Car trouble almost proves deadly.
|He heard the rattle simultaneously with the sting in his elbow. His heart raced as he watched the pygmy rattler slink away through the pine needles.
"Why did I take this shortcut through the woods? I should have stuck to the road That crappy cell phone. The battery must need replacing. I knew it wouldn't hold a charge. Somebody's probably seen my car already and stopped to help. Nobody will ever find me in here."
His fingers were getting numb and his arm was swelling and turning a funny color. He could hear his heartbeat in his ears.
"Tourniquet, got to make a tourniquet."
He pulled on a piece of grapevine hanging from one of the trees and wrapped it bracelet style above his elbow. Placing a stick under the vine, he twisted it to stop the flow of blood and venom. He felt his knees give way and lost consciousness with the piney woods scent in his nostrils.
"Barney, come back here. What's the matter, boy? Did you find the squirrel?"
Barney raced ahead, barking and tail wagging.
"Where is it, boy? I'm coming."
Joey caught up and nearly fell over the man lying on the ground as Barney raced round and round them both. Joey, a native of the piney woods, saw the discolored swollen arm and knew what had happened. He didn't think there was much hope, but he called 911 on his cell anyway. Kneeling beside him, he talked encouragingly to the man, but there was no response.
Joey heard the sirens and soon two EMT's came running. They worked over him then rolled him onto a stretcher.
"He's got a chance, young man, thanks to you and your dog there."
"Did you hear that, Barney?" Barney was already off chasing another squirrel.