Chapter 10

Written by: Mrellan

 

The noise of helicopter blades gets muffled as doors close on us, but all I can hear are the words Artie mumbled….”my son”. I look sideways at him lying next to me and watch his chest rise and fall. I cannot believe he has a son. Why has he never told me? I feel sorry for him but am really annoyed and angry, mostly at myself for blindly following him in the hope that one day he would feel something for me. Now I know why he hasn’t. There’s someone else.

“Sue.” His eyes open and his hand touches mine. “I need to tell you about my son.” His voice is just a whisper.

Anger is rising inside me. “What about him?” I snap. I turn away from him. There will be no more running after him, no more trying to please him. I blink and clear a tear from my eye.

“He’s just four,” Artie mumbles. “You would like him.”

I turn back to him, shaking, and my voice trembling. “Four years old, Artie, and you wait until now to tell me you have a son. You know I love you.”  With all the strength I can muster, I raise myself up. Overwhelmed, tears stream down my face. “Does this mean you also have a wife or is this someone else you have led along with lies? Does she know about me?”

Artie raises his hand slowly; the effort seems too much for him. “Of course she knows about you, Sue.” He smiles weakly. “We’re not married but we will live together just as soon as I finish with University.” He slips back into unconsciousness.

The medic places a gentle hand on my shoulder and tells me to lie down. This is all too much. Why have I wasted all my life over this man? I feel used – no, I feel stupid.

The helicopter lands and Artie’s eyes open again. He coughs and grabs my hand. “Sue, I want you to do something for me.” His voice fades.” He wants me to call the woman. There’s a card in his pack. He coughs and more blood dribbles from his lips. “I wanted to surprise you.” His voice is very weak.

I take the wallet out of his pack and remove a card.

 “After Uni… I wanted you to live with us.  …. look after Jason …. Be the sister to me you’ve always been.”

Everything is suddenly clear. The feeling of humiliation overwhelms me. I can hardly breathe. All these years and he wants me to be at his beck and call, grateful that he has taken pity on me, and for what? An ugly scarred face I no longer worry about?

I wait for the medic to turn to open the door after we land and I turn off  Artie's oxygen supply.

 

 

Comments

Well, I guess she got the message in the end.
Love the ending!  Love. Love. Love. The. Ending. Way too many passive verbs of being and somewhat stunted dialog, but who cares. Hahahahahaha . . . . . .
No one will ever take these serials seriously again!  Maybe it should be renamed "THE COMEDY CLUB OF CYBERSPACE."
It would have been great to have had a little more writing room to address Sue's psychotic turn, but it was so much more satisfying an ending than Artie professing his undying love. Better to keep him the total unseeing bastard that he was. And yes, I laughed uncontrollably . . . because I'm a morbidly cruel woman with a harsh sense of justice, not because it was comedic.
  Hello, my name is Gregg. As a one time author and gifted reader, I'd like a show of hands from everyone who takes these seriously. You can take your hand down Ray. This story about river rafting wasn’t perfect, but the impression I got was everyone was interested in its development. I know I took some harsh criticism when I introduced the Rangers. I wasn’t offended and even caught myself smiling a bit over the controversy I started. Now think about this, what is the point of the serials? Is their intent to generate literature of painstaking design and become the next best seller? No. The serials are a way to provide a unique opportunity for writers to have their work read, for writers to have fun picking up the challenge of the previous author(s) and for authors to generate a new challenge for the next author(s). In that sense, these stories are a work of beauty. I admit they are sometimes cheesy and sometimes fascinating. This one stretched the talents of a few writers with present tense. However, with no outline to follow or any clues of the stories future other than the hints provided in the Prolog chapter, the actual direction, and ultimately the conclusion, is anybody's guess. That is the fun of being there as it unfolds. These Serials are writing exercises. They offer a way for all participating authors to demonstrate their skills, collaborate with others and sometimes spill the apple cart, all with minimal guidance. They allow random readers to follow the journey of a loosely coordinated band of eleven writers creating a 5500 word "masterpiece" by tossing in their evil thoughts with each new chapter. At the same time, other writers and readers are encouraged to participate by making comments and suggestions. That feature is a huge success. I think this is good stuff.    If we don't take ourselves seriously, even when the story isn’t always what we expect, we can still have fun getting there.
Cogently put. My hands are in the air, but in tribute to your deft definition of what it is we're here for.
One read of a Cormac McCarthy book and anyone would say, to hell with the rule book, I'm just going to write what I want to write. People can think/read what they want. Or you do what I do and stick to the majority of the rules until your first book is published and then do what you want. Well put by the way, Gregg.
I love the ending :)  Truly the only satisfying way this story could end.
she will live to regret (I'm sure).  This a good ending to a story which at the top was about action and adventure.  For me, as a reader, this is a definite full stop ending that does not need to go anywhere else.
Thank you for killing that jerk. Even though he would have died from his injuries, turning off his oxygen was brilliant. I aslo agree with Gregg. These serials are hard, but also great fun.
I don’t care that the ending made me laugh. I don’t care if someone decides to experiment and do something different to test their writing abilities, and then gets told by many that what they did was crap. I would be lying if I said I didn’t care what others thought of my writing, but as far as I know we’re all mostly amateurs. Maybe we've been published once or twice or not at all. But the thing is that our comments may be wrong 50% of the time. We can give our opinion and that’s it. I’m happy to get a laugh. I’m happy to shake my head at what someone has written because it doesn't fit or I don't like. But if we have this serial to test what we can do and then get feedback from it, then hooray for us. I think the worst thing we could do is censor what is written. Sure, we need basic rules and we need to stay on track with the story, but never censor or inhibit someone’s style or perception of character’s feelings or words. And as for Gregg’s question; do I take this seriously: Sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I always take what I write seriously, but I’m happy to read something like this ending and clap and say woohoo for someone that’s done something out of the ordinary. No one should be afraid to test their writing skills on here! But, we should always give honest feedback. Devil's advocate is a good thing.