Creative Writing Challenge: 2AM Photo

Oddly enough, I had something happen like that once.  A subordinate sent me a picture while I was sleeping.  Since there was no explanation, I did not check it immediately.  Later he told me via text message that he had been assaulted and then asked whether or not I had seen the picture.  I opened it and noted that he had been injured to the point where he was on medication and could not arm up with his duty weapon.  This meant that I had to report the incident, even though it was off-duty and he did not get in trouble, to my supervisor.  That was not a fun part of the evening.  But, here is my creative writing entry:

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He awoke with a start to the obnoxious sound of his phone vibrating on the nightstand.  The cats were so offended that they did their best to trample him on their way off the bed and out of the room.  It took him a moment to remember where he was, but then he grumbled some incoherent words as he reached for the phone.  It blinded him as he looked to see who had sent him a message.  He could not think of anyone off the top of his head that would send a message at this horrid hour.  He glanced at the time on his phone before pulling up the message.  2:00 am.

A single photo waiting for Mitchell.  He did not recognize the number.  He warily opened the photo, thinking back on occasions where previous instances of nighttime photos had come from drunken peers or subordinates and how he still wished he could forget some of them.

Fortunately, this photo did not fit into that category.  It was no less alarming, though.  It showed the scene of a horrific wreck.  He could not easily identify the vehicles involved but zoomed in on a license plate and found that he recognized it.  He sat upright on the bed and scrolled to his call log and hit the call button.

“How did you find out about the accident?” his mother asked.

“Someone sent me a photo of the accident,” Mitchell said.  “Is Dad okay?”

“He’s bruised up and has a concussion, but he was wearing a seat belt.  I can’t say the same for the idiot who hit him.”

Mitchell let out his breath slowly.  He might not get along with much of his family, but he would still feel the devastation if he lost any of them.

“He’s in the hospital?”

“Yeah, they’re checking him out.  They say he should be able to go home later today, if everything checks out okay.  They’re being a bit cautious about the concussion, so we don’t know for certain.”

“Good  to hear.  Whose number is this?” Mitchell said, then read the offending phone number.

“Oh, that’s your brother’s new phone number,” his mother said.  “I’m sorry he sent you the photo.  I told him not to bother you unless it was life threatening.”

“Mother, someone got hurt.  I don’t mind being told that they’ll be okay.  Just tell him to send a little description with the photo, because I had all sorts of things go through my head when I saw the scene.”

“Fine.”

They said their gruff goodbyes and then Mitchell had to resist the urge to slam the phone on the nightstand.  He sat on the bed for several minutes fuming over the whole situation and then got up and padded toward the bathroom with the intention of getting a glass of water.  He nearly tripped over the black cat on the way.  The cat fled as he stumbled into the wall.

“You silly fuzzbucket! You know better than to sit in the middle of a dark room.”

A loud yowl from the hallway answered his yell.  It was echoed by another from further away, likely from the kitchen.  Shaking his head, he wandered into the bathroom and dunked his head under the sink faucet.

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I should probably note that this is a continuation of the challenge I wrote to a couple months ago.  It should be under the ‘dpchallenge’ tag.  I was looking through that a few moments ago and realized that it needs to be edited.  Ah well.  I did not really take the time to proofread before hitting the submit button.  I was afraid I might not actually hit the button if I took the time to proofread and edit.  We are our own worst critiques, right?

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About emeree

I am an Air Force veteran. I served as a Security Forces troop for nearly seven years and reached the rank of Staff Sergeant before separating in 2008. My tours of duty were in England and Oklahoma. I live in the Seattle area, which is where I grew up. I used my GI Bill and earned a degree from the University of Washington. I currently work in downtown Seattle and experience all the adventure that comes with that.
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