The Cycle of Life and Fiction
Copyright © Suzanne Grimsley, 2016
All Rights Reserved
Book Cover Original Images/Illustrations by Unsplash and Phoebe Dill
First Shakespir Edition
Shakespir Edition, Lecense Notes
This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your favorite ebook retailer and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Table of Contents
To Be Like Them
The pine trees were steadily passed. Mitch could hardly hear his instrumental music over the gravel on the dirt road. All was green and alive, swaying in the breeze.
A deer raised its head in the wheat field to the left of the car. Mitch smiled as the doe munched on a farmer’s hard work, unafraid of the mechanical monster that cruised by.
Mitch’s left arm hung from the silver KIA Spectra’s open window as he drove.
“Now which will it be today?” he asked.
There was no one in the vehicle to answer.
“How about Malik?”
He paused, furrowing his brows. “Hm…”
“Yes. Malik will do nicely.” He nodded. “Now, if only we can figure out what our relentless mercenary confronts this time.”
His right hand turned the wheel, and the Spectra turned onto a second dirt road. The sun blinded him after the turn, and he raised his free hand to shield his eyes.
A moose stood in front of the Spectra.
Mitch cried out.
They collided in an explosion of broken glass, shedding fur, and flailing limbs. The moose fell on top of the hood and spun, its hooves thrashing violently about. Mitch’s arms did much the same as the windshield shattered.
The hooves punctured the airbag and deflated it, and then kicked the passenger’s head seat entirely off.
Mitch screamed and flung open the door. He tried to get out, but his seatbelt prevented him. As he fumbled with the leather straps, a hoof struck his face.
Blood splattered across his face from his crushed nose.
A hoof pounded into his neck.
His forehead was hit, and it rendered him unconscious.
Mitch woke up in a start, jerking away from the people surrounding him. He was on his back. The uniformed strangers were too close, touching him, putting things on him, shouting. He fell into hyperventilation.
Beyond their heads were blue sky and tops of the pine trees. He tried to turn his head, but hands on his face held it in place. They were shouting at him. He found that he couldn’t breathe. The faces of the strangers blurred until there was nothing but darkness, and he was asleep.
Mitch awoke more slowly this time, his eyes opening and closing repeatedly.
He licked his lips and found them chapped and dry.
The curtains surrounding the bed he laid in were a dotted white and blue, and prevented him from seeing anyone beyond his immediate vicinity.
There weren’t any stands or tables, just him and a bed.
He licked his lips again.
After a minute, Mitch tried to call out. All that he could muster was a low screech, barely audible.
There was a remote that he was certain would call the nurse. He tried to reach for it, but found that he couldn’t move his arms. He was also unsuccessful in lifting his head to see his own body.
“Please try to relax, Mr. Veals.”
A man wrapped in a white coat, gloves, and a mask pushed through the curtain. His eyes looked heavy when he looked at Mitch.
“You’ve been through quite the physically traumatic experience. It’s best not to strain yourself.”
“What happened?” Mitch’s voice was so raspy that he could barely hear his own question, like nails on a chalkboard on low volume.
“You hit a moose, Mr. Veals. It kicked you into unconsciousness, and then the seatbelt held you there to let it kick you some more. You’re lucky to be alive.”
Mitch was quiet.
The doctor walked to his bedside, clasping his hands together behind his back. “You were in critical condition for two days, and then comatose for only two more. You’ve woken up, ending the comatose stage, and now it’s the beginning of working through your complications.”
The doctor pulled down his mask and frowned. He placed a hand on Mitch’s shoulder. “Now, Mitch, I’m not going to lie. You’ve experienced autonomic and motor neurological damage. That means that you will, from now on, have difficulty even walking, let alone anything else. That also means that you will have complications with your health, such as blood pressure and digestion.”
Mitch released several sobs. They blended into each other like a key igniting an engine. “But what about my books?”
“My stories. Can I still write them?”
Dr. Frodge sighed. “Not by yourself, unfortunately. You have so much motor nerve damage that it will be almost impossible to write anything.”
Mitch sniffed and blinked repeatedly.
Dr Frodge smiled. “There’s that Mitch I wanted to see. I’ll find you the help you need. You need to be strong.”
“Yes, then. Like Malik.”
Aiko Means Love Child
Next May will complete the fourth year without my child.
She was distant and erratic in the days before her stomach violently jarred and made her cry out.
I called the hospital after it happened. I was urged to rush her in, so I did.
It was there that I waited with my father.
The doctor eventually came out and sat down with me. I could see it in his eyes before he could speak.
My child was dying of kidney failure. She likely wouldn’t survive the night.
“Here are your options,” the doctor said. “We can transport her to a more appropriate emergency facility, or we can give her the shot.”
I was crying by that point. My father had to answer for me.
I was led into the back office where she laid. She had a mask over her nose and mouth that kept her asleep. The doctor explained that she would have to remain asleep, due to violent behavior.
I stroked her brown and black fur, massaged her ears, and smoothed out her whiskers as the doctor gave her the shot.
My Aiko’s heart stopped less than a minute later.
There’s Work to Be Done
“H-Hey, do we actually have to kill a dragon? Can’t we just say we did?” asked Clem.
“We have to,” Sue replied. “Curtis wouldn’t have given us the mission if he felt otherwise.”
“Using you as bait is the best plan ever,” Cody added. “It’ll be a breeze.”
“W-W-What?!” Clem shrieked. “That isn’t true! Isn’t it? Sue! Tell me it isn’t true!”
“Actually, Clem,” said Sue, “that is the plan. A distraction is needed. Cody and I are too skinny.”
“B-But that isn’t fair!”
“It’s the only way,” said Cody. “Besides, do you genuinely believe we’d sit back and let a dragon eat you? Have faith in us, will you?”
“Well, if you will be right there, I suppose I can do it.”
“That’s a good lad! We’re Grimsley Mercenaries, after all! We can do anything! Right?”
“Shush, you two,” interrupted Sue. “We’re getting close.”
“Alright, Clem,” said Cody. “Time to shine. Get out there and do your thing. We’ll attack from behind when the moment is right.”
“Alright, here I go,” said Clem, sneaking off enthusiastically.
“Cody,” Sue said at length, “we should have told him that the dragon had a brood.”
“Nah! He’ll figure it out.”
About the Author
Suzanne Grimsley is a bank fraud specialist, writer, and freelance editor. She has an extensive background in the healthcare fields and creates resumes, cover letters, and official documentation for individuals and various-sized companies. When she’s not catching criminals or building a fantastic fantasy world, she’s outside playing with her dog or inside snuggling with her cats. For more information, visit her page.
The Cycle of Life and Fiction contain three short stories of suspense, tragedy, and comedy. It begins with To Be Like Them. Our protagonist, Mitch, isn't paying much attention to the road as he's driving. The consequental wreck leaves him alive, but he loses something else in the process that steals life from him all the same. In Aiko Means Love Child, a loved one experiences horrific stomach pains and exhibits odd behavior before being rushed to the hospital. Our protagonist waits anxiously for a miracle. Meanwhile, in There's Work to Be Done, three mercenaries are sent off on an important mission. One of them gets cold feet just before their destination, but luckily his two partners have something else in mind.