The accident


The steel spike of the railings pierced his chest, the barbed tip tearing through soft flesh, back to front, lacerating the tissue, forcing ribs apart. The foaming blood in his mouth telling him instantly that his lung had been punctured, that he was drowning in his own blood, coughing as he struggled to free himself.

The fall had been an easy one, a misplaced step on the rungs of the iron ladder leading to the roof, the treads made slick by the overnight rain. His hands had grasped instinctively for the rails to either side, missing by a hairs breadth, but it might as well have been miles. The moment of suspension as every fibre of his being screamed in one heart stopping beat of clarity before the descent, limbs flailing, the sky above, the wall of the building, brought into sharp focus by the surge of adrenalin.

The impact, shocking, tearing, devastating. The outcome inevitable as blood drains and struggles weaken until finally, stillness… 

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