Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Sixteen: I wanted so much life (part two)


(part two)

“You know tarot cards can be quite a mess. You might enjoy fixing that kind of mess.”

They laughed.

“I did like sorting out messes,” Jacob said.

“Then it’s time to sort out the mess you’re in.”

Jacob gasped.

He felt tremendous ripping pain on his entire right side. A blinding white light filled his eyes. He would have thought he was “following the light” except his ears were filled with the sound of yelling people and screeching machines.

“He’s back,” the nurse said.

“Welcome back, Jacob.”

Dr. John Drayson’s lack of wings and his British accent confirmed Jacob’s non-descent to heaven. His gloved right hand, coated in Jacob’s blood, held a scalpel. He leaned into the light so Jacob could see his mask-covered face. His cobalt blue eyes seemed huge through his magnifying glasses.

“We’re hoping to keep you with us for a while. Nurse?”

Amidst the blazing light in his eyes and the agony in his right shoulder, Jacob felt the sharp stab of what felt like a four-inch diameter needle. A whoosh of pain relieving medication moved into his system.

“You need to hang around, Jacob,” Dr. Drayson laughed. “Alex has her heart set on the leaded glass tulips transom windows you showed her. I was hoping you could get them in by our anniversary. What do you think?”

Jacob tried to laugh but the machines screamed.

Everything went dark.


Jacob opened his eyes. The room was dark and he was lying in a hospital bed. Looking to see who was holding his hand, he felt a stabbing pain in his right shoulder.

The monitors blared.

Everything went dark.


Hearing voices, Jacob tried to open his eyes. The effort was too much for him.

“We’ve been able to clean up a lot. He still has quite a bit of internal bleeding. If we continue to work, we will only do him a disservice.” Dr. Drayson’s staccato words broke through the darkness. “The trauma team removed a portion of his upper lung, ribs … His collar bone is crushed. His scapula shattered. His right shoulder girdle is all but destroyed. There’s a break in two of his cervical vertebrae. We’re hoping to get him stable, stronger, then go back in … maybe tomorrow morning. I only do veins and arteries. If he’s ready, the orthopedic surgery team will start tomorrow morning.”

“Thank you, doctor,” said Jacob’s father, Sam.

“John,” Dr. Drayson said. “We’re lucky. He’s in great shape, healthy and strong.”

“I heard you’re the best in the business … The nurse said you weren’t working today. I … just thanks. He’s …”

Jacob heard his father weep.

“We love Jacob, Mr. Lipson. I’ll do everything I can.”

“Thank you, John.”


“He’s awake.”

He opened his eyes to Valerie’s red, puffy eyes about an inch from his face. Her nose was bright red and swollen. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the blur of someone moving away from the bed.

“Your mascara’s running,” he whispered.

“You stupid jerk,” Valerie said. She didn’t bother to stem the flow the tears that dropped from her eyes and nose. “This was supposed to be my drama, my crisis. My life is in crisis buddy, not yours.”

Jacob tried to laugh. He managed a vague groan.

“Where are my paparazzi?” he whispered.

“Outside. The police escorted us, and a billion photographers, to Denver Health.”

“Will I make the cover of People magazine?”

Through her tears, Valerie laughed at his imitation of her early actress days.

“Do you think this outfit makes me look fat?”

He tried to move his right arm to pat his stomach but felt a ripping, burning pain.

The monitors blared.

Everything went dark.

The retelling of Denver Cereal, Volume 1, continues tomorrow…

Next: Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Sixteen: I wanted so much life (part three)

Previous: Denver Cereal, Volume 1, Chapter Sixteen: I wanted so much life (part one)

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