The Unseen

Writer’s Note:

I have decided to do this a little differently that what I normally do. I used a writing prompt for this writing, but I will not include it until the end.

The Unseen

“I guess that I owe Dr. Atchinson my life,” Rob said. He was still groggy from the anesthesia and most of his words were slurred.

The nurse looked nervously over to her aide, who returned the look in a questioning manner. “Mr. Stone, the name and your description of the doctor who gave you that advice matches a doctor who used to work here, but he’s not with us anymore.”

“What? The guy is just coming to his old stomping grounds for shits and grins? Handing out free life-saving advice?”

“He didn’t move on to a new job or retire. He died last week.” The nurse looked over to her aide again with some urgency, and they made their retreat while the information was still sinking in.


Robert Stone was the picture of health, not that his physical condition was anything that he ever had to work to get. His active lifestyle came naturally to him. He cycled as a hobby, enjoying trails through wooded areas where he could experience nature, and it was that hobby — the one that kept him healthy — that nearly killed him.

The sky was clouding up and he was in a hurry to get home before the rain. His bike path was met by a snake, which he swerved to miss. One ill-placed rock and his front tire abruptly turned to the right. Still worried about the snake, Rob overcompensated to the left and the bike ran off the steep embankment. Rob tumbled from his ride, only to stop when his head slammed into a large rock jutting up from the ground. He wasn’t found until the next day, and, by then, he had slipped into a coma.

Once at the hospital, Rob underwent many surgeries to stop the bleeding in his brain. During one of the operations, his heart stopped and he was clinically dead for forty-five seconds. It was after this surgery that he woke and met Dr. Atchinson. The kindly, older doctor told Rob to have the neurosurgeon check the site of his second operation. “There’s a slow bleed,” he said and repeated the information several times during their conversation.

“Subdural Hematoma is what it’s called, but there’s no way any doctor could know that just by looking at you, Mr. Stone,” the neurosurgeon responded to Rob’s request indignantly.

“Could you please just check? Dr. Atchinson was very persistent, and persuasive.”


Rob lay in his hospital bed trying to absorb the whole state of affairs. There was no doubting that he had met and had been diagnosed by Dr. Atchinson. He could remember shaking the old man’s hand. The feel of his skin was bone-chillingly cold. Could he have come back from the grave to save Rob’s life — one last noble deed before crossing over? He dismissed the thought as soon as it hit. There had to be another doctor that resembled Dr. Atchinson. Perhaps Rob got the name wrong. After all, wasn’t he still doped up when the old gentleman introduced himself. The thought caused a little embarrassment, as Rob remembered using his name when thanking the doctor as he left.

“Excuse me, sir,” a small voice whispered from behind the curtain.

“Umm… Who’s there?” It sounded like a child’s voice — a girl’s voice. “Are you lost?”

A tiny hand pulled back the curtain enough for the young girl to slip through.

“Where did you come from? Are you lost?” he echoed.

“No one has heard me calling, except you. Please… I need someone to help my mom.” Her brown eyes were big and pleading.

It was a very busy hospital. The doctors and nurses danced about in a form of organized chaos — with a hint of confusion, at times. This little girl could be no more than four or five, and she had just a whisper of a voice. Rob could see how she could get overlooked — lost in the shuffle. “I’ll call the nurse in here for you.” He leaned over to hit the call button.

“No!” Her voice was sharp. “They can’t help. They just walk around her — not knowing what to say. Her sobs make them uncomfortable. Please… She’s in so much pain. She’s crying — she won’t stop. Can’t you help?”

“I’m not a doctor. I don’t know what I can do.”

“She doesn’t need a doctor. She just needs someone to tell her that I’m okay.”

“But… can’t you…”

“I was in pain for so long, but it’s gone now, and I’m okay. Can you tell her that?”

Writer’s Note:

This is writing that was contrived from a writing prompt. It is written without any kind of research, other than looking up how to spell “Subdural Hematoma.” I’m not sure whether anything is medically correct or not. It is just what flowed from my pen.

Writing Prompt:

You have a near death experience and wake up able to see and speak to the dead.


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