“Elizabeth!” John Sheppard’s scream rang in her ears as everything else faded into a dull hum in her ears.
She had felt a sharp, quick pain in her abdomen and assumed she had been hit by some shrapnel from the impromptu explosion of gas bottles. She leaned back against the wall and tried to take a deep breath but suddenly found it an almost impossible task. She pressed her hands to where the pain had been and felt her clothes were damp. Pulling them away she saw bright red liquid, which she identified as blood, coating her hands and looked up at John as he ran over to her from across the warehouse.
“I’m bleeding,” she slurred as she told him her problem. He grabbed her arms and looked at her hands, panic covering his face. “John?”
“I don’t know, ‘lizabeth, I don’t know,” he told her, his voice thick with emotion as he tried to move her clothes away from her wound.
“Hey, it’s ok,” she reassured him calmly. “It’s ok,” she cooed, placing her hands on his chest and curling her fingers into his shirt. She felt decidedly sleepy now, her mind felt like it was filled with cotton wool and she was loosing the ability to keep herself on her feet against the wall.
“Elizabeth, you’ve been shot,” he pressed his hand against her stomach firmly and she cried out in pain, loosing the strength in her legs against the pain. She pitched forward into his arms as he shouted behind him, “Call an ambulance! ‘lizabeth’s badly hurt!” He gently lowered them both down to the ground and he supported her head as he lay her down next to him, she felt like a rag-doll being positioned by a child. He hurriedly took off his shirt and pressed it to her wound and she groaned, trying weakly to roll into a foetal position facing him, but she simply didn’t have the strength and he easily pushed her on to her back. She heard him call out something else, but she found it difficult to focus on the individual words. Am I dying? She asked herself, her eyes feeling heavy but trying to fight the sensation. “Hey! Hey! Stay with me!” he commanded; it was an order despite how gently he said it to her. He had taken her face in both of his hands, levelling his face with hers and brushing the hair out of her eyes. She vaguely registered that someone else was knelt next to her, must have taken over applying pressure since both of John’s hand were on her face. “Help’s on the way, just stay with me, ok? Stay with me,” he told her, quirking a smile at her.
“John…I…” she felt something in her mouth that wasn’t saliva. It was getting harder to speak and her tongue wasn’t responding how she was used to it doing so. She tried to swallow but found it was too hard and the metallic taste in her mouth only got worse the more she tried to get rid of it.
“Don’t try and talk ‘lizbeth, save your strength,” he smiled, eyes filling with tears as he did so.
“No…I nee…need to tell you…” she stumbled over her words, finding it difficult to co-ordinate breathing and manoeuvre her tongue to speak. “’m sorry,” she felt tears rolling down her temples as she tried to tell him before it was too late. She lifted a trembling hand to his face and he caught it in one of his and nuzzled her palm, placing a kiss in the centre then simply held it against his cheek, her fingers curling around his fingers. “I…I…”
“No, no, you don’t need to tell me,” he closed his eyes, dropping a tear down his cheek. “I know, ok? I know,” his smiling attempt to comfort her was waning, his features betraying his attempt at being calm.
She couldn’t find enough air. Her vision was greying out. Couldn’t feel her hands or feet anymore. “John!” she cried weakly.
“No! Ok, you’ve got to fight! Fight and stay with me!”
She tried. She really did.
She just couldn’t.