The Crash The Carnival in English Short Stories by Siddharth Ayyappath books and stories Free | The Crash The Carnival

The Crash The Carnival

“Mr. Wood?” I looked up, my palms sweaty, to see a nurse standing in front of me with a clipboard in her hand. She smiled. “He’ll be alright”, she said. I breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you”, I croaked. She nodded. “The doctor will be with you in a moment”, she informed me and gestured to a chair nearby. “Have a seat.” Saying this, she spun on her heel and walked down the corridor, swaying her hips. I collapsed on a chair, my legs weak with gratitude and buried my face in my hands. I drew a shaky breath and wiped my sweaty brow with the sleeve of my shirt. It seemed only an hour ago when our car flipped and Finn got hurt. But it wasn’t.

It was a starry night. Me and Finn were driving back to our town. Well, I was driving. Finn was riding shotgun. We’d gone to attend a carnival in a nearby village. “Man, the carnival was lit”, Finn said and shoved me lightly on my shoulder. I agreed. It was a festival of colors, with a lot of people and a lot more colorful floats. Finn yawned. “Whup, careful there. You’re drifting out of your lane”, he chuckled as I attempted to shove him back. I glanced at the dashboard. The screen showed 12:18 am. Things were going smoothly. It was a quiet ride. We were approaching a hairpin bend when the Camry in front of us suddenly floored the brakes. I flashed my lights and swerved on to the opposite lane (It was a two-way road) in an attempt to overtake the car, not paying attention to the truck barreling straight towards us. Finn lunged and jerked the steering wheel to the right, trying to pull us back into our lane and I slammed the brakes. That’s when everything went wrong. The brakes locked up and the ABS* failed. Our car lost traction and its rear end collided with the truck. The truck didn’t slow down and hit our car at 100 mph. It then veered left and hit a streetlight. Our car spun and stopped right at the edge of the bend. I groaned and looked around. The airbags had somehow deployed in the middle of all this. A series of lights illuminated the odometer. I turned around and realized that Finn was nowhere to be seen. His door had been ripped open. “No..” I opened my door and staggered out of my car. Pain shot up my leg. I had fractured my ankle. I looked around and spotted Finn lying face down on the road. I crawled up to him and turned him around to see his face bloody and his eyes closed. “Finn…” I shook him weakly and grabbed his wrist. I felt a pulse. Sirens wailed in the distance and I saw several cars and an ambulance pull up near us. Then my consciousness faded and I collapsed on top of Finn.

That was a month ago. Me and Finn were rushed to a nearby hospital. My ankle took a while to recover and Finn’s condition remained critical until the doctors finally managed to stabilize him. Now to the present. The doctor came out of the ICU and assured me that Finn was going to be okay. I could only manage a nod and walked into the ICU. Finn saw me and managed a feeble smile. His head was wrapped with bandages and an arm was in a sling. “So”, I ventured as I sat down on the edge of his bed, “How was the carnival?” He chuckled.

*ABS or Antilock Braking System is a mechanism in cars which prevents the wheels from locking up during braking thereby maintaining traction with the road surface. It works by rapidly pumping the brakes while braking so as to prevent wheel lock up.

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Anish Anish

Anish Anish 4 months ago