The words below are set to Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday photo prompt, Photo by Richard Baxter.
The winding road to “Wait Awhile” (a beginning: The rolling hills)
The voice of the GPS announces thirty miles till our destination, about time I recon. I’m Clint, in the passenger seat next to me is Em, short for Emily. In the backseat we have Matt and Charlotte, we’re not couples, we’re just all good friends, on our way to a secluded surf location that a film producer, location scout friend of Em’s said we should check out. Em’s friend, a nice girl, gave us the coordinates for the location, but I’m beginning to think they maybe not quiet right. The dirt road we are now following, resembling more of a goat track, still fantastic open country, rolling hills, just the road’s not too good. There’s even a powerline out here.
Oh no, this doesn’t sound good. The motor starts to splutter and soon we are rolling down a slight hill, best pull up off the side here in case we have to roll start. Em reminds me, did I get the fuel gauge fixed or did I at least fill the car up last night, I did neither, mmm, we maybe in a bit of trouble here. We all get out of the car, checking to see if our phones work. No such luck, so like sheep we all make for the top of the hill we just rolled down. What a difference that made, not a single bar for any of us, hey look, there’s a house over on the next hill. As sheep do in a situation like this, we make for the house, back down and up the next hill.
The name on the entrance to the access up to the house reads, “Wait Awhile”. We may just be doing that, with some luck, maybe someone will be home. As we get closer to the house, it begins to look a little worse for wear, as if time has not been kind to the old place. The front door is half hanging off, the glass in the windows appears to be broken or blown in, and it seems like the paint and weatherboards have seen better days.
Matt and I have a quick look inside the old place, no one has lived here in years. Back outside we go, Em, the tomboy that she is, has just bolted up an old steel tank next to the house and starts heading up to the ridge capping at the peak of the roof., Charlotte shouts out. Do you think that’s a good idea, while she tries to work an old water hand pump next to a well. Thoroughly rusted, no chance of moving that, Charlotte. Matt says, while pondering where the hell are we.
Em! Can you see anything?
Nope, just lots and lots of more hills and grass.
Em starts to come back down, then there’s a creak and a groan as sheets of tin and rafters give out from beneath Em’s feet, we all paused shocked for a moment, as everyone of us then turn racing back into the house. I’m yelling, Em, Em, you alright, and all I’m hearing in response is… Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! As we find her in what appears to be the kitchen, already out from the under the rubble and wrapping her tee shirt around her outer right thigh several inches above the knee, another cut on her left calf trickling blood.
Matt, you want to go get the first aid kit, while Charlotte and I check Em out properly.
On to it…
Removing my shirt, we stem the blood flow from Em’s calf, there’s a few other minor cuts and what look like abrasions and soft tissue damage that will make for some bruising.
How deep’s that cut Em?
You don’t want to know, let’s just say I was less than impressed with what I saw, and leave it at that, please.
Soon Matt is back with the kit, we move Em out to the front porch before anymore roof collapses. I manage to convince Em to let us take a look at the cut on her thigh, as we did need to clean it up, get some antiseptic cream and a proper bandage on to keep the cut closed proper. For both cuts. Charlotte helped clean up the abrasions with Matt, and with a little bit pain relief medication, the little we had, soon Em was patched up and ready for the frontline again.
The four of us sat there on the timber boards of the porch, not sure what to do next. Matt had already had a scout around for fuel, Charlotte had checked to see if the old phone inside still worked, no luck there either. Me, well I searched for it all, if only. I know, all the if onlys in the world won’t make a difference to our situation now, plus, Em is surprisingly chipper about the whole thing at the moment, but that could change.
I wonder, can a house float adrift through the sky, like in “Up”, or a car fly, like in Chitty Chitty, Bang Bang, would that make a difference. Dark birds begin to circle… Is this the end, are we to be left here to “Wait Awhile”?…