trauma center. Understood. I’ll let the DOT know and see if we can get another plow out here.  Our guy has to be exhausted after 45 miles of this.”

“Yeah, Caleb’s fighting the snow too.  He’s getting some highway hypnosis.”

Officer Jackson thought for a moment.  He muted his phone and picked up the state police radio and patched through to Iowa Methodist.  They all needed a break, even if it was just five minutes to stop staring at the snow and to move around.  He was having the same problems following behind them.

He picked up another radio and smashed a button, “How you holding up 283?”

“Goddamnit, fucking hell. You scared the shit outta me. I’m beyond ready to park
this truck.  What’s the latest?”

“You aren’t gonna like it.  Get another truck out here from Ames.  The guy’s comatose
and Ames waved him to Des Moines.  I’m gonna see if I can get a trooper out here to escort.  I’m three counties out of my jurisdiction.”

“Dispatch, this is 283.  Can you get another unit or two out here on 35. We’re southbound just outside of Story City.  We came on at US 20 and we are exhausted.  I’ve got a comatose transport behind me that needs to get to Des Moines, Iowa Methodist specifically.  He’s a Level 1 head trauma.”

“283, stand by.”

The dispatcher didn’t release the mic soon enough to keep the stream of expletives
from flying over the air.

A couple of minutes later, the dispatcher returned, “We’ve had all plows pulled in our
district for a few hours now.  We’ve got one unit on standby here. We’ll call in reserves. 145 will meet you at Story City.  Let your escort know that you will be exiting there and that 145 will lead up the ramp.  We’ll get you a hotel book before you get there if there’s
any place available.”

“Understood. How’s the weather towards Des Moines?”

The dispatcher let out a laugh, “You don’t want to know.” there was a pause where
the sounds of typing carried, “Well, visibility is 10+ miles and it’s 39F with a stiff wind from the southwest at 28mph.”

Officer Jackson let out a laugh, “Fucking Iowa weather.”

The dispatcher continued, “If you can make it to Ames, the snow drops dramatically
from there. Let us know if you want a swap in Story or if you want to make a break for it. Over.”

“This is 283.  You said it’s better by Ames?  Hell, we’re 10 miles from Ames.  We’re
going to Des Moines. Can you let State Patrol know that I’m going through to Iowa Methodist?  I don’t care about rules.  I’m going right to their front door.”

“283, copy.  It’s not authorized but I can’t stop you.  Rather, I wouldn’t try.”

“283 out and Des Moines bound.”

Officer Jackson picked up his radio, “283.”

“Go.”

“On behalf of Humboldt County Sheriffs, we would like to extend a thank you and I
want to buy you a meal when we get to Des Moines.”

“Humboldt County Dispatch to Jackson and DOT 283.” came another voice on the radio.

“Go Dispatch.”

“Humboldt Dispatch would like to second the thanks and appreciation for your service
tonight.  Jackson, find a good restaurant and expense it.  Sheriff’s orders.”

“Dispatch, roger wilco.” came the laughing response.

Meanwhile, the mile were still ticking by and Bryan was waiting anxiously.

– Click – “Bryan? You still here.”

“I am officer, go ahead.”

“Sorry about that. Weather is markedly improved by Ames. The plow
is taking us all the way.  36 miles to go.”


Cia Nordwell

Louise Lyons

Ravon Silvius

Carol Pedroso

Jon Keys

Mann Ramblings

Jim Dunaway

Julie Lynn Hayes

Elyzabeth VaLey