Ding. Dong. Dang.
We were called to Boleslaw’s Saw Mill just after lunch on Monday. I was the patrol-woman assigned to the area, accompanied by rookie cop, Billy Kristian. We were first on the scene.
The lawyer woman’s leg was trapped under a huge rectangular stone. I spoke to her briefly but she was slipping in and out of consciousness and obviously in pain. I used my scarf to put a tourniquet around her thigh, reasoning that she must be losing arterial blood from the crushed leg.
Seemed to me she was dying right in front of our eyes and I’d have to do something quickly if we were to save her. I said ding, dong, dang up at the sky, which is as close as I get to swearing. Ain’t nothing about bells, anyway.
I told Billy to radio for assistance while I ran to the outbuildings and found a tractor. Having been raised on a farm I knew exactly what I needed to do the job. With the help of one of the labourers I attached the digger and a small bucket and drove the tractor back to the site of the accident.
By this time Billy had finished on the radio and was trying to comfort the lawyer woman by placing something soft beneath her head. She made small sounds but appeared to be unaware of her surroundings or herself.
I stabilized the tractor and got myself settled at the controls. I maneuvered the leading edge of the bucket beneath the stone and began lifting it, ratcheting up and away from the woman.
When it stood at around forty-five degrees I made sure that the bucket and the arm of the digger held its weight, then got down from the tractor and together with Billy, moved in to lift the woman clear.
Before we reached her there was a movement as the huge stone seemed to slip under the bucket. I don’t know how it did that. Seemed like a very long moment as I looked up at it, knowing that the thing was going to come crashing down on the very spot we occupied.
It was Billy who grabbed me and threw me clear, and he somehow had time to get clear himself.
But when the dust settled the lawyer woman was nowhere to be seen. The stone had fallen further over to the left than its previous position, and buried her. Crushed her and buried her. Took me a little while to digest that information. My mind wouldn’t entertain the possibility for several moments.
I was on my knees looking up at the sky and I said, “fuck,” must’ve said it five or six times, like that one word was all the language I had left.