car racing, Daily Prompt, driving, events, humor, serial fiction, writing

Chequered Flag: Laying Blame

“Hi babe, how are things going?” Tracey asked as she walked in through the door of Danny’s ward and towards the bed. She was mindful of what the Head Nurse had told her as she walked passed the nurses station but as Sandra had suggested Tracey figured she’d let Danny tell her what happened rather than go in asking why the nurses appeared upset with him.

“Pain is fucking killing me!” Danny said then immediately apologised for swearing. “Sorry I’m just in quite a bit of pain, therapy didn’t go as well this afternoon as it has been.”

Tracey could see the pain on Danny’s face as she bent over to kiss him on the cheek and she could hear the pain in his voice as he spoke. It wasn’t as bad as when he woke from surgery but it was definitely up there so she knew something fairly serious had happened.

She sat down on the chair next to Danny’s bed and asked. “What happened?”

“Things started out ok I got down to the therapy gym by myself.” Tracey knew that by himself meant he used his crutches and was escorted by a nurse whose help he didn’t need and not that he went down there alone. “The second therapy of the day is usually a bit tougher which isn’t a bad thing because obviously the harder it gets the stronger my leg gets and I need all the strength I can get before the docs let me back into a road car, let alone the race car.”

Tracy understood what Danny was saying. Driving his own car was a big step even if the doctors didn’t know the specific make and model of car Danny owned. But driving the race car where the healing leg and knee would be required to make hundreds of repeat actions during the weekend to engage and disengage the clutch was a massive step.

Even if Doctor Jamison gave Danny a clearance to leave hospital and resume life without restriction he’d still have to pass scrutinisation by both the team doctors and the doctor employed by the racing commission before he was allowed to race competitively. An injury that could effect the way a driver could handle the car at high speed, as Danny’s injury was, would be checked and rechecked fairly closely over multiple fitness tests because the results if they didn’t could be catastrophic for more than just the injured driver.

Danny motioned, without words for his water cup on the table over the bed to be refilled. Tracey rose from her chair and refilled the glass with the water jug on the same table then sat back down and waited for Danny to continue. He didn’t take a sip of his water but he did continue speaking.

“The first half of the session was good, more of the same stuff that I’ve been doing the last few days. Things were feeling good, a little sore but good. Then Nurse Ratched,” the reference to One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest not lost on Tracey, “decided she had to go outside and flirt with another doctor so rather than gradually increase things she went and stuck an extra five kilos on the table and didn’t tell me. She then walked out telling me to just keep doing what I was suppose to be doing.”

“What happened?” Tracey’s voice full of both concern and worry for her husband.

“I carried on doing what I thought was the right thing, she carried on flirting outside the room and next thing I knew I was screaming in pain. The extra weight had pushed my knee too far and I paid for her fucking incompetence.” Danny took a breath them immediately apologised for the his second cuss word since Tracey arrived.

“Oh geezus,” Tracey said, “it hasn’t caused more damage or ruined the progress you’ve been making has it?”

“No. Thankfully.” Danny replied still clearly in pain with the pain killers doing little more than taking the edge off the pain. “The doctor said there was no damage done but I will probably miss out on tomorrow morning’s session and maybe the afternoon session, I’m not sure yet. But I will be back to it on Tuesday.”

“Well that’s at least some good news!” Tracey replied.

Danny stopped himself before he told Tracey just what she thought of her ‘good news’ comment. Instead he answered with. “Yeah spose so!”

Tracey sat for a moment without saying anything, the small movements Danny made as he lay in bed talking showed every jolt of pain he was feeling. She could understand why Danny had been grumpy with the nurses and why the nurses were not happy with him, she wouldn’t excuse his behaviour but she did at least understand why. She felt sorry for him but knew there was nothing she could do other than be by his side and maybe apologise to the nurses on his behalf when she left the hospital for the evening.

“What are they going to do about the nurse who ignored you?” Tracey asked.

“Nothing.” Danny answered. “What can they do? Her response has been that all signs told her I was ready for the extra weight. The doctor she was flirting with is also standing up for her. I don’t know maybe she offered to blow him in the janitors closet if he stuck to her story or something.” The last sentence was spoken in a lower voice and without much conviction and as soon as it was out Tracey could see that Danny was about to retract the statement. “Sorry, obviously I’m just venting shit, I don’t know for sure that’s what happened but it doesn’t really matter Doctor Jamison has accepted her story and is focusing on recovery not kicking her arse!”

Following that statement the conversation lulled into silence Tracey wasn’t sure what she could add and Danny not sure he wanted to add anything more. By the time Danny’s dinner arrived just before 6PM Tracey had already decided she was heading home for her own dinner, but most of all she was headed home to give Danny a chance to be by himself.

Previous Racing story here.


  1. I’m torn between telling you off – about this story -and just saying what the hell, it is your story. Grrr…

    • You can tell me off all you like, I can take criticism when it’s offered with reason. I don’t think it’s worthy criticism if it’s only “you hurt my hero” but if there is a decent reason for such criticism I’m all ears, even if I can’t change what happens in this story constructive criticism will always have a bearing on other stories.

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