One father loved, one father, well, if not hated, at least not liked.
I woke up in a sweat. An old man in a wheelchair sat staring at me, a revolver in his right hand pointed at my head. He was smiling, not freindly. I could see down the barrel, the grooves twisting clear and clean, and that bullet had my name on it.
The dream so startled me that I literally jumped out of bed. I stood there panting, went down to leaning on my knees. I repeatedly told myself to calm down, calm down, and I finally did.
It was 2:00 p.m. Certainly long enough for the man either to have survived surgery or to have died. I tell you really and truly that don’t know why, but I felt the urge, I felt that I had to needed to, get to that hospital to see. Did he live?
I called HPD, just in case Chan might be there, but his partner, Detective Stillman, told me that as far as he knew, the Lieutenant was at Queen’s Hospital.
Money wasn’t exactly growing on a tree outside our building, but I sprung for a cab. The prospect of waiting for the bus and then riding seemed too painfully long.
I practically ran to the ICU. Lieutenant Chan was there, sipping coffee, watching the man. There were more tubes than before, another monitor. Chan looked up, a little startled, as I burst into the room.
“He’s alive,” I said, making brilliant use of my deductive powers.
“Yes, yes, he is, but you . . .” He gave me a questioning look.
“God, Lieutenant Chan, I don’t know. I woke up and I had to know if he was dead or not. I don’t know.”
Chan nodded, smiled. “Lanning, please call me David. I’m thinking you feel more attached to him than you’re letting on. Maybe you’re starting to believe he is your dad?”
“No, no way. I just had to know if he was still alive.”
Another doctor came in, a Dr. Oh. Chan introduced me. “Ah,” said Oh, “so you are his son then?”
I looked at Chan then back to the doctor. “What? Why? Well . . . “
Oh gave me an odd look, then looked at Chan and nodded an unspoken question.
“What I meant,” the Lieutenant said to Oh, “is that he,” he pointed to the man, “believes that Mr. Lee here is his son. Mr. Lee,” he gestured to me, “is not sure that’s the case.”
“Oh, oh, okay,” said Oh. “Well, let me just tell you, Mr. Lee, we almost lost this man, but he pulled through. The bullet nicked his spine, and it’s possible he may experience paralysis. He might never walk again, or at least have significant mobility impairment. Still, he’s alive, and that’s something.”
I thought about my dream. Was I psychic all of a sudden? But the man in my dream had been older, gray hair, a short gray beard and mustache. Korean, maybe. But he really did not resemble this man.
“Do you hear what I’m saying, Mr. Lee?”
I came back to Oh and Chan. “Oh yes, yes, doctor, I do.”
The doctor checked the man, then exited.
“Staying?” Chan asked.
I looked at the floor, shook my head. “Geez, I should be out looking for jobs. This is a real waste –” I stopped myself. “This is something I . . .”
“I’ll get you a cup of coffee,” he said, standing and leaving.
I looked at the man, stood and walked to the bedside. Leaning against the rail, I examined his face. He appeared very peaceful, no doubt a combination of sleep and medication, and I noticed how young he looked compared to the man in my dream.
Someone walked in. I turned my attention toward the door, expecting to see Lieutenant Chan. It wasn’t.
* * * * *
Aloha #WriterSunday to you, I hope all is well wherever you are in the world. Today’s #WritingPrompt is two prompts:
Use either or both to inspire a piece of writing that’s short, long, in between, and of any style, be it poetry or prose, a haiku, a sonnet, an anecdote, the first chapter of your novel, a journal entry, or any hybrid style you desire, and then please post that piece as a comment below. I would love to read it : )