Dead Legs This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

They found me twelve yards from the wreckage that was once Louis' 1994 Buick Roadmaster station wagon. I was lucky enough to see the oncoming headlights of a drunken, disgruntled degenerate coming straight for us. I jumped out of the car and somehow landed in grass, yet it was soft enough to only give me a sprain on my wrist and a minor concussion. I remember the heat as the fireball whizzed pass, and I soon lost consciousness.

I woke up two days later, which the doctors blame on mostly shock than brain damage. The light hurt my eyes, and I couldn't focus onto any certain object. At first I couldn't remember anything, but then the heat came rushing to my skin and at once I knew something horrible was brought to this world.

"Did... Did anyone die?" I asked the doctor while he was running his test, although to him it must have just been mumbles, for my voice was weak and he just said:

"You got lucky, kid," while he walked away.

"Lucky?" I mumbled as I drifted back to rest. I didn't wake up for another eight hours.

My mother was the first face I could distinguish from the crowd when I awoke next. She was crying, but then again she always seemed to cry at any given moment. Again, I asked the same question, it was eating away at my dreams. "Did anyone die?"

Her eyes began to water, somehow even more, and I suppose her vision was something along the lines of how mine was when I first got up. "Jeffery, son... He died instantly."

Jeffery was in the passenger seat next to Louis. I was the only one in the back. I somehow expected them to die, but hearing only Jeffery's name gave me hope. "What about Louis?"

"He's living, but his injuries are serious. He suffered severe burns on his legs, and the doctor's had to amputate them when he was first brought in. Oh Lord, Jesus, and Mary, praise God you're fine." She began crying again.

I was able to walk the next day, after regaining most of my strength. They gave me a brace for my wrist and my hand felt heavier than what I was used to. I wanted to see Louis, but he was still passed out, yet the doctors said it would be fine to just sit with him.

I approached room 437 at around six in the afternoon. I didn't bother to knock, because I knew Louis would be the only one in that room. His family abandoned him when he was just fifteen and depended on himself for the last seven years. He made it pretty good, and I think I was the closest thing to a true brother he's ever had. The door made a gentle brushing sound as I opened it.

He laid there, half-man... half-machine. His chest barely rising and falling, almost like he was Jeffery. Then I saw that he was only half the man he was before, a shallow indention striking just under where his knees are... or where they were. I almost vomited, but the lack of food I've been not having stopped me. A doctor came in to monitor him, to see his condition.

"I have permission to be here," I said instantly, almost like I wasn't supposed to be here or it was really my fault Louis doesn't have both his legs right now.

"Oh, it's fine, I understand fully. You know, you're pretty lucky to only get that bad wrist of yours."

"Yeah, a lot of people have been saying that." Then the dawning horror of Louis' life hit me. He'll never be the same again. He deserved those legs. He did nothing but good. Why would a divine power just take away something that was so important to him? I was furious with anger for that split second, but I didn't want to scare the doctor off. "Can I ask you a question?"

"If it's about when he'll be better, I'm sorry I do-"

"No, no, it's not that..."

"Then what is it son?"

"What... What do they do with his legs?"





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