Once Upon a Nightmare
There's one thing in my life I know that I'll never forget, aside from my parents murder. It was the day that I wasn't supposed to be alone. It was supposed to be an ordinary day. It was the day that changed my life forever. It was the day that someone decided to drive home drunk. It was the day that I had to suffer consequences that had nothing to do with me…
Luna stared at the darkness of the street. There wasn't a single lamppost on. Why? There had been a series of thunder storm and rolling blackouts. The entire city of Las Vegas was completely dark. Luna was sixteen and she knew that being afraid of a blackout was just plain babyish. Yet, she couldn't help but feel that something bad was going to happen. It wasn't that voice in the back of her head that told her, it was just…just there. It was something she knew she could ignore, just something her mind created out of her own paranoia.
Luna didn't live alone. She had one older brother, one younger, and one sister. Being the youngest girl of the family was something she didn't mind; in fact she sometimes took advantage of it. The oldest of the Sheppard family was Kelly, but she went by her middle name Klaud. She was twenty-six, long blond hair and blue eyes; currently engaged to a general in the Navy. She'd become a police officer a year after college. The second oldest was Noah. He was twenty-four, had dark brown hair with blue eyes, a prosecutor, and obsessed a little too much about rare books. Then there was Luna. She had green eyes and red hair that was kept fairly short. She kept a small dyed blue braid kept on the right side of her head. Then the baby of the family was Nicholas, Nicky, or Nick. He had the same brown hair as Noah and was just six year old.
Unfortunately, two years ago the Sheppard's home was broken into while the three siblings were out. There was a home invasion and both their parents and youngest brother were tortured and killed in the basement of their home. Nick hadn't woken up from his coma. All the siblings agreed that no one would pull the plug unless the doctors declared him a vegetable. Since then Kelly/Klaud had taken upon herself to gain custody of the younger siblings until they turned eighteen.
Luna now sat alone in the house while the Klaud got picked up from her jobs. Noah had volunteered while Luna stayed home to finish the essay she'd been putting off. She'd finished it and now sat by the window waiting anxiously for their return. Luna fiddled with the cellphone in her lap. She wore a white tank spaghetti strap shirt and white flannel pajama bottoms covered in multi-colored polka dots. A bright light at the end of their street got her attention. Excitedly she opened the door to greet them. Who else could be? She walked out to greet them by the side of the road; the car took a sharp turn towards her. Automatically, she knew it wasn't her siblings. No way would Noah ever try to scare her like that. Luna took a few steps back thinking it was a drunk driver. She was wrong on so many levels. The car just veered following her movement. With a loud revving noise the car jerked forward fast slamming into the small teenager. All Luna could feel was the impact of the car into her legs. She didn't know if she'd caught air or not, but all she knew was that feeling of pain. It was brutal. She'd landed on her stomach on the wet road, the rain pelting her back and diluting the blood that had begun to run in the streets. She wasn't sure where the source of the blood was coming from. Her legs felt as though they were on fire. A blinding pain from her midsection made her feel as though she'd been cut in half. Damn it… she thought, I'm really going to die here… The thought was frightening and despite all her attempts to suppress it, the tears began to roll down her face. The pain felt so paralyzing there was no way she could move. Eventually, after what felt like hours, Luna's consciousness faded into nothingness.
Noah was beginning to get irritated. The traffic that resulted because of the rain was getting on everyone's nerves. "Luna's probably worried…" Noah commented glancing out to see the rain streaking down the car's window.
"We'll be there in about thirty minutes; I think she'll be fine." Klaud said, "I mean she's been at home before."
"But what if something bad happens?" Noah piped up. "Seriously bro, relax! I know that you and sis have this weird twin magic mind thing but she'll be fine." he mentally argued with himself and tried to push away the unease but unsuccessfully.
"Noah, I'm sure she's fine. After all, she's probably finishing that essay she procrastinated on." Klaud said trying to soothe her brother's unease.
They finally rolled into the neighborhood much to everyone's relief. Noah couldn't wait to get home and have his sister prove to him that nothing was wrong. Everything would be alright and he'd hug Luna while she laughed at him for being so worried. The streets were dark in their section. "What happened?" Noah muttered softly.
"Rolling blackouts," Klaud supplied, "If you cared to pay attention to the news you'd know." Noah ignored his siblings and focused on getting them home. Just as he was about to park in front of their house his worst fears were beginning to awaken. He stopped the car with a shriek causing his siblings to let out a swear or two then demand what happened. The door to their house was open. (Later on, he wasn't sure why he was able to spot the open door in a pitch black setting.) There was no way Luna would ever leave to door open, especially not after their parents' murder. His gaze to the street is what brought them all to silence. Luna lay in the street, face down with the rain pelting her back. The once white shirt was scattered with blood. Her legs were at an awkward angle; one arm was by her side, as if she'd tried to get up. The other was buried underneath her. It was impossible to tell if she was dead or alive. Klaud was the first to come to her senses, bolting out of the car. She screamed for someone to call 9-1-1, which Noah took care of. Gently, she turned over the unconscious teen so she lay on her back. The arm that had once been pinned behind her now lay across her stomach. The other hung limply by her side. Luna's breath was coming out in short ragged breaths. As far as Klaud could tell, Luna's legs were broken, bent at odd angles, as well as a couple ribs. Her ribs seemed to be the source of most the blood; obviously seen from the odd shape the broken bones formed under the torn shirt. How long has she been here? Klaud thought doing her best to stay calm. In reality all she wanted to do was hunt down the son of a bitch who hit her sister and dig his or her heart out with a dull needle and shove it down his or her throat. But for now, waiting on an ambulance was all she could do to help. Noah was informing the 9-1-1 operator what was going minutes felt like hours before the ambulance finally arrived. The paramedics began working immediately, putting a neck brace around Luna's neck and easing her onto a stretcher.
"Do you know how long she's been here?" One of the paramedics asked. He was the one working on getting an IV into Luna's arm. The second was trying to set the girl's legs to prevent any more damage on the way to the hospital.
Klaud shook her head before finally answering, "No… we just got home and she was just lying here…I turned her over…The paramedic nodded, "It's a good thing you did, I'm not sure how much more blood she could've lost." He then turned to the other. "Okay, let's lift her." Luna was hoisted into the ambulance and Klaud clambered in after her. She only paused for a brief moment to ask where they were taking her and to relay the information to her brothers.
Once they arrived at Desert Palm hospital Klaud was kicked out and told to wait in the lobby while the doctors worked on her sister. The other Sheppard siblings arrived a few moments later. "Did the doctors say anything?" Noah queried. Klaud simply shook her head.
"Not yet… they kicked me out…"
"You're all bloody." He whispered staring at his oldest sister.
"What—?" Klaud looked down at her clothing. It was true; she was covered in Luna's blood. "I'll change when I know she's okay." No one bothered to argue. They were both thinking the same thing.
This is all my fault, Noah thought miserably, If I'd gotten everyone home sooner, then maybe she wouldn't be here.
"Don't blame yourself. It's not your fault and you know that when Luna finds out, she's going to beat you into the ground." Klaud said putting a hand on Noah's head.
"Huh? Did I say that aloud?"
"No, it's written all over your face. And besides we all know you're thinking it." Noah just nodded and let Klaud lead him to an open seat. They knew that if they worried they just might make the situation worse.
"What do we got?" A doctor asked rushing up as soon as Luna rolled in.
"A hit and run victim. Found lying on the street, no one knows how long. Her name is Luna." The paramedic tried to keep the sentences short. Time was of the upmost importance. Tubes and monitors were getting hooked up to the unconscious teen. The doctors were shouting orders all around Luna. It would have looked like total and utter chaos to anyone who just happened to peer inside. "We have to stop this bleeding!" Someone shouted, "Get her ready for a transfusion!" There were people scrambling for supplies. A loud steady beep filled the OR. There was a loud shout, "Shit! Were' losing her!" A nurse reached for the paddles…
Luna sat on a swing in her favorite park. She'd grown up there as a kid, rolling down the hill with Noah while her mother and father would watch them.…then Klaud would make her appearance complaining about something miniscule. Nick would cry because after all, he was just a baby. Luna smiled at the memories. There was something itching at the back of her mind. Something she knew was important to remember, but for some reason she knew whatever it was, it was going to be terrible. She shook her head deciding that if it was going to be terrible, she didn't want to remember. She heard a long beeping noise. What is that? She wondered. It was annoying and hurt her ears. Then, she knew why. The sound of screeching tire… the impact of the car…the fire in her legs…getting sawed in half… I was hit by a car, she realized. So… is this death…?If it is... it's kinda peaceful…maybe I should just stay here. Another band filled the soundless air. "You're awfully young," A voice said, "You really shouldn't be here."
"What do you mean?" Luna asked the voice. She could see anyone, so she just spoke to the air, not matter how odd it seemed.
"You're not old… you shouldn't be here." It sounded like a child's voice.
"Well lots of people die young."
"Yes, but you're not ready yet." The voice continued, "When it's your time, then it's your time. Right now… you still have so much you want to do, don't you?"
"Well… yes… of course. But isn't that how most people feel when they're dead."
"You're not dead."
"How do you know?" Luna challenged.
"Can you see me?"
Luna got off the swing and looked around her, "No."
"Then you're not dead." Luna's surroundings began to fade into white. "When you really die, then you'll see me."
"She's back!" The steady beep of the heart monitor became a beacon of hope for the doctors. They were finally able to stabilize Luna and patch up her wounds.
All siblings grew anxious as a doctor came out, covered in blood. "Sheppard?" He called out. Automatically all five stood up. This surprised him which after a second, he was able to hide. All the worried looks reminded him of heavier times where he'd had the misfortune to inform families of a loved one that died. He silently thanked God that this wasn't one of those times.
"Is she okay? Is my sister going to be okay?" Noah burst out unable to control his worry.
The doctor nodded, "She'd going to be just fine. One arm is fracture, but that's not a concern. Both her legs are broken and it'll take some time to heal along with intense physical therapy. She had four fractured ribs, two broken. She also has a minor concussion, but it shouldn't do too much damage. She's very lucky, if you'd arrived a minute later, we might have lost her for good."
"YOU LOST HER!" Noah screamed.
"Once, and for three minutes."
"Can we see her?" Klaud asked, ignoring her brother's outburst.
He nodded, "Yes, but she's unconscious. Also, when she wakes up, try not to stress her out. We gave her about fifteen stitches in each leg and ten in her abdomen. If there's any sort of stress they could pop and she'll bleed out."
"Thank you Doctor—"
"Pitt." He supplied.
Klaud motioned to her siblings, "Dr. Pitt." Noah had calmed down but as they passed Dr. Pitt, he couldn't help but to give him a dirty look.
"Wait!" He called out, "There's something else you need to know…" He suddenly seemed uncertain, his face twisted into something mimicking distress or pity, maybe both. "One of Luna's legs was severely damaged… we were forced to… amputate it." The word amputated seemed to strike the family as if getting skewered then getting slow-cooked over a fire.
The soft beeping on the heart monitor was the only thing that was currently keeping Klaud sane. She'd almost lost her sister and she couldn't get it out of her mind. After losing her parents Klaud had tried the best she could to keep the rest of them safe. It was the reason Noah became a prosecutor. It was the reason she could still stomach her job. Luna had been placed in the same room as their comatose brother. Since Luna hadn't awoken the boys had snagged chairs from the hallway and other rooms and situated themselves in the room. Soon, it was only Klaud that remained awake. The clock on her phone read one seventeen am. She began to doze off against her will to stay awake. She wanted to be there when Luna woke up, to comfort her. A soft buzzing jerked her awake and she jumped to full alertness. It was getting bright outside, the sun poking its way into the dark hospital room shedding light onto Nick's prone form. The source of the buzzing happened to be cell phone. "This is Klaud." She answered softly not wanting to wake anyone. It was her partner, Eric.
"Klaud where are you?" he demanded, "The captain's looking for you! You're two hours late! He says he'll fire you if you don't show up in the next… ten minutes!"
"Yeah… I forgot. I'm not coming into work today." Her voice was flat and emotionless. She knew if she said anything to Eric, unless he specifically asked, she might begin to lose the calm composure she'd been keeping. 'Just tell the captain that he owes me a personal day. I haven't taken a vacation in two years. I deserve on now."
"He's not going to like that." Eric commented. There was a rustle and some yelling on the other line and suddenly the captain's voice was heard.
"Klaud you'd better get your ass into work right this minute or I'll—"
"My sister was involved in a hit and run." Klaud simply stated with as little emotion as she could possibly muster. The line went completely silent.
"Oh gosh…I-I'm so sorry." Klaud said nothing. "Look, I'll let Elizabeth's team handle this case and Eric and I can work yours, alright?"
"I'm at Desert Palm… room 215…thanks…" She mumbled and hung up. A soft groaning caught her attention. Luna was beginning to wake up. Klaud got up and rushed to Luna's side, hoping just a bit that she might distract her from her missing limb.
Luna awoke from the darkness to pain. There was a lot of it. The first pain she noticed was in her abdomen. It felt like a crap that kept on persisting. At least she wasn't getting shredded in two. The next pain she felt was her legs. They were stiff and she felt like they were paralyzed. Luna let out a groan of agony. She heard someone move to her seed and call her name softly. When she opened her heavy as lead eyelids she recognized Klaud standing beside her. "S-sis..." she managed to croak out. Her throat was dry like the Sahara Desert.
"Here," Klaud said magically producing water and putting a straw in her mouth. Luna drank; glad to feel some sort of relief. "How do you feel?"
"It hurts…" was the short answer, "What happened to me? Where am I?"
"You're in Desert Palm hospital…" Klaud began, "You were hit by a car."
Luna closed her eyes slowly before opening them again, "I remember that part…"
"Do you want to know your injuries?" Luna looked at her sister suddenly knowing that the pain her abdomen was the least of her worries. That one look she shared with her sister told Klaud that Luna did want to know. "Luna, before I tell you, I just want you to know that it's okay to be scared, alright?" Luna nodded. Klaud took a deep breath and repeated everything that the doctor had told her, including the amputated part. Afterwards, Luna just stared in disbelief.
"My leg…" she whispered, "It's gone…? It's really…?" Klaud nodded. Luna tear-ed up, putting her good arm over her eyes and cried. The oldest Sheppard hung her head stifling tears that threated to spring forth.
Two Year Later…
The man who had hit Luna was caught two weeks after he had hit her. Apparently, he had been drunk and didn't recall the event happening. He's spending the next twenty years of his life behind bars. Luna spent that entire year in physical therapy. Eventually, a prosthetic leg was built so she could walk on her own.
*This was based off a dream I once had. For me, it only went as far as the getting hit by the car. Everything else I added. I decided to share this dream as a SADD message. Driving while drunk is not cool.*