Laura visits Tyler

Part of the Flash Fiction Train

Laura was jogging when the police called her. She stopped and so did her dog, an 8-year old female Border Collie. Laura delved in her pockets and reached her phone. She stared at that unfamiliar number for a moment, unconsciously taking off her headphones.

“Is it Miss Colbert?” she heard someone saying, barely distinguishing the Russian accent in his words.

“Yes?” She answered, “What is the deal?”

“We’re sorry for bothering you, Miss Colbert.”

That was how they introduced her with how they had found her ex-boyfriend in the middle of a crime scene. It could have been forty minutes ago, as the officer said, that what appeared as a hostage attempt could really take the life of her friend, Mr Tyler Gibbs. Lucky enough, his wound didn’t seem anything way critical. The bullet left a damage in his lower jaw. With just some surgery, the doctors managed to get rid of the bullet. Tyler has been in a coma ever since, but his life conditions were stable.

Later that day, Laura found the next plane from Manchester to Moscow. She left her dog at her mother’s house.

In vain, she tried to spot anything from her plane’s window. Anything that could remind her of him, as the plane were getting higher. She thought that the city lights could make it easier, but it all looked like a bunch of fireflies in a smoggy evening. She felt guilty, for she should have been there with him on that journey. After all, it was her idea to travel along Asia, so she could practice more with her Russian and Chinese skills. She had bought the tickets one week ago, and, if it wasn’t for that gigantic fight they had one night, she wouldn’t have to let go of her pride.

She was right. Tyler did know this too. He begged her to come with him in Russia, so the money wouldn’t have been gone away. But his words were not convincing enough. Tyler didn’t seem as if he had finally understood his fault. He looked arrogant. And he wouldn’t let go this chance and money for nothing. They broke up and apparently, Tyler went to Russia alone.

It was some minutes past midnight when Laura went through the police station’s door in Moscow. The taxi driver helped her with her only luggage. In her broken Russian, she successfully informed the girl behind the reception for her presence. As the girl spoke to her phone Laura waited until two police officers appeared. They got her to the hospital, where Tyler was recovering.

Tyler was lying in his bed. His jaw was completely bandaged and the mouth was left uncovered. As she sat next to him, she would swear she could smell the sharp odour of his drink.

Laura then glanced over the medical devices. She lightly touched all of those cables that were stuck with Tyler. She concentrated to the clicking for a moment, tracking his heartbeat curves.

She looked quietly at him, rubbing his head softly and holding his hand with the other. That hand that has been holding hers while they have been shopping, or the days that she needed a hug, or even the days that she needed more than a hug. It was the same hand, that almost slapped her the day they fought. And if it wouldn’t be for Daren, Tyler’s brother, Tyler could have already hit her. He must have been drunker than now. Daren took him forcibly and drove him home.

She was holding that hand.

Laura went outside his room for at least fifteen minutes, and the police officers asked her about Tyler and his relatives before she came back in. In the TV, as she skipped the headlines, Laura faced the moment as Tyler got hit, recorded by the security cameras. But as the video was fast-forwarding to the moment of shooting, she recognized a young lady with a big round hat. Everything was blanc noir. She couldn’t believe her eyes.

This story is a part of a collaborative chain of flash fiction stories. Resources and links are available in the master post here:

Characters in Story

  • Tyler
  • Laura
  • Daren
  • Young lady with big round hat (could the hat be red? We’ll never know until you write the story!)
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