Bullet | Flash Fiction

Brain illustration - "Bullet" flash fiction

All aboard! Please have your tickets ready to show the inspector. Failure to produce a valid ticket could result in fine. Enjoy your journey with us today.

The shot knocked him straight to the floor and for a split second he thought he was dead. But he wasn’t. He touched his fingers to the back of his head. Wet. Blood. And when he realised there was blood, the pain kicked in – searing, burning, debilitating pain. The pain was so bad that he almost wished he had died. And then he passed out.

We are now approaching Occipital Lobe. If you are alighting here, we thank you for travelling with us today. The refreshments trolley will be making its way through the carriages after this stop.

He came to at the hospital. The doctor told him he was a medical marvel to have survived such a gunshot. Only trouble was, they told him, the bullet was still lodged in his brain. They could operate, try and get it out, but the risk of doing more damage was high. Instead, they were gonna leave it – see what happened. This didn’t fill him with much confidence, but he was hooked up to something that obliterated the pain, and that was alright by him. Until his vision went all fucky. Things went light and dark, the doctor’s lips moved with a blur, and everything had turned sepia.

Our next stop Is Parietal Lobe. For those planning a visit to Sensory Strip, take a left out of the station and then keep going straight – you can’t miss it. Thanks for travelling with us today. Be sure to take all your belongings with you.

The doctor was concerned that the bullet was on the move. A specialist was called in to examine him and figure out a treatment plan, but the strategy wasn’t an easy one for him to follow. Most of the specialist’s words seemed like nonsense to him. Could have been another language for all he knew, but he had no choice but to trust him. Besides, he was too busy wondering why he kept going hot and cold and prickly and numb to really care about how they were gonna fix him. All that mattered was that they would.

We are approaching the Temporal Lobe. Alight here for trains connecting to the Wernicke Area.

The doctors and nurses kept talking but he only managed to catch snippets here and there. The police showed up and he couldn’t for the life of him figure out why. They kept asking if he saw his assailant, and he said he didn’t know he had an assailant, and he asked why he was in hospital and if he could leave, and he was surprised when they told him he’d been shot in the head because he couldn’t recall a thing about it.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are now nearing our final stop, Frontal Lobe. Please note that connecting trains to Broca Area are delayed, but services to Motor Strip are operating as usual.

He got clumsy. He couldn’t lift a cup of water to his lips without spilling. He couldn’t hold a pen, never mind write with it as the doctor requested. He felt dumb as a post and this made him mad, and then sad, and then he cackled with laughter. “Who am I?” he kept asking the nurses, and they’d start to tell him and he’d get bored and stop listening. “I think I’ll die soon,” he told them. But the doctor said he was a medical marvel and insisted it wouldn’t happen.

Until a lump appeared on his forehead. It grew and it grew and it grew, and when the doctor took a scalpel to the skin, out popped a tiny, shiny bullet.

Thanks for travelling on the Bullet Train. Our service is now terminating. Nice knowing you.

And it wasn’t long before he thought was dead again. And he was right that time.


Stories that Sing

I write one new story each week inspired by a random song from my Spotify library. This week it was “Bullet in the Brain” by The Black Keys.

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Author: Ellie Scott

Ellie Scott is a freelance copywriter and fiction writer from Sheffield, UK. She writes speculative and silly short stories and flash fiction. In 2018 she was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize Short Story Competition and published her first book, 'Merry Bloody Christmas: A Short Story Collection'. You can often find her hanging out on Twitter (@itsemscott), Instagram (@tinysillystories) and Medium (@elliemaryscott), or hibernating on her sofa with a book and a very large glass of gin.

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