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Chapter 7

Of all the fucking planes in the world, it had to be our plane; it was just my luck really. But at least I’d managed to escape relatively unharmed, unlike some. There was no time to think about myself though; I had to get Howie out of that plane somehow. But how? I’m no hero, just plain old Nick Carter, the guy who fucks up from time to time.

I grabbed the first aid kit (although I’m sure it would take more than the antiseptic wipes, band-aids in various sizes, a small bandage roll and a box of pain killers contained within it to fix Howie’s leg) and strode back to the mangled plane to determine how I was going to free my trapped friend.

“How you doing D?” I asked jovially, trying to keep his spirits up and not show him how absolutely terrified I was while I thought of what I was going to do.

“Just fine, couldn’t be better” he replied, keeping up with the pretence that everything was fine. Although how he could remain so calm baffled me, he must be in agony with that injury. If I was in his position, I’m sure I’d be kicking up a huge fuss.

“OK then dude, I’m just gonna take a closer look and see how we’re gonna do this” I said and moved closer to inspect his leg. It wasn’t quite as bad as I’d previously thought, the metal rod hadn’t gone right through his leg, but I had no way of knowing how far it had gone. But I’d seen medical dramas on TV, and knew how careful you had to be with injuries like this. The patient always seemed perfectly fine apart from the obvious impalement, and then as soon as the obstacle was removed, they suddenly begin to bleed out and die within moments. Well I wasn’t going to let that happen to Howie. No fucking way! “This isn’t a TV show” I told myself mentally.

I carefully inspected the metal rod from every angle, deciding on the best course of action, if only I could move Howie over to the left a little, the rod might tilt and then I could try and pull it out. Sounds like I’ve got it all planned doesn’t it? To be honest I’m shitting my pants! I’m no doctor, what if I fuck this up? What if in my attempt to free him, I end up killing one of my best friends? I would not be able to live with myself if he died at my hands.

“AJ? Can you come and give me a hand?” I called out. I still had no idea what to do, but figured an extra pair of hands would be needed if we were to get Howie out.


“How’s it looking Nick?” Howie asked hopefully.

“We’ll have you out of here in no time, don’t you worry” I reassured him.

AJ appeared at my side and I thrust the measly first aid kit into his hands and told him to get the bandage out. If only we had more than that, but I supposed that’s all we would’ve needed for a few days in the jungle. If any of us had needed medical attention, the crew would’ve been on hand to treat us with the appropriate medical equipment (which was probably on that other plane, god knows where). I’m sure no one ever foresaw this catastrophe.


“If only we had a needle and thread in there” I exclaimed. I really had no idea how I would’ve used them, but I did know that Howie was going to need his wound stitching up when we freed him. Shame he would have to make do with bandages secured with band-aids.

“Right then Howie, I’m going to try to move you ever so slightly, is that OK?” I asked, trying to appear in control of the situation but feeling far from it.

“Do what you have to do” he replied with a weak smile.

“AJ is gonna hold the rod steady so that it doesn’t cause further damage OK?”

“OK” he replied

“On three……..one, two, three” I said and we moved him slightly and as gently as possible, an ear splitting scream coming from his mouth. It must’ve felt like torture. Beads of sweat were running down his face and he looked agonised.

“I’m fine, just do what you have to do” he said breathlessly.

“You sure?” I asked

“Yeah, just don’t leave me here to die alone” he said sadly

“You are not going to die OK!” I said “you’re getting out of this plane and we’ll all be rescued soon. You’ll be in the hospital getting professional treatment before you know it”

“If I don’t make it, tell my wife I love her?” he asked and I battled to hold in the tears. I couldn’t let him see how scared I was.

“You can tell her yourself when you get home” I said and smiled positively.

I inspected the rod and his leg again, to see whether we’d moved him enough to be able to retract the rod from his leg. We hadn’t, but we weren’t far off. Another go at moving him and we should be able to do it. If only we had some metal cutters. They would make this so much easier.

“OK AJ, let’s try and move him again shall we?” I said “on three again……….one, two, three”

We moved him a little bit more, he was in incredible pain and I hated to see him in that situation. But we’d moved him enough to be able to pull the rod free.

“What painkillers have we got in that kit?” I asked AJ, I knew there’d be nothing anywhere near strong enough to alleviate his pain, but anything was better than nothing.

“We have Tylenol and that’s it” AJ replied as he popped a few out of the packet and handed them to Howie.

Howie took the pills, washed down with a drink of water and then leaned back in his seat, the pain shooting through his leg.

“Right then buddy, I’m going to be a gentle as I can be, you have to trust me” I said.

Howie nodded his head and spoke through gritted teeth “Just do it”

“OK then. Ready AJ?”

“As I’ll ever be” he said standing near me.

“Right then, here goes” I said. I pulled the rod carefully and slowly, Howie cried out in pain but I couldn’t stop, I had to carry on. There was no other way of getting him out; the rod was too large to come out of the plane still embedded in Howie’s leg. After what seemed like forever, I finally removed it and AJ handed me a thick dressing (which was actually a folded up t-shirt). I pressed it over the wound before it could bleed out everywhere, securing it around his leg with the bandage. Now we just had to get him off the plane.

“Thanks guys” Howie had tears rolling down his face, tears of gratitude and pain.

“Come on, let’s get you out of here” I said. AJ and I carefully carried him out, trying not to knock his leg as we did so. He was in agony, but he didn’t complain as we made our way out of that plane and to where the others were waiting.

“Now we just have to get out of the jungle” I exclaimed, slumping down onto the ground exhausted, both physically and mentally. That would be the next problem. And with no mobile phones or any other communicative object to be able to call anyone, it was going to be more of a problem than we’d imagined.

Chapter End Notes:

Well, at least he's off the plane, but what next?  Hmm...