Double Trouble: Chapter 17

Wednesday Briefs

Josh deals with the aftermath of the ice storm. For more free flash reading check out the list of authors at the bottom of this post.

Chapter 17

Josh sat in the room lit only by the lights of the machines surrounding Danny. It had been three days since the wreck. Trent and Sammy had been released, although both of them were pretty banged up. Everyone had been strapped in as tight as Trent could get them, but somehow Danny got a concussion and hadn’t woke up again.

“Josh, you’re going to have to get some sleep. I don’t think you’ve gotten any since the accident.”

Josh recognized the voice and never released Danny’s hand. “I’m not going anywhere. I want him to know I’m here.”

Josh felt a hand rest on his shoulder. “You know he probably can’t hear you.”

Josh wiped Darrin’s hand off. “I’m staying. If I have to stay for a month, then they can just get use to my ass around here.”

Without a word, Darrin pulled a chair on the other side of Danny’s bed. Josh watched him for a minute but couldn’t get past the tiny figure filled with tubes and laying unnaturally still in the middle of the huge bed. He glared at Darrin’s intrusion as he pulled out his phone.

“You don’t have to stay. I got this.”

Darrin slowly closed the book on his finger and then looked at Josh. “We’re all in this together. Mitch is taking care of Trent and Sammy, and actually not bitching.” Darrin smiled and shook his head. “Well there might have been a little trouble when Mitch told Trent that he stunk and needed a shower. But Mitch won, and Trent doesn’t smell any more.”

In spite of himself, Josh chuckled. “Yeah, Trent doesn’t like for people to help him.”

Darrin lifted an eyebrow and stared at Josh. “Oh? Like he’s the only one in your family?”

Josh looked away and changed subjects. “Is Trent doing okay?”

Darrin thought a moment before shrugging. “His arm still hurts. It was broke in a sseveral places. But Sammy is keeping him pretty busy since she doesn’t get a walking cast for another week.”

“You know what I’m asking.”

Darrin shrugged. “It would be a lot better if the little bull rider would wake up. Why don’t you go eat something. I don’t think you’ve even went to the bathroom since he got out of surgery.”

“I haven’t been hungry. And I have been to the bathroom, I’m pretty sure.”

“Go. I have my phone. I’ll text you if he so much as farts.”

“I guess I should eat something. Or at least stretch my legs a little.”

Darrin smiled and nodded. “Good plan. Why don’t you go and get some sunshine. I’ll watch him.”

Josh left the room and stumbled down the hallway. The nurses smiled and nodded as he shuffled past. He wasn’t sure where anything was, and he really wasn’t hungry. He reached the first crossing hallway and stood there, panic growing as he started to worry about Danny even though he’d been out of his sight for only a few minutes.

As he stood, feeling very numb, he realized the hospital chapel was a few doors away. He walked a few steps and then with a deep breath moved through the darkened doorway to realized the room was empty. He walked halfway through the handful of pews and sat down hard next to the isle. He looked around at the dark wood and the stained glass. Religion had discarded Josh and his family a long time ago, at least that was the way he felt about it.

He realized he’d been holding his breath and let it out in a rush. He sat quietly for a few moments then looked upward.

“Hey, God. Josh here. We haven’t talked in a long time, well, because I was pissed at you. Sorry, I’ll watch the language. But I was mad.”

Josh closed his eyes, feeling this was what he needed to do, he began again. “Danny’s hurt. If something happens to him it’ll kill both of us. We can’t lose him. He’s a great kid. You can’t take him. It’ll just destroy our family. Please.”

Josh sucked in a stuttering breath and felt a stinging at his eyes. “Please. This time. Give us a break.”

Josh jumped when a big hand clasped his shoulder. “Danny will be okay. You’ll see.”

Josh looked up to find Sheriff White Cloud standing beside him. “Did Darrin send you to find me? Did something change?”

“No, I was here to see you. I had a feeling I could find you here. Trent’s already been to see the elders.”

Josh’s brows knotted in confusion. “Why? I thought he was with Sammy.”

The sheriff nodded solemnly. “Mitch and Benji stayed with Sammy. She’s doing fine. Just doesn’t like to be stuck in bed.”

“Why did Trent go to see the Kiowa elders? I don’t get it.”

“He needed to make a plea to the creator too. The only way he knew to do it.”

“What’d he do?”

“He’s dancing the sundance next summer.”

“For Danny?”

The sheriff nodded, but added nothing else. After a moment, Josh stood and held out his hand. “Thanks, Sheriff. It seems like you’re continually baling me out.”

This time Josh was rewarded by a smile. “Friends stick with friends, especially when they’re having problems.”

Josh’s phone started beeping and he saw the text. ‘Need you.’

Josh hovered for a second then turned the phone to the sheriff. “Gotta go!”

With a shove in the right direction he sprinted down the hallway. A few heartbeats later he was sliding into Danny’s room. The nurse and Darrin were hovering over Danny with all the monitoring equipment screaming.

“What is it? What’s wrong? Damnit! What’s wrong!”

“Hang on, Josh. Give us a second.”

Then Josh heard the most beautiful words he’d ever experienced.

“Don’t like this! Where’s Sammy? Where’s Da and Daddy?”

Josh slipped to the side of the bed and gingerly took Danny in his arms. “I’m right here, son. I’m right here.”


If you’d like to see a snippet from the other Wednesday Briefs authors you can go to the groups website. Or click on the name listed below to go directly to the story.


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