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He lay looking up at the bedroom ceiling. There was a spider up there, in the corner. Probably laughing at him, he thought. He watched the spider as it ambled along the ceiling. It looked like it was heading for the doorway. Good idea, he thought. I wouldn’t want to be stuck in here with me either. Silly old fool.

The ambulance arrived surprisingly quickly. His wife had been waiting anxiously, hovering in the hallway between the bedroom and the front door, trying to keep an eye on him while watching for the blue lights that signalled rescue. He’d have to remember that spider when he got back, she would want him to catch it in a glass for her and let it out in the garden. In the hallway, she gasped and hurried out towards the front door, her walking stick clunking in a rapid beat along the wooden flooring of the hall. The paramedics must have arrived.

She met them at the door and led them into the house. He could hear her worrying at them as she showed them into the bedroom where he lay.

“He’s seventy this year, he’s not as fit as he thinks he is, he’s broken something, oh I do hope it isn’t too serious…”

They looked very young, he thought, looking up at the two paramedics. Barely old enough to have a driving license.  Then again, he was looking at them from a funny angle.

One of them, a friendly looking young woman, knelt next to him. “Mister Harris?”

He mustered a smile. “Call me Joe,” he said.

“Okay, Joe.” She looked him straight in the eye as the other chap knelt to check over Joe’s legs. “Can you tell me what happened to you, Joe?”

Despite the pain, he had to try not to laugh. “I… We got a new mattress for the bed…”

In the doorway, his wife folded her arms and looked cross. “He was bouncing on it like a five year old child and he fell.”

He winked at the paramedic. “It’s got really good springs.”

© Kari Fay

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