Trigger Warning: Graphic Descriptions (multiple mentions of blood and wounds)
You know how people say that a paper cut is the worst pain in the world? Well, I have a feeling they’d never been impaled by magical energy before. I’d like to think I’m a powerful warlock. The goddess Asteria has gifted me with very strong celestial magic, which I am very skilled at using; however, when I came across a very powerful witch, well, I’ll be honest, she had me second guessing my strength.
Blood soaked through my shirt, turning the once white fabric a deep crimson. My leather jacket stuck to my shirt, and both had gaping holes. The tunnel in my stomach had closed a little bit, so now it was more of a deep crater in my stomach. I had managed to close one side of the hole with some healing magic, but due to my weakened state, I had passed out from the exerted energy.
I came to in a grimy alleyway. It had started to rain, so not only was I wet with blood, but I was also wet with water. Overall, I was wet and sticky, and I was not happy about it, to say the least. I thanked my goddess that I hadn’t lost all my blood and bled to death.
The world was spinning, and my vision was blurry. I blinked a few times to try to regain my senses. Once I was somewhat grounded, I staggered to my feet. It took me a few tries, since moving sent an intense shockwave of pain through my body, and I almost passed out again. Using the wall behind me as a crutch, I managed to get to my feet. Hospital…I thought. There was no way I was going to be able to heal this wound by myself in this condition without killing myself. An ironic way to go—death by a healing spell. I chuckled at the idea, then instantly regretted the action as the pain momentarily became more intense. I mentally sighed and began to stagger out of the alley.
The rain poured down, washing the dried blood off me while causing the still fresh blood to run down my shirt. It was dark out, the only light sources were the neon signs and the periodical street light. I had to stop and rest every few feet, but eventually, I made it to a bus stop. I looked around, trying to figure out where the hell I was. My eyes widened as a sense of hope washed over me. I slammed my hands against the plexiglass, using it to keep me upright. I read the bus schedule stuck to the glass.
“Oh, thank you my goddess,” I muttered. The next bus was on route to a hospital. I sat down on the bench and rested my head against the wall behind me, thankful to finally be out of the rain. I kept my eyes open, the terrifying possibility that I once they were closed, I may not open them up again keeping me conscious. My chest rose and fell, the sound of the pattering rain on the roof of the bus stop kept me somewhat calm. When the bus finally arrived and grunted and pushed myself up. Clutching my stomach, I stumbled to the doors. I pulled a fiver out of my pocket, not really caring that I wouldn’t get change back. The bus driver lowered the bus and the doors swung open. I fell forward onto the floor of the bus.
“Ah, shit, I’m sorry!” He rushed to help me up and took the five dollars from me. “Lemme help you to a seat.”
“No need…Hospital…” I breathed. I made my way over to the closest open spot and flopped down next to an old lady. I rested my head back and let the vibration of the bus relax me. That goddamn witch had better watch her back because the next time I saw her she wouldn’t make it out alive. Once this gouge in my stomach healed it was over for her.
I suddenly frowned. I felt eyes burning a new hole in me. I looked in front of me and saw a small child staring at me. I stared back at him. He blew a bubble, not breaking eye contact with me the whole time. I continued to stare, not about to be intimidated by some goddamn kid. Finally, the kid spoke.
“Why do you have a hole in your tummy?”
“I got into a fight.”
“Did you win?”
Before I could answer, the kid’s mom scolded them and the kid finally stopped staring at me.
I returned my gaze to the ceiling when a new voice grabbed my attention.
“Well?” I turned to look at the old lady next to me.
“Did you win?”
I smirked. “Let’s just say, you should see the other guy.” That was a lie. The witch didn’t have a single scratch on her. But I knew the kid was listening and I wanted to impress them. The old lady’s eyes widened in shock, and she turned away from me.
The bus hit a pothole and jostled us all. I cried out in pain. “FUCK!”
“Language!” the kid’s mother snapped. I looked at her, then looked at the fresh blood leaking from my wound, then back at her. I decided I was too light headed to argue with her.
Just when my eyes were about to close, the bus pulled to a stop and the driver announced that we were at the hospital. Once again I staggered up and made my way to the door. I thanked the driver because I wasn’t an asshole who doesn’t thank bus drivers. I staggered to the doors of the hospital, the bus pulling away behind me.
The automatic doors slid open and I walked up to the nurse’s station. The man looked up and instantly started making phone calls. “I need a wheelchair and Dr. Michaels immediately.” He hung up the phone and rushed over to me. I started losing my balance and swaying back a forth. The nurse held me up and the world was going black.
“Hey, buddy, hold on, we’re gonna get…”
Jamie Pierce (They/Them/Theirs) is a 19-year-old student currently attending SUNY Ulster as a fine arts major. They have plans to transfer to a four-year school and get their BFA in illustration with a minor in creative writing. Jamie has been writing and drawing since they were a young child. Creating art has always been their dream, whether the art is music, theatre, traditional, or writing. They are a storyteller first, human second. Jamie is an out agender person, currently residing in Upstate New York.