The Man Who Wasn’t There – Part 26

the man who wasnt thereA freak tornado heads right to the school, but hasn’t registered on the weather radar. Brian and Chase make it dissipate, but now there’s the aftermath to deal with. Out by the football field, a small building is partially collapsed. Brian rushes to help.

Slowly, Brian opened the door. It swung toward him, sagging on the hinges, squawking like an angry goose. Brian shown his light in the entrance. He saw the wall with the boy holding it. He looked ready to fall down. A row of roofing nails were embedded in his thigh. Blood had pooled at his feet. It took longer to find the girl. She was partially buried under the wall, pale and afraid, but alert.

“Better not to move her,” Brian told the boys. “But let’s shore up the wall and roof. What’s your name?” he asked the young man.

“Noel and that’s Trista.”

“I’m Brian. That’s Justin and Flynn.” He pointed to the cheerleaders. “Anyone else here?”

“Just us. I’m hurt bad, Brian. I can’t hold this much longer.”

The other two boys were busily trying to move the book shelf, only to find it was attached to the wall. Brian spotted a line of file cabinets. He told the other boys to get that. Ripping off his shirt, he tore the cloth into strips and bound up the leg wound. Noel was in a bad way. The blood seeped slowly and he shook with the strain of holding the wall. Once that was done tying up the wound, Brian found a place to stand by the other boy and took the weight of the wall on his own back, pushing with his powers.

Justin and Flynn moved the file cabinets into place, taking the weight from Brian and Noel. They lifted Noel and set him aside. He screamed in pain as they moved his injured leg. Both of them apologized as the lowered him to the floor. Keeping the force going, Brian eased out from under the wall and went to sit by Trista. She was pale, clammy. He didn’t dare move any of the rubble without help. Depending on her injuries, she might be alive only because the debris acted like a tourniquet.

“Help’s coming, honey. Hang in there.”

“Where’s Noel?”

“Here, baby. I’m okay.”

Justin had added strips of his shirt to Noel’s leg. Moving him had started the bleeding again. He fashioned a tourniquet with that and a Bic pen. It wasn’t ideal, but it would hold until help arrived. A pounding of feet outside heralded the arrival of the emergency team.

Romeo stood outside, panting. “Sorry it took so long. The courtyard is blocked. We had to go around.”

“Thanks,” Brian said. “Trista’s in a bad way,” he told the EMT. “I have no idea what’s going on under there. I didn’t try to move her. We had to get Noel out from under the wall. It was ready to collapse and so was he.”

“You did good, kids. Thank you.” He turned to Trista, smiling. “Hello there, young lady. My name is Darren. Let’s see what’s going on, okay?”

“Okay,” she said faintly.

Brian knew she was in bad shape. He could sense that one lung was on the verge of collapse and she had internal injuries. She had a spinal fracture and a compound fracture of the left femur. The knowledge wasn’t from his own mind. He could hear someone else’s voice in his head telling him.

“I think she has a spinal injury,” he said aloud. “And her lung is collapsing.”

“He’s right,” the second EMT said. “She’s sipping air. Anything else, kid?”

“Broken leg and some internal bleeding.”

The emergency personnel stared at him.

“How do you know that?” Justin asked.

“Call it a hunch.”

“We’ve got a couple stretchers outside. Think you boys can get our friend to one?” the first EMT asked.

“Yes, sir.” Brian gestured to Justin and Flynn. He got the stretcher and the boys helped lift Noel onto it.

“I’ll show you how to get around,” Romeo said. He took one end of the stretcher.

Justin took the other end and Flynn carried the IV bag. Brian stayed with the EMTs who were working on Trista. When they started shifting the bricks and other debris from her, he did his best to lighten the load as well as keeping the damaged wall up. It was exhausting, but he knew he couldn’t let it fall or it would bring the entire shed down. Just when he thought he was at the end of his strength, he felt the load lighten. Jordan walked up, ducking her head inside the building.

“You okay?”

“I’m fine. Trista’s having a tough time.”

“I see that. How can I help?”

Brian’s eyes flickered to the wall and roof. Jordan nodded, understanding. She eased her power next to his, taking the majority of the burden from him, allowing him to help the EMTs even more. Once Trista was free, Brian got the other stretcher. Between the three of them, they rolled her just enough to get her on the firm surface before strapping her in place.

“Do you know your way back?” Brian asked.

“Yes. But can one of you come along and hold the IV?”

“I will,” Jordan said. “Brian, I’ve got this,” she murmured. “Let it go,” she whispered.

© 2017 Dellani Oakes

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