Note: This is fifteenth in a series based on exercises from A Writer’s Book of Days. It’s something of a rebellion against the Friday Five and similar tupperware content memes.
Today’s topic: Write about an injury.
My brother called me, twenty to thirty years after the fact, to tell me that he’d told Mom that he’d broken my arm with a baseball bat when I was five and he was eleven.
I always remembered that I’d fallen on the sidewalk. At least that’s the story I spat out when asked about it. After I hung back, I thought about that afternoon. We were roughhousing on the front lawn, playing characters from the current Disney movie, The Sword in the Stone. He had the bat — a thick softball bat — and he swung it around like Excalibur. Robbie always got to be King Arthur.
Arms waved about. And, to tell the truth, I don’t remember the exact moment when I put up my left arm to stop that bat from hurting me in a worse place. Through all the waving of our arms, though, I confess that’s probably what happened because I don’t remember falling. My mother, who came ambling up from a neighbor’s house after the fact, says that I didn’t cry. I think she’s right. Sudden physical shock never brings on the tears like a sorrow rolling in the gut. What I recall is that he coached me, that he pointed to my arm and to the sidewalk, that he designated a spot between the magnolias.
That’s the spot. That’s where you fell. You broke your arm on the sidewalk. You must tell that to Mom or else we’ll both be in trouble.
I guess I did. I memorized the story and told it to people whenever I was prompted to relate what happened. My parents took to me to St. Bernardine’s where they x-rayed my arm. The radiologist could find no sign of a fracture. I couldn’t move my fingers very well, however. My mother made me wear a sling. My father griped that she was making his son “a cripple”. But she persisted, arranged for another x-ray, and on this second attempt, the doctor pointed to a hairline fracture across one of the bones of forearm. He put my arm in a cast and for a few weeks I was the king of afternoon Kindegarten, the guy who collected the signatures of every classmate on his arm.
That might have made up for the violence. I got to be the center of attention. Even my brother signed the cast. I was cool.
Alice wrote her own broken arm story. Check out the account of her misadventure with her dog.
Want to participate? First either get yourself a copy of A Writer’s Book of Days by Judy Reeves or read these guidelines. Then either check in to see what the prompt for the day is or read along in the book.
Tomorrow’ topic/prompt: Write about circling the edge.