The Body in the Woods

by | Jun 7, 2014 | Creative Writing, Flash Fiction | 0 comments

Brian couldn’t ever be described as the life and soul of the party. Nor was he a hero, by any stretch of the imagination. He usually kept himself to himself and hardly had any friends, except for his collie dog, Mollie. He never really conversed much with anyone, never knowing how to make small talk. He was a bit of a loner. He didn’t think anyone would be interested in anything he had to say.

Last Saturday he was out walking Mollie in the woods as usual when he saw what looked like a pile of old clothes lying under a tree. Then he realised that the pile of clothes actually had a body in it. He walked over to the body and nudged it with his foot saying “Are you all right?”

There was no reply, so he cautiously took a closer look. He stepped back quickly when the body groaned. 

“Are you okay?” he repeated.

“No,” moaned the body. 

“Can I help you then?” he asked, “Or shall I phone for an ambulance?”

“It’s too late for an ambulance,” groaned the body. “I’m dying.”

Brian dialled 999 anyway, explained the situation, and gave them precise directions to the spot where he had found the body. 

“My name is Brian. What can I do to help you before the ambulance arrives,” he asked.

“You can give this note to my daughter.”

Brian looked at the note in the man’s hand. It was a suicide note. He had taken a cocktail of drugs washed down with a bottle of whiskey. He didn’t want to live any longer. His wife had left him for another man. 

Brian held the man’s hand, talking to him to keep him awake. He talked about anything and everything, shaking him awake if he looked sleepy. There was nothing else he could do, but wait for the ambulance to come. He felt useless.

He talked about how he had picked a skinny Mollie up from a rescue centre, after she had been found starved and abused. He talked about how his garden had been changed into a haven for bees, by letting wild flowers grow instead of designer specimens. He talked about how his allotment was doing, and how he never had to buy vegetables from supermarkets. The man seemed to take an interest in what he was saying.

“You seem to have life all sorted out,” he said. “In spite of not being married.”

“Oh yes,” replied Brian. “Life’s been pretty good to me. I’ve never felt the need to be married to anyone. I have my dog for a companion. She is all I need.”

Time stood still, it seemed. Brian thought the ambulance would never get there. He kept looking at his watch constantly. Then with relief he heard the distant sound of sirens. It seemed like ages before the paramedics reached them, but he knew they would have to do the last hundred yards or so on foot. Brian kept talking inanely all the time, still shaking the man awake every time he nodded off.

At last the paramedics arrived with a stretcher and case full of equipment. Brian told them what he had learned from the note. They worked on the man for a few minutes, then bundled him on to the stretcher.

“He’ll make it. In calling the ambulance and talking to him, you’ve probably saved this man’s life,” said one of them. “You should be proud.”

Brian pocketed the note and realised it had all been worth it.

May Creative Writing Homework:- Write a story and end with the line – Brian pocketed the note and realised it had all been worth it.