A blond haired boy lying screaming in the middle of a road, a jacket thrown over him, a bundled jumper for a pillow. And then, working outwards, like figures frozen in a brutal urban nativity: three women leaning over the boy, a man running across, a pushchair empty and a pushchair attended, one child straddling the frames of her bike, one child lying her bike down and hurrying over, a man waving his arms, a teenager holding his mobile phone out, people leaning from windows, nodding and pointing, an elderly woman clutching on to an open car door, its front wheels on the pavement. And then, at last, this glassy web of attention trembles and shifts and opens to admit an ambulance to its centre. A green shirt jumps out and kneels in the road. Close up on the boy’s lips, split and dry, his bloody chin, his front teeth pushed in all-angles. Someone says the car he ran onto has a dent in the bonnet. In one falling moment the paramedic sees the chalky whiteness of the boy’s skin, the dark rings around his eyes, but then with a lift equally as giddy realises that the boy is wearing face paint. He has been made up to look like a panda. A hand on the boy’s head, how important it is to keep still.
But the boy wrests free.
‘Is this a dream?’ he gasps. ‘Am I asleep?’
Oh I hate accidents involving children.
How is the boy now?
Amazingly he escaped with a few max-fax injuries - nothing serious. What really helped was that the driver was elderly and not going very fast. (It wasn't her fault, btw. The boy just ran out in front of her). So it had a good outcome. x
She must have been shaken up as well :( Silly little boy but he won't do it again! I hope he was ok though; what are max-fax injuries? :) If he was talking, I would guess that is a good sign. Was still sad when he asked if he was asleep, as if it was all a bad dream :/
I thought I'd go for a kind of dreamscape, to go with what the boy said at the end. A bit of a stylistic experiment...
Max-fax: maxillo-facial injuries, serious or otherwise. In his case, cuts and grazes and loose teeth, nothing dreadful. A very lucky kid. It was terrible to hear him screaming - but good at the same time, in the perverse way of these things. That panda makeup was a big shock, though! At first I thought he had a basal skull fracture! xx
love the style
Wow that was pretty powerful - a great post. I don't know how I would handle a situation like that, I am glad the boy is alright. My little ladis 2 tomorrow and I can't imagine how I would feel if something like that happened to him.
Cheers Chris! I'm sure you'd be fine. I think it helps if you have kids yourself, because you know how to talk to them. (But having said that, I know if it was my child hurt in that way, I'd be devastated. My objectivity would go out of the window.)
Thanks for the comments!
I just took my 4 yrold towheaded son to the ED tonight after he flipped his bike, just a small laceration. I was so thankful. It could have been much worse. I remained calm until he'd wiggle his eyebrows and the wound would gape at me - ugh almost got sick.
Poor little fella! It is horrible when these things happen to them, but it's all part of growing up, I suppose. I had so many crashes on bikes when I was little (and then motorbikes when I was a bit bigger). It's made me who I am today (he says with a slightly lopsided smile).
I'm so jealous of kids and their bmx bikes (was it a bmx?) I'd have loved one when I was growing up. I'd have had twice as many accidents, but - the stunts I could've pulled ...
Great that he can ride at 4. We have a four year old daughter, and she's only just getting going on a bike.
Thanks for the comment, Manda!
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