Stumbling Ahead, Chapter 1 (Part 1)

One time, I was thinking, and then I thought something else, and, it passed away. I thought, at first, that I could remember it, but after a while, I gave up. Some thoughts just aren’t meant to be, and some, never meant to be concrete.

So, I left my little room, and I went outside. I walked for a while, in no particular direction. Eventually, I came to a few people, but I did not know them, so I turned away from them, and went in a different direction. As I thought about it later, perhaps I should have said something, at least to one of them, but, now, that is neither here nor there.

As I moved in the second direction, I came upon a man standing on the side of the road beside his car, which had broken down. I asked him if there was anything I could do to help. He made a face, and cursed at me, saying “It’s just a piece of shit!” I said, “I’m sorry,” and went about my business.

Eventually, I came to a city bus stop, where a bus had stopped to drop off a passenger. I thought to myself then, “Maybe now there is room for me,” and I stepped toward the bus. I got on, passed by the driver, and was in the process of looking for a seat, when the driver yelled out, “You have to pay, buddy!” I told him that I didn’t have any money, and he made a face and said, loud enough for everyone on the bus to hear, “Well, then get off the damn bus, you idiot!” I got off, resolving not to get on any more buses, at least until I had some money.

I also thought to myself that perhaps it was just not my lucky day, and decided to turn back towards home. As I was walking back in the direction from which I had come, I tried to remember my street name (or number) and house number. As I thought about it, and looked at the houses in the general direction that I vaguely recalled was the correct route to my house, I realized I wasn’t sure.

Just then, a small boy came out of a nearby house, running in my direction. As he was running towards me, he shouted, “Mom is having a stroke or something!” I felt sorry for him, and asked him, “Where is your father?” He looked confused for a second, then said, “You are my father, Daddy!” I thought to myself that I had never seen this young boy in my life, and started to tell him so, but then changed my mind, as I saw that he was getting very upset. I said to him, “Take me to our home. I have forgotten the way.”

The boy made a quick smile of relief, then grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the house from which he had come. As we stepped inside, things did look vaguely familiar, but I was not convinced yet that this was my home. I did see his mother on the floor, and she looked like she had passed out. I put my head near her face to see if I could feel her breathing, but did not feel anything. Then, I checked her wrist for a pulse, and felt none.

“I’m afraid she is dead, son, but, if you like, we can call for an ambulance, just in case.” He looked shocked for a second, then exclaimed, “Yes, we need to call for help!” Although I was pretty sure the woman was dead, I decided to humor the boy, and be on the safe side, just in case I was wrong.

I called for an ambulance, and, in a few minutes, it arrived. The EMTs jumped out and looked at me and said, “Did you call for an ambulance?” I said “Yes,” and that the woman was inside the house. They ran into the house and saw her on the floor. One of them bent down and checked her pulse, but did not say anything. Although, what he had found was next apparent, as he started performing CPR on her. The other EMT ran back to the ambulance, then came back with a battery pack and some sort of what I took to be a CPR machine.

He pulled out two plates with handles and placed them on her chest, then yelled “Clear!” The woman’s chest jumped up, but she did not come to. After a few more tries, and no luck, they picked her up, put her body in the ambulance, and drove off. “I guess they took her to the hospital,” I said to the boy. The little boy began to cry and yelled, “She can’t be dead! She can’t!” I felt sorry for him, so I reached out to touch him. As soon as I got my hand around his back, he put his arms around me and held me tight, sobbing all the more.


Author: Gordon S. Bowman III

Writer, Visual Artist, Blogger, Advocate

4 thoughts on “Stumbling Ahead, Chapter 1 (Part 1)”

    1. Thanks, DeBorah. I had hoped for something like that. I knew it would be a different type of fiction before I started, but I wasn’t sure what I would get. I just started writing, and this is what came out. Wish me luck as I try to develop the plot (that is my biggest challenge) and flesh out the characters, if I decide to do so. I’m purposely trying to ignore precedent (except maybe Joyce or Beckett), and just write what comes to mind. Sort of an experiment. It is funny, though. Once I decided to ignore convention, the words just flowed. Inspiration is a weird thing sometimes. 🙂

      1. Same story writing challenges. I dipped my hand into short story writing about three years ago. I have plenty of unfinished short stories because carrying a plot, character development and dialogue are not the easy to do. Poetry flows better for me but I have all these stories in my head that need to get out. I also try to go with the flow because inspiration can come any time and anywhere! 🙂

        We are influenced by other authors we’ve read over the years but our voice and the voices of our characters must shine through. I don’t want to follow a plot recipe or script just because it’s popular. I’m always looking to allow the character to speak through me.

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