Syndication: Scene One

The limp form is slumped just a meter or two from Delia’s feet, close enough to note the slow spread of a stain across the figure’s chest.

“Are you alive? Please groan if you’re alive.” Her voice is barely more than a whisper and she goes to chastise herself when a low gurgle meets her ear. “Oh thank god, I thought I’d found a dead body. I hate bodies. Let me call the hospital.”

“No!” His voice is surprisingly strong for someone who’s blood is dripping on the sidewalk. “No. . . hospital. . .”

“No hospital? Excuse me? Are you stupid?” The words tumble from her lips before she can stop them, leaving her to cringe at her own buffoonery. The damn dead body shit has her shaken.“No, wait I’m sorry, it’s just that you’re really hurt.”

“Call. . .” His voice is barely even audible and before she realizes it, Delia is kneeling at his side and he strains to put his phone in her hand. “Code is . . . Owen . . . Call Jereth . . . I’m . . . Ke -“

“You’re who? Wait, no, wait,” She touches his shoulder, then grasps it, shaking him. “Wake up! Please don’t die, please don’t die! Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no . . .” She looks down at the phone in her hand, lifting it to eye level. It tries Face ID but her face belongs not to its owner. Delia enters the passcode he’d given her, barely pausing as she navigates to the contact list and scrolls.

“Hello? Kellan? What do you need? I’m kinda in the middle of a meeting, little brother.”

“He’s bleeding and he’s hurt and I’m sorry this is such a hectic phone call but he just passed out and I can’t wake hi-“

“Woah, woah, woah, there. First of all, take one deep breath. Can you do that?”

Delia draws in a breath and blows it out. “Yes, okay.”

“Good, now go into his phone and share your location.”

A silence ensues as she pulls the phone away from her ear to find the app and do as she’s asked. She takes another deep breath after hitting the share icon, leaning against the wall beside the injured man. Through the phone, she hears the vibration on the other end.

“Got it! Okay, wait what is your name?”

“Delia, I’m Delia.”

“Okay, Delia, I am two blocks away, but I’ll stay on the phone with you while I’m on my way, okay? Remember to breathe. Would you do me a favor and see if my brother is warm or cool?”

“He’s warm, so so warm.”

“Oh thank goodness, okay. I’ll be there soon I promise.” There’s lots of background noise on his end, shouting and door slamming. Delia thinks she can hear rifling through a bag before he starts sprinting, feet pounding hard enough to hear.

Published by K. E. Diller

Young adult attempting to do a million things at once, including write books and follow my dreams.

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