Kickoff written by Priscilla Davis

Blessing In Disguise

Tragedy Saves

The setting sun glared down on the highway, blinding the drivers on their monotonous commute home from work. Stop and go and stop and swerve as the maniacs in their over sized suburbans weave in and out of traffic to come to an abrupt stop behind a long line of halted commuters wishing they had left work earlier to avoid the car wreck holding up traffic in the lanes ahead.
Carl balls his fists and curses the line of drivers in front of him, assigning everyone blame for his truck almost wrecking into the trash truck in front of him. As he slams on the brakes to avoid the collision, his half eaten fast food burger laying on the open, wrinkled, wrapper on his bench seat slides off into the floorboard, sprinkling lettuce and smudging mustard all over the seat and the floor mats. Carl's oversized diet soda dislodges from the cup holder, and lands in his lap upside down, shocking Carl’s system as the full, icy beverage explodes everywhere.
Carl slams his tightly closed fists repeatedly into
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his steering wheel until his knuckles break open and ooze blood. His low rumbling curses erupt into severely loud expletives audible to the people in the surrounding vehicles. His face boils red and his neck protrude with large pulsing veins. He notices his vision blurring, and then it fades to nothing, before he hears the loud roar of metal crumpling under force and his body slams forward, the seat belt tightens restricting all but his head from falling limp.
There was a brief moment in the ambulance Carl remembered, it was filled with intrusive, rapid, beeps, and whales. He felt red, and saw pain. It was intensely unpleasant and he closed his eyelids tight with the hope that when he opened them he would wake in his bed from a terrible nightmare.
Some time after that tragic wreck, Carl woke groggy, in a machine filled room gagging on his dry swollen throat, so parched he could not produce saliva to swallow. In his retching and writhing his monitors triggered the nurse’s station and retrieved
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an aid electronically.
Young Margaret was unprepared for the belligerent discourse Carl hurled at her when she entered his room. She retreated promptly fighting back tears, she returned soon after with ice chips and the doctor, to help deflect his abuse, for not bringing the pitcher of water he demanded.
As the doctor explained how drinking large quantities of water after his surgery will be regrettable and cause excessive vomiting of every last drop of water he consumed and would leave him feeling worse than he did currently, Carl scoffed but heeded the doctor’s words. When the doctor went on to discuss his medical condition in detail post surgery, Carl became quiet and hesitant to look around and acknowledge the realities.
Carl let it all soak in. The doctor left, and Margaret placed the small cup of ice chips on the bedside table and meekly told him to use his call button if he needed anything, and then quickly skirted away. He glared at the door, and clumsily grasped the cup from
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the table and shuffled a few ice chips into his wide open mouth. The soothing sensation of the ice eliminated his urge to heave from lack of water.
Carl took a peek toward his toes, all covered in bulky blankets. He wiggled his toes, and heard his heart monitor machine beeps multiply as he recognized there was no movement visible above the covers. Filled with panic as he heard and felt his heart pace increased, he grasped the top cover and sheets with weak grip. He contemplated knowing the truth and wondered if it was worth holding on to his ignorance for at least a moment longer.
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