Fate (Chapter 1, page 1 of 4)

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Chapter 1

It happened in an instant.

The shout.

The operator jumping clear.

The toppling crane, its swinging arm determined to obliterate the man, plans shoved under an arm, mobile to one ear the other plugged with a finger, oblivious to his approaching doom.

The decision was made. Lining him up the pint sized front row forward tackled the man and sent him sprawling onto the road, mobile skidding under squealing tyres, construction plans fluttering like confetti. There followed a deafening crash as the crane came to thudding rest only metres away amidst settling dust and unsettling curses.

And oblivion for the 'front rower' who was no footballer and didn't know you tackle with your shoulder and not your head.

'CHAPTER 2 Voices began to penetrate the oblivion.

'Is she badly hurt?'

'Was there any ID?'

'Do we know who she is?'

Much later… 'It's been 6 hours, when is she going to wake up?'

'Can't tell, Sir. Be patient. These things take time.'

'Come on 'Jane'. You can wake up now.'

The muted sounds of traffic and early birds chattering came softly through the hospital window. The room was airy and well appointed with only one bed. The framed prints on the walls, the ensuite bathroom and LCD T.V. declared its status as a private institution. Pale dawn light, filtering through half drawn curtains, revealed, laying still, a slight figure of a young woman. Her head was swathed in bandages while covers hid a variety of nasty scrapes and purple bruises. A lone flower arrangement, one small teddy bear and a notable absence of get well cards stood testament to her lack of identity. Beside the bed with face buried in his hands sat her silent sentinel, exhausted but vigilant.

Lifting his head Ethan stared at the sleeping figure willing her to wake up.

She has to wake up.

Once again his thoughts traveled back to the afternoon before.

After the initial shock of the tackle, the anger of the phone and the plans, not to mention the impact to his ribs the full reckoning of what had happened hit him. As he rolled off and away from the inert figure he saw what he first thought was a young girl lying there with blood pouring from the back of her head. Surrounding them was mass confusion as labourers and bystanders crowded around to help - ringing 000, offering first aid, accusations, apologies, crying and he presumed one unseen scum taking her bag. The images continued to flicker like a horror movie in his mind - the foreman running over, raving on about the crane, lying only metres away and how sorry he was and asking was the Boss alright?

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