Theodore Jerome Cohen is the Readers’ Choice in this week’s Indies Unlimited Flash Fiction Challenge. The winning entry is decided by the popular vote and rewarded with a special feature here today. (In the case of a tie, the writer who submitted an entry first is the winner per our rules.) Without further ado, here’s the winning story:
by Theodore Jerome Cohen
“What do you think, Doc? Will he be all right?”
The man next to me—one of the foremost sports surgeons in the United States and a close family friend—apprehensively sucked in his breath through clenched teeth and concentrated on peering at my son through his binoculars.
I let my words hang in the air. Given the doctor’s silence, I thought it best to remain silent as well.
Within seconds, Lawrence soared past us and disappeared behind a stand of pine trees. The boughs of each tree labored under five inches of new-fallen snow.
Then I saw the doctor slowly begin to nod his head. “Yes, Tom, I believe your boy will be just fine. He’s still favoring that right arm a bit—not able to lift it as high as his left arm, from what I see. But still, he does appear to have better than 95-percent freedom of motion. And given what we had to do to save that shoulder, it’s a miracle he can do what he’s doing.
My mind flashed back a year to the previous Thanksgiving, when Lawrence, freestyling down a mountain slope on his snowboard, struck a boulder hidden under the snow. Once medevaced to a hospital, his shoulder and rotator cuff were found to be so severely damaged it took my friend more than ten hours to repair his injuries.
“He’s lucky, Tom,” said my friend. “But if it happens again, he could be disabled for life!”