Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)
TITLE: Dumped on the Highway
By Debbie Roome
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Gang raped. Beaten. Thrown from a moving car. Left for dead. Her body was a mass of abrasions, her face distorted and spoilt. Every movement was agony, but she had to hide from the headlights. They might come back for her. Come back to finish what they’d started. Slowly, painfully, she dragged herself to the verge of the highway. A car honked angrily, swerving to avoid her. Another slowed briefly before accelerating into the night, its tail lights glowing like demon eyes.
How had her life come to this? Lucille was sickened as the chain of events swirled through her mind. The fight with her parents, the escape to the city, her attempt to start a new life, the downhill slide into prostitution. She could never face them again. Never go back home.
The cars continued to roar past, their lights casting brief illuminations over her battered body. “Oh God.” She moaned. “I’m sorry. I should never have let things get this bad. I don’t know what to do.”
She felt herself drifting off; light headed, dizzy. It would be so easy to give up but something inside her was fighting. “God.” She cried out again. “Please help me. Forgive me for what I’ve done and help me put things right. Give me another chance.”
The air was thick with exhaust fumes and cars kept whistling past. No one stopped. No one cared. Lucille had almost given up hope when she made out a figure walking towards her. A man. Her stomach knotted in terror, expecting a blow, a gun shot, a further attack. Instead, he knelt down next to her, the concern in his features lit by a passing car. He was young, dressed in faded denims and a T shirt. A baseball cap was jammed onto stringy dreadlocks and a couple of piercings adorned his eyebrow. Without saying a word, he tenderly took her hand into his own.
Lucille drifted off again. She was lying on her back on a bed of pure white. The young man was still holding her hand but as she looked up at him, his face began to shift and change until it was shining with brilliance like the sun. On a tray next to him were an array of glass flasks, holding sweet wine, pure, golden oil and fragrant balm. He lifted a swab and began to pour the wine into her wounds, the sweet liquid washing out the dirt and grit. It burned a little but she could feel her strength returning as the filth was gently bathed away. That done, he took the golden oil and anointed her, massaging the healing warmth in with tender hands. Finally, he spread the fragrant balm across her torn and broken skin and began to bind her wounds with snowy bandages. “Receive forgiveness, Lucille. Forgiveness for your bad choices, forgiveness for abandoning your parents, forgiveness for prostituting yourself.” She felt the pain ebbing away, the tides of agony receding.
“BP 90 over 50, heart rate 95.” Strong hands slid beneath her, lifting her onto a stretcher. “She’s coming round.” Caring faces bent over her, lit by rotating bands of blue and red. Lucille realized she was still on the road side. Still half naked, beaten and bruised, but something in her heart had changed. The humiliation and shame were gone and deep peace flooded her soul. Where was he? Where was the one who had healed her heart? Her eyes probed the shadows until she found him, standing behind the paramedics, a gentle smile on his face. He lifted his hand and nodded in acknowledgement as he locked eyes with her.
The paramedics were trying to get her attention. “You’ve been in an accident ma’am. Can you tell us what your name is?” She smiled into the distance as the man faded from view. She’d been given a second chance at life.
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