“I don’t understand how this could have happened,” Elliot said. “We rehearsed this stunt dozens of times and each time it was perfect.”
Beth looked over at Elliot and then down at her husband, who was unconscious on the hospital bed, bandages covering most of his head and with tubes inserted into his nose and mouth. “I’m not sure what happened, either, Elliot,” she said. “Keith was confident, not at all worried, when the filming of the action scene started shooting. But here he is, with a broken nose, a broken jaw, and a serious concussion.”
“They canned me, you know,” Elliot said to Beth. “One fuck up in my entire career as a stuntman, and they fire my ass. Elliot will eventually recover, but I’ve been put out to pasture.”
“Well,” Beth said patiently, “Keith was the star of the movie. Now he’s going to be laid up for months and will require multiple surgeries. Plus there might be permanent brain damage. This incident is costing the producers a ton of money. I can’t say I blame them for firing you.”
“I think someone sabotaged my bike,” Elliot said. “That’s the only reason the stunt went wrong and why my rear wheel smashed down on Keith’s head. There’s no other explanation.”
“You mean other than human error?” Beth said. “Face it, Elliot, you screwed up. But look at the bright side. You can probably get a job with a carnival troupe doing bike riding tricks.”
Written for Roger Shipp’s Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner. Photo credit: Alexander Schimmeck on Unsplash.