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Jane’s Story

February 23, 2012

Jane is a blogging friend out in the Centennial state. She is not only a very entertaining blogger who belongs on everyone’s blog roll, but she is, fortunately for us, her readers, infinitely wise. A couple of weeks ago Jane had an unfortunate accident with a wine glass which led to a trip to the emergency room and 27 stitches in her left cheek. Thankfully Jane’s injury was limited to “just” a cut because the damage could have been severe. She’s fine now and that is a good thing.

To read Jane’s account of the accident click here.

Jane’s accident led the talented Word Nerd Elizabeth Grace of GBE2 to offer up the following prompt:

Since Jane is doing just dandy and has a fabulous sense of humor about, well, about pretty much everything, we GBEers are going to help her out a little. The woman is going to have a scar. A twenty-seven-stitch scar. On her cheek. People will undoubtedly ask about it from time to time. We don’t want her to have to stick with the dehydration/exhaustion/wine glass/computer story, do we?

Of course not.

So here’s where we come in. We need to give Jane a better story. A tantalizing tale that she can tell when the askers ask. Bar fight, crazy coworker, or troubled lover? Sure! Unfortunate incident at the vet’s office? Maybe. Alien encounter? Huh, could be. You get the idea. Run with it. Have fun with it. Write Jane’s Tale.


Jane’s Tale

Early Monday morning. I had the day off and was in no hurry to leave the comfort of my delicious bed, my heart-shaped pillows and tiger-stripped comforter and my David Cassidy and Michaelsfishbowl wall posters. On the other hand, with winter finally bowing to spring, I didn’t want to waste a beautiful Denver day by lying around doing nothing, so I reluctantly tossed back the covers and rose to meet the day.

I kept second-guessing myself while I was getting ready, but once I stepped outside I knew I had made the right decision. The mountain air was brisk, but not too cold, and a high pressure front provided nothing but Persian blue skies above. One of only a few perfect days I thought as I walked to my car. Pressing the keychain remote to open the door a tiny voice inside my head told me to forget driving this morning and to enjoy the day.

“Forget driving today, Jane,” the voice said. “And enjoy the day.” And with that I set out on foot toward Anderson’s Bakery on Main Street for a cup of coffee, a croissant (or two) and the morning paper.

The voice was correct; walking was truly the only way to enjoy this glorious Denver morning. Walking past the Henderson’s front yard I saw a small chipmunk sit up and squeak hello as I passed. His tiny head turned to watch me and he took a few tentative steps to follow me before bounding back into the Henderson’s shrub to finish his morning ritual. The morning breeze was gentle and refreshing and I felt the real world melt away. Turning down Brewster Street a tiny bluebird flitted back and forth above my head while sharing his morning song.

“Good morning to you, too, Mr. Bluebird.” I said. “Will you follow me to Anderson’s Bakery for breakfast? It’s my treat this morning.” The bird circled my head and flew off ahead of me, presumably to reserve a table for two. “I’ll see you there,” I said as his morning song faded.

I thought morning traffic seemed a little heavier than usual as I reached the corner of Brewster and 14th and I jumped when a semi truck blew his horn.

“Ooh, it’s all right, Missy. You all right there?”

I looked over and saw an older man wearing a brown felt hat and a red cardigan over suspenders and tan corduroys standing next to me.

“It’s not every day we get to see one of these,” he said with a smile as he nodded toward the intersection.

I looked and saw a semi-truck, apparently the same one that had honked and shocked me out of my morning reverie, just turning onto 14th street. A convoy of different sized trucks and trailers followed him and they all bore the banner of the Amazing Fronzini Brothers Traveling Circus. The colorful banners flapped in the wind and their painted images promised of unimaginable joys. I was stuck to my spot next to the old man watching the parade of trucks when I suddenly heard a scream to my left. I looked over to see that the side doors on one of the panel trucks had burst open and a gigantic black bear had sprung free and was standing up in the middle of the street, threatening the crowd with an ear-shattering roar.

Everyone up and down the block on both sides of the street panicked and run for safety, but it wasn’t the panicking people who caught my eye, it was the line of schoolchildren crossing the street at 15th under the watchful eye of the crossing guard that grabbed my attention. The crossing guard had seen the bear and she was desperately shuffling the children across the street as quickly, and as safely, as she could which, to the bear’s sudden delight, wasn’t fast enough. The bear dropped down from his upright position and began lopping toward the line of children. I surveyed the situation quickly and I didn’t like what I saw so I sprung into action and ran toward the crossing guard and her young charges. I was closer, but even with the distance advantage I was no match for the speed of the bear who reached the crossing guard before me.

To her credit the crossing guard didn’t abandon the children. She huddled them as tightly as possible behind her and using the only defenses she had, blew her whistle and leveled the red STOP sign at the bear. The bear lunged and pawed both the sign and the guard out of the way. The guard landed about 15 feet to the right and lay motionless and there was now nothing between the group of trembling children and the ravenous escaped bear. Nothing except me and I wasn’t about to let a mad bear eat a dozen of Denver’s finest schoolchildren. I stopped by the unconscious crossing guard and bent down and confirmed she was all right and quickly signaled for an EMT and then I sprang into action and ran to the children.

“Here I am, bear, wanna take a swipe at me? Come one, let’s do this thing, big boy.”

The bear reared back and roared and took a swipe at me with his skillet-sized paw and I briefly wondered if the bear had actually understood me. I dodged away from his mammoth paw but I wasn’t quick enough and I felt his razor sharp claw slash down my left cheek. The blood spilled hot down my neck and splashed onto the pavement and judging by the amount of blood I guessed the slash to be a good 3.5 cm long and deep enough for stitches.

I touched the wound and looking at my blood-covered fingers I smiled. “So that’s how it’s gonna be, huh, bear?”

The bear threw his head back and roared and the sight of my blood dripping off his claw fired my resolve. I feinted with a straight jab toward the bear’s snout and at the last second I dropped down and shot out a sweeping leg kick and the bear toppled onto his back with a sick thud and that was all the advantage I needed. Jumping into the air I corkscrewed my body into a horizontal position and came down with a sharp elbow right across the bear’s throat. Quickly rolling over I was able to position myself behind him. I wrapped my legs around the bear’s shoulders and squeezed and shut off the blood supply to his brain. It only took a few seconds and the stunned behemoth was unconscious.

The bear’s trainer ran up with a tranquilizer dart.

“You won’t need that,” I said to him.

“A… a… are you all right?” he asked, breathless.

“Don’t worry about me,” I said. “Just do your job and tend to your bear.” I turned around and found myself face-to-face with the mayor and an EMT.

“Ma’am,” the mayor said. “I don’t know who you are, but…”

The EMT interrupted him. “Excuse me, Mr. Mayor. This heroic woman has got a nasty wound there and I need to take a look at it. Please, ma’am,” he said to me. “Would you sit down on the curb and let me tend to you?”

I wasn’t particularly tired, but I did like the idea of being tended to. “Sorry, no time for that right now.” I said.

“Ma’am, I appreciate your courage, but you’ve got to have that wound looked at and stitched up,” he said while looking at me over the top of his glasses. “And looking at the size of that slice, I’d say you’re looking at about 27 stitches to get it sewn up. Now please, ma’am, sit down.”

“Quit calling me “ma’am”, my name is Jane.”

“A pleasure to meet you, Jane.”

“Yeah, likewise, now first things first,” I said as I turned away from him and faced the children. I walked over to them and knelt down. “Is everyone all right?” I asked.

“Yes, ma’am, we’re all right,” a rosy-faced girl of about 10, maybe the oldest of the bunch, said. “Thanks to you.”

Thanks to me. “No thanks needed, kids,” I said. And I meant it. I only did what I knew had to be done and what no one else had the courage to do. “Now everyone hold hands and let’s get across this street.”

“But… you’re bleeding.” the rosy-faced girl said.

“I’m all right, don’t you worry, sweetheart. Now is everyone holding hands?” I saw 12 small heads bobbing in assent and I felt a small hand take hold of mine. I looked down to see the rosy-faced girl smiling up at me. “Someone has to hold your hand, too. Right?”

I choked back a tear and returned her smile. “Right you are, young lady.”

With the children safely on the far curb and on their way to school I turned away and smiled, wincing at the pain. I guess that EMT guy was right, I’d better have him take a look at me. Walking back to him I saw for the first time that he wasn’t bad looking. Who knows, maybe after he’s done working on me I’ll work on him. Still lots of this beautiful Denver day left. Who knows where it will lead.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 23, 2012 8:33 am

    I love, love, LOVE this one! Jane ROCKS!


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      February 24, 2012 2:08 pm

      Thank you, and yeah, she rocks! (Pretend I said that with my Beavis voice)


  2. February 23, 2012 9:58 am

    “I had the day off and was in no hurry to leave the comfort of my delicious bed, my heart-shaped pillows and tiger-stripped comforter and my David Cassidy and Michaelsfishbowl wall posters.”

    ROFLOL! Where can I get a Michaelfishbowl wall poster?

    Michael, THIS story is PRICELESS! Your descriptions are absolutely fantastic! I was enthralled until the end! You are one heck of a story teller.



    • Michael Fishman permalink
      February 24, 2012 2:09 pm

      The Michaelsfishbowl wall posters were sort of a limited run special edition kind of thing and they were hot on ebay a couple of years ago. I’ll talk to some people and see what I can find!


  3. February 23, 2012 11:22 am

    What Pamela said about the michaelsfishbowl wall poster! You had me laughing out loud from the very first!

    I love THIS! By the way, I also loved the fact that you wrote this in the first person. That was a very cool little twist I hadn’t expected.

    Thank you!


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      February 24, 2012 2:10 pm

      You’re welcome! I just wish we were writing scenarios for you for a less painful and scary event!


  4. February 23, 2012 5:20 pm

    Absolutely original, totally different to all the others I have read and I adored it. Loved her way of knocking the bear out!


  5. February 23, 2012 6:43 pm

    Wowser that Jane is beyond heroic! Love it, Michael. A bear? Really? LOL
    She’s so brave and self-sacrificing, what a hero. Great job, Michael. ♥


  6. February 24, 2012 1:45 pm

    What a riot. Still laughing. What a hero Jane is…..


    • Michael Fishman permalink
      February 24, 2012 2:11 pm

      She’s not only a hero, but wise! Thanks, Laura!


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