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by Paul
Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2191506
He had to cut the sock off.
“You doin’ okay, Bill? That three wheeled thing you push can go anywhere.”

“Doesn’t do well in sand or rocks bigger than basketballs, buddy. 14 inch bicycle tires. Ever try to ride a bike in sand? Or rocks?”

“Got it.”

Our town is BIG! Way TOO big. What was it last year? 47,000 I think.”

“Why do you want to bring this up?”

“‘Cause, Mimi and I are thinking of moving.”

“Jesus, Bill! You’re kidding, right?”

“No, Frank, I’m not. We don’t like it here anymore. There’s places for sale about a hundred miles north. Hollings. Population 3,422, we’d be 23 and 24. Think about it buddy. Now let’s think about this Matterhorn we have to climb.”

“You can explain on the way.”

“Hey, Wait up a second, I got something in my shoe.”

“Okay, need help?”

“Nahh. A stone maybe. It’ll just be a couple minutes. Getting my shoes off and on takes the longest any more. I barely bend when I sit down let alone be able to pick my toes anymore.”

“Thanks, Bill, I needed that picture of you, naked, sitting on the edge of the bed trying to pick your toes. I can help you you pigheaded old fart!”

“I’m two years younger than you?

“Physically. Mentally your a decade or two behind

“I’d feel like an invalid. Thanks, Frank, I truly appreciate it, but let me. If I need help, I’ll ask. I promise.”

“Okay. I’ll run ahead for a couple minutes then come back. I’ll see you on the trail.”

“Good. Thanks.”

He does worry about me. Love you, Frank.

“There, that damned shoe is off. Out damned spot! Begone you foul demon of fricking blisters. Shit!”

“What’s up buddy? You okay?”

“Yea, Frank, I’m fine. It’s not a stone, it’s a blister. Right on my heel and we still have a mile back to the car. Do we have any bandaids?”

“Yeah, here . . . and some cream. Put your foot up on my knee.

“Don’t try anything weird this time. I told you I like women.”

“This can be easy on you, or fun for me, your choice.”

Okay. Thank you, Frank. I’m glad we’re friends.”

“Here goes, it will sting like hell when I use the peroxide, but infection is not good. The salve is antibiotic too.”

“YEEOOUCH! Damn, that caught my attention.”

“Had to be, buddy. Can’t lose my walkin’ partner.”

Okay, you can help with the sock and shoe.”

“Here, put your toes here, I’ll stretch it around the dressing . . . there, it’s on, now the shoe. Your toes here.”

“Yes dear.”

“You could crawl back. I’m tired so I’ll probably sleep for a couple hours and you may get there before I leave.”

“They’d both take you apart. They are our wives, but they are sisters and they love me, unlike you.”

“Stuff it!”

Ouch! Damn, that heels going in hurt.”

“has Sorry, buddy. I tried.”

“I know. Let’s see how far I get.”

“Remember, “This’ll be walking, four evenings in a row. I think I was pretty clear about you pushing it.”

“Okay, gloat. That’s one in a row for you. I’m in need of water, if I could prevail?”

“I think you mean Presume.”

“I don’t care. Water!”

“Of course. Here buddy.”

“Ummm, thanks Frank.”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, that first step wasn't so bad. It stings like hell. I can handle it so far.”
*****

“How ya’ doin’ buddy?”

“I’ve gotta’ stop!”

“What’s wrong buddy. Sit and give me your foot.”

“God, be careful . . . it really hurts.”

“Well, here goes, buddy. Hold still . . . There!”p

“Oh, god that hurt. Cut the sock off, I think I’d go insane if you tried taking it off.”

“This is going to hurt, my friend. I’m sorry this happened to us. But, it did, so let’s see what’s possible.”

“Thank you, Frank. I love you, my friend.”

“I know. Now, can you kneel in the seat on your bad leg? Okay, good, now try pushing with your left leg. Good again. Okay, I’ll leave my bike here and help you steer. I’ll come back when we get you out.”

“No, Frank! Your bike—.”

“I’m steering.”

“Yes dear.”

“I swear, next time I’ll hit you!”

“I find thinking about being numbers 25 and 26 attractive. I’ll talk to Lynn, we’re going up to the lake for a week. I’ll bring it up then. Wow, 3,426, it’s possible I could eventually know everyone in town. I’d like that.”

“There’s the car. Now you run back and get your bike. I’ll warm the car.”

“No! You to a hospital first!”

“No, Frank, I’ll fight you. I bite too, so watch your ears. I like ears myself. Go get your bike, please.”

“Okay, I’ll be back in 10 minutes.”

“Yes dear.”

“That’s it. I can’t hit a cripple, but you can crawl home.”

“I have the keys, it’s my car.”

“Crap. Okay, I’ll go get my bike.”

“Good plan, I do need this looked at.”
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