Cabin at the Lake Ch. 03


LarryInSeattle provide editing services. I had to make a timeline change. Any errors that remain or my own. All characters are over 18.

Sorry for the long delay, assuming anyone has been pining away, wondering what will become of Donna and her twin brothers. If the reader chooses to forgo the first two chapters allow me to offer a brief synopsis.

Donna, a new college graduate has joined her twin brothers at the family’s old cabin on a lake. The twins have some type of twin-twin telepathy. Donna discovers them blowing each other. They insist they are not gay, just very close. She joins them. Later she freaks out over what they have done. Running out of the house she slips and hits her head. She flees to the porch swing and hides her head, as Gary, the oldest twin, rocks the swing with his foot.

There is very little action in this chapter. It primarily moves the story forward and introduces some new characters.

I hope you enjoy. And as always, helpful criticism is not only welcome but craved.


The chair is killing my ass. I make a mental note to router the wooden edge of the seat. I scoot back, not too worried about splinters, I sanded and painted the chair myself and I’m something of a perfectionist. I rest one foot on the edge of the porch swing and resume rocking the swing.

Donna has not moved since looking up long enough to give me the evil eye. Her arms are wrapped around her knees; her forehead rests atop them. Thank God she has stopped crying. The way she is sitting I can’t see if her hip or her head is starting to swell or turn black and blue. I cringe, remembering the sound her head made hitting the floor. Jesus.

I was expecting a meltdown at some point. Forget Bible belt Texas, incest is as close to a universal taboo as one can get. Even our atheist libertarian parents couldn’t soften that blow much. Personally, I think Ayn Rand was an obnoxious nympho cunt who would have fucked anything with a dick whether or not the person the dick was attached to was related to her or not. It certainly hadn’t matter to her if the dick was married or not, as long as the dick worshipped her. It would be great if the old man were still around to debate the point.

Thinking about pop only makes me sad. I don’t need that on top of worrying about my sister. Her breathing is slow and even and I wonder if she has fallen asleep. Her reaction shouldn’t have surprised us. Donna has never been one to do anything by halves. Despite the situation, I can’t help smiling as I remember her in action last night and this morning. If Donna is going to fuck, by God she fucks. On the other hand if she’s going to have a meltdown, you better grab a hold of something and hang on for dear life.

The rusty spring on the screen door squeals and I remind myself to oil that damn spring. Over my shoulder I see Terry struggling to carry three mugs of coffee without sloshing the scalding blackness over his hands. I stretch one arm behind me and take one of the mugs and nearly drop the damn thing. I hiss as I fumble the mug around to get ahold of the handle. Very carefully, fully aware of how much worse I’ll hiss if I spill coffee on my belly or dick, I set the mug down on the arm of the chair.

Not once have I stopped rocking the porch swing with my foot.

Terry sits on the porch railing. He puts one of the mugs on the railing and blows over the top of the other. He tips his head at our huddled sister as he takes a tentative sip of coffee and grimaces, whether at the taste or the temperature is unclear.

“How is she?”

I shrug. “Sleeping I think,”

Terry frowns. “Is that a good idea? Aren’t you suppose to keep people awake after they get whacked on the head?”

I take my foot off the swing and sit up in the chair. “How the fuck should I know? She’s the pre-med student. I’m a stupid fucking lawyer.”

As I speak Terry stands and steps toward the swing. He touches Donna’s shoulder. “Donna? Hey sis, want some coffee.”

She does not respond.

I haul myself out of the chair and join him. I jostle her shoulder, less gently than Terry has. “Donna? Hey wake up kiddo? Are you alright?”

There’s no response. I don’t need to look at Terry to know his worry is rocketing skyward as quickly as my own.

We both shake her this time. We both shout, “Donna, hey Donna wake up!”

When I lift her chin with my fingers her head lolls back. Her eyes are closed. The flesh around her left eye is red and swollen. I hear Terry murmur, “oh fuck”. I open her left eye. The pupil shrinks down. I thought I remember hearing that is a good sign.

I smack her cheek, not hard but not gently either. “Donna, goddamn it wake up.”

“Let me sleep.” Her voice is soft, almost inaudible and slurred. She sounds drunk. That does it.

Terry turns without a word and sprints for the door. He’s back in few minutes, dressed in jeans, tee shirt and flip-flops. Donna’s robe flutters in his arms, under it are my clothes. I dress quickly while he slips Donna’s arms into the robe.

“Come Zeytinburnu Escort on sis, stand up,” he urges, tugging her to her feet. She mumbles incoherent protests but she can almost stand on her own.

As if she is in fact drunk, we each take an arm and half-carry her down the steps in the classic Christ on the Cross position. Her legs seem to understand they are supposed to be doing something but can’t quite manage to figure out what, exactly, it is they should be doing.

Terry opens the back door of our crew cab truck and scoots in. I hand Donna in to him. As we settle her she says very clearly, “Mom we never go to church, let me sleep.”

I stare at her until my brother snaps, “Gary let’s fucking go.”

It is forty minutes to a town with a hospital, but it’s a good size hospital. My brother and I take turns hectoring her, keeping her muttering demands to be left alone. I push our old Ford as fast as I dare without risking it bouncing to pieces on the potholed county roads.

After what feels like an eternity, I skid to a halt in front of the emergency room doors and hop out. A nurse is hustling through the automatic doors before I get all the way around the truck.

“My sister fell and hit her head. She’s acting all out of it.” I shout as I change course and head back to the truck. The nurse waves at someone behind her and by the time Terry and I are easing Donna out of the back seat, the nurse and two orderlies arrive with a gurney.

“You sure her neck is okay?” The nursed snaps without looking at me. She is gently opening first one eye and then the other. She frowns as her fingers probe the swelling around the eye. Her left hand holds Donna’s head up by the chin

“I think so. She was walking around after she fell then got really sleepy. She landed hard on her left hip and really cracked her head. She didn’t say anything about her neck hurting.”

“Hold her steady a second,” one of the orderlies requests in a soft east Texas drawl. He positions a plastic collar around Donna’s neck. When he’s done the nurse nods her head in satisfaction and steps back.

“Okay, get her on the stretcher.”

The two men take Donna from us. We try to help, reluctant to surrender our sister to strangers. The nurse, Margie, according to her name tag, either with intuition of her own or simple experience, rests a hand on Terry’s shoulder. “Don’t worry. Let them do their job. We’ll take good care of her. Come on, we’ll need a little more information.”

The next few hours pass in a blur. We answer the same questions a dozen times, or so it seemed. Some kid comes out after a few minutes, announcing that he’s Dr. Berger. Donna’s vital signs are stable. A quick neurologic screen is okay, other than the obvious decreased level of consciousness. He thinks she just has a bad concussion but wants to get a CT scan of her head. That’s where she is now, in radiology.

He asks a few questions about what happened. We tell the truth, or all of it other than why she was running. He reappears, striding past the swooshing doors, somehow looking even younger, and tell us the CT shows no signs of swelling in her brain but she does have some bleeding under the lining of the skull. It will need to be drained. He reassures us this is not as serious as bleeding in the actual brain itself. The neurosurgeon is on his way down to see her and then she’ll be taken to the OR. It will probably be a few hours before we can see hear.

He asks if our parents are around and mutters the standard sympathy at hearing our father died years ago. Our mother is in Haiti. One of us will sign the consent. He holds it out. I sign. He tells us again she should be fine. I start wondering how to get a hold of mom.

“One other thing. There are signs of recent sexual activity.” He voice is emotionless.

Terry nods. “Her boyfriend was down last night. He had to get back to Houston.” Terry scowls. “They made quite a racket.”

The boy MD frowns. “You didn’t mention that before. Were they fighting? Are you worried about violence?”

Terry jumps. He’s not acting, the idea truly startles him. “No, no doc, nothing like that. It’s just pretty weird to hear your sister going at it down the hall, especially when you still think of her as a kid. We didn’t mention it because it didn’t seem relevant. Chad left early, probably a couple hours before Donna rolled out of bed. She was fine. Chad treats her like a princess. There was no violence. It was just a stupid accident. She was farting around on her way out to the porch. The rug went one way she went the other. Bam. She seemed okay, just upset. She sat out on the porch swing. When we came out with coffee we couldn’t get her to wake up. That’s when we high-tailed it here.”

Baby-face nods, apparently satisfied. “You can come back but just for a few minutes. Dr. Mallory, the neurosurgeon, will want to get her upstairs ASAP.”

We follow him. I try not to gasp. One of the orderlies is clipping the hair away from the side of her head. Her robe Zeytinburnu Escort Bayan lies in pieces in a trash can. They’ve pulled a sheet over her but one of her breast is exposed. Two IVs are dripping clear liquid into both arms. Terry and I crowd together on the side of the bed that is the least occupied. One of us strokes her arm, above the IV, the other her hand. We whisper all the usual homilies, feeling weirdly inhibited by the audience.

Mallory appears, looking as if he’s surprised he hasn’t been heralded by trumpets. I don’t give a shit as long as he’s good. He adds his reassurance that she’ll be fine but cautions the brain is a mysterious organ. It is possible there has been permanent damage. There will be no way to tell until she is conscious. Baby Face Berger remembers to tell us the CT of her hip was fine, nothing broken but she’ll have a “helluva” bruise but all I hear is the phrase “brain damage” ricocheting around my skull. I’m an atheist but cannot shake the suspicion we are being punished for our sins.

We’re ushered out, someone, Margie maybe, points towards the elevator and a flood of instructions neither of us hears spew from her mouth, floor number, left, left, last room on the right. Or was it the left? We end up numbly reading signs that seem to suggest where we need to be and somehow find the surgery waiting room.

The chairs aren’t plastic like downstairs but they aren’t very comfortable.

I forget about trying to get a hold of mom. We wait.

My brothers tell me later they remembered all most nothing about that first day in the hospital. How it felt as if they sat there forever but were left with only enough memories to account for a few minutes. I have less than that.

I was left with wispy impressions of events rather than memories. It was like half waking from a really whacked out dream. You grab at the images, wanting to remember them, wanting to be able to tell everyone at breakfast what a bizarre dream you had, but before you can close your hand everything turns to smoke and drifts out of mind and memory.

I remember falling. I remember that quite clearly. What sticks with me is how I seem to hang there in the air, as if someone had paused the film, then wham my body slams into the floor. I recall being surprised I didn’t feel hurt. Sitting on the swing my hip began to throb but that was about it. I remember my brothers hovering and wishing they would just go the fuck away and leave me alone.

And I remember why I was so distraught in the first place.

I have no memory of “racing to the hospital”, as Terry puts it. I have no memory of the ER or even of Dr. Mallory. Given his ego I’m sure if he’d be hurt to know that.

I woke up knowing, somehow, where I was. Perhaps part of me had been awake, getting oriented before I was aware of it. Whatever, I knew I was in a hospital before I even opened my eyes. I knew Gary would be sitting in a straight backed chair, a chair designed to discourage prolonged sitting at the bedside. And I knew the nurse fiddling with the IV pumped was pissed at him because he refused to obey the ten minute per hour visiting rules.

I peek from under my eyelids. I can’t see everything and I don’t want to turn my head but I can see enough to know my mental picture of the room is dead accurate.

I know once the nurse realizes I’m awake there will be a lot of futzing around and commotion. I lay still, enjoying the sensation of being awake. I take a mental inventory of my body. My hip aches but it doesn’t actually hurt, not laying here at least. I’m not in a cast. Good. I can’t feel anything wrong with my head other than it aches. I try wiggling my toes, check, they work, same for my fingers.

I lick my lips. They felt cracked and dry. My mouth is dry. I’m not sure I will be able to talk.

I turn my head a little to look at my brother. He is sitting as I had imagined. He has one elbow on the small bedside table with his hand propping up his head. His tee shirt is inside out and his hair looks ridiculous.

I lick my lips again, wishing desperately for a drink of water, and try to speak. All I manage is a croak. I sense the nurse turn but all I care about is the flutter in brother’s eyes.

“Hey stupid head, what did you do to piss off the nurse?” My voice is as creaky as the screen door at the cabin.

Gary’s eyes pop open. To my surprise and horror he begins to cry. He had not cried once during the days after pop died.

I’m too parched to cry and I don’t feel like crying anyway.

“Don’t be a pussy big brother. I’m the one hurt.”

That draws a snorting half laugh. He sits up and the eternal eight year-old he will never entirely shed, wipes his snotty nose on his arm.

The nurse hustles around the bed and blocks my view of my brother.

“Donna? Donna, look at me.”

Her voice is soft and soothing as a cool drink on a Texas afternoon. What a stupid simile. It reminds me of how thirsty I am.

“May I have some water?”

The Escort Zeytinburnu nurse gives me a grimace of sympathy. “Not yet but I can wet your mouth for you.”

She turns. “Excuse me,” she directs at Gary, and her voice loses those dulcet tones. I’m right. Gary has done something to really piss her off.

“Sorry,” my brother whispers and hear the chair scrape back. He sounds intimidated and I try to recall if I have ever seen him intimidated.

She opens the drawer of the table and when she turns back she’s tearing open a foil pouch. The scent of lemons fills the room. She offers me a plastic stick with a pink star-shaped sponge at the end.

“Here, you can wet your mouth and lips with this.” I take it from her with a nod. It tastes less like lemons than it smells but I don’t care; it’s wet at least.

As I swab my mouth and lips the nurse pulls a pen light out of her pocket. I pause, holding the swab in my mouth as she flashes the light several times in each eye. She doesn’t say a word as she re-clips the light in her pocket.

“Donna do you know where you are?”

“The ninth circle of hell,” I croak and, seeing the frown on my nurse’s face, instantly regret it. Behind her Gary snorts.

“Family joke, Ms. Julie,” he informs her. “As kids that’s what we called any place we didn’t want to be.”

“I’m in the hospital,” I whisper. “Sorry, didn’t mean to be a smart ass. Is it Julie or did my brother, stupid head over there, screw up your name.”

The frown doesn’t quite leave her face. “No. I’m Julie. You’re in the neuro ICU. Do you remember what happened to you?”

I still can’t see Gary but I can feel him tense.

“Yes. I managed to slip on a rug and whack myself in the head. Funny, prat falls aren’t so funny in real life.”

Julie nods and seems to relax, as if I’ve passed an important test. Understanding washes over me. She has been worried that Gary was staying to make sure I didn’t say anything.

I reach out with the hand holding the swab. Julie reaches to take it and her fingers touch mine. She stills.

“I was running for the porch, teasing my loving, if not very bright brothers, for sitting on their butts swilling coffee and missing a beautiful morning. I was also feeling all wound up after a night of the best break up sex I’ve ever had.” I try to look around Julie. “Sorry brother, I know that’s TMI for you.” Julie is still holding my hand, looking at me. I smile. “Don’t judge. He came to tell me he’s getting married. We use to imagine that would be us. It was good-bye sex. I woke up not feeling sad, which surprised me. I hit the rag rug in front of the door and the next thing I knew I was suspend in mid-air. I felt like Wil E. Coyote, super genius, until I hit the floor.”

“I sat on the porch swing, humiliated by my klutziness. I made my brothers go away; I hate people hovering. I started to feel really sleepy. Part of me knew I should holler for my brother’s but it was too much work.”

I sit up and look past Gary. He’s sitting there, slack jawed, looking gobsmacked. Luckily, Julie’s eyes are on me.

“Don’t tell Chad what happened,” I tell Gary, hoping he’ll get his shit together. “He’ll just feel guilty and I’m fine. Okay?”

Gary mumbles a “sure” and manages to close his mouth while still looking totally baffled. I want to chuckle but I have to settle for a subtle wink.

When Julie lets go of my hand her face is calm, the tension lines around her eyes are gone.

“I need to go update Dr. Mallory. I’ll see if it is okay to let you have clear liquids.” She turns to my brother and her voice is no longer frosty. “Be right back.”

He says nothing but nods and gives her a no-hard-feelings smile.

After Julie leaves Gary hurries to my side. He leans over and brushes my cheek with his fingers. I smile at him and his eyes begin to fill.

“Jesus bro, cut out the pussy shit already. I’m fine.”

“Are you? Really?”

I nod. “Fine as frog’s hair split four ways.” That was one of pop’s favorite sayings.

Gary frowns. “How did you know we told them Chad was with you?”

I shrug. “Beats me. How do you and Terry always seem to know what’s going on inside each other’s head, or my head for that matter.”

He frowns, not satisfied. Too bad.

“Look Gary, I don’t know how. I just knew it. And I’m fine, really. I’m fine with everything all of it.”

He cocks an eyebrow. I nod.

“All of it. Dad said it was okay.”

Gary starts to respond but before he can speak there’s a single brisk rap on the metal door frame, the privacy curtain is thrown back as if its presence is an offense. Dr. Mallory strides in.

He’s a short man, well not short but not tall. Dad always warned us not to trust a short surgeon, their egos over-compensate and get them in trouble was his opinion. I like him though, like him on the spot. He’s so pompous it’s almost refreshing. I can’t help smiling at him.

“The nurse here tells me you’ve decided to wake up.”

Okay sometimes pompous isn’t refreshing. What’s this “the nurse” shit I wonder? “You mean Julie? Yes, I’m awake. I’m also thirsty.”

If he recognizes my sarcasm he ignores it. “Let my look you over. Any nausea? Headache? Double or blurry vision? Pins and needles or numbness anywhere? Trouble finding words? Squeeze my fingers hard as you can.”

Bir cevap yazın

E-posta hesabınız yayımlanmayacak. Gerekli alanlar * ile işaretlenmişlerdir