Saturday, October 31, 2009

Kilimanjaro and the bloody mess that followed....

Halloween you say?
Well, then I guess it's time to write a gory scary story, innit?

I COULD of course opt for one about phantoms, zombies or other ghouls...
But what about scary stories that actually happened in real life?

Here's one that happened when I was 7 years old....

Whilst on holidays in the south of Spain, my parents, aunt, uncle, cousin and me visited a small picturesque village. You know the ones: white washed houses, pink flowers everywhere, streets covered in irregular cobble stones. It was guidebook pretty.
Not another tourist in site. Just us, the old geezers sitting in the shade of little orange trees in the village square, and the occasional old lady dressed in black, hanging wet clothes on wash lines that ran from one side of the narrow streets to the other.
It was a peaceful, sunny day.
The kind that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
And warm and fuzzy I was, and so was my cousin, cuz we were promised ice-cream AND a Coke, if we behaved. Which we naturally did (we refrained from hitting each other and fighting for the time being, the reward was TOO tempting).

So, there we were...strolling through the winding streets.
Parents taking the occasional photograph.
My cousin and I pointing out flowers, old ladies and statuettes in windows to each other.

But then....
I had to pee.

Unfortunately, this village was so quaint and small, that it didn't have a bar.
We looked around, but there really was no way we could find a public restroom.
So, since I was about to pop, I *went* behind a dumpster in a small alleyway.
It was a great relief, let me tell you...when you're 7 having to wee can be a total crisis, so when relief comes it's almost like you managed to climb the Kilimanjaro on flip flops and Mars bars.
So great was my relief, that when I saw a cat I was overjoyed.

"Oh look, A CAT!!"

I screamed at the top of my lungs, followed by a ferocious howl of pain.
My mother came running.

"What's wrong??"

I looked down at my feet.
A pool of blood was forming on the cobblestones.
I had stepped into a broken bottle with my thin summer shoes, and it had cut right through into my left foot.

"Oh GOD!!"

My mother grabbed me, pulled me up and ran out of the alley with me in her arms.
My smiling relatives, turned around and smiles faded as they saw what was going on.
There, in the summer sun they sat me down and peeled the shoe off my foot: a large gush was visible, I was bleeding heavily.
I looked at my foot between the tears and at the blood that had dribbled all the way from the alley to where my foot was.
My mother's hand, holding my foot, was covered in blood, it dripped from her wrist to the floor, forming a puddle.

"We need a doctor!"
"Put something around the wound to stop the bleeding first!"

My aunt took a cloth hankie from her purse and they wound it tightly around my foot.
Then my dad lifted me off the ground and the whole group ran towards the village centre.
There my mother asked the old men sitting under the orange trees, if there was a doctor somewhere in the village.

There wasn't.

We then rushed to the place where our car was parked.
In those days, nobody wore a seat belt in the back, and we often travelled with loads of people on the back seat, kids on laps, you know the drill.
This time had been no different.
So we crammed into the back, me sitting on my mother's lap, and drove off.
We had to drive to the next city to find a doctor, the old men had said.

We drove faster than I've ever driven since, my uncle beeping the car horn fanatically as we went. And then....there was a traffic-jam.
The cars moved sloww, very very sloww...
I was feeling really light headed.
My foot was thumping like there was a full-blown African drum band inside.
It felt wet.
And I knew that was blood, but I didn't want to look at it anymore.
The atmosphere in the car was tense.
My cousin was crying too, my mother was cussing cuz of the traffic-jam and telling my uncle to drive around it somehow. My uncle was yelling back, over the horn beeping, my aunt was holding a white hankie out of her window to show people we had an emergency, and my dad was trying to calm everybody down.

After what seemed to be hours, we finally managed to get off that road I guess, because the next thing I remember is us rushing into an emergency room.
Doors flew open and people were talking hurriedly.
The pungent smell of bleach filled the green hallways.

And then I was laid down on some sort of table, covered in white paper.

Before I knew it I was pinned down onto the table by two nurses.
One was holding my legs, while the other one pushed down on my shoulders.
My mother kneeled beside me and said:

"Don't worry honey, it will soon be over"

Soon? Over? What would soon be over?
And then I saw the doctor....he moved towards me while he put some string on a huge needle.

The moment the needle went through my skin was much more painful then when I stepped into the glass. I screamed loudly and tried to wiggle free.
The nurses pushed on me but I was too wild for them to control me, so my mother and father had to help them hold me down.
While I screamed my lungs out till I hardly had a voice left.

The doctor then proceeded to stitch me up.
He didn't use anaesthetic.
Every time the needle went in, every tug on the thread surged through my body, and made my sore throat howl out a screechy scream of pain.
My tears had dried up; there were no more tears left to cry.

Weeks later, back home, when my doctor wanted to take the stitches out with a small surgical knife, I kicked him in the face. Hard.
NO WAY he was going to stick something sharp in me too!
We had to come back a 2nd time, so he could do it with scissors instead.

So much for ghouls and zombies, eh?

Happy Halloween everybody!

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