BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

16 October 2014
Get Writing NI

BBC Homepage

BBC NI Learning


Get Writing NI

Writers Showcase

Established Local Writers

Local Writing Legends


The Book of Irish Writers

Rhythm & Rhyme

Study Ireland

Contact Us

Writers Showcase
Joanne Waugh
Joanne Waugh

Joanne Waugh is an English and Media and Communications graduate. She has been writing short stories for the past three years and has also written features and opinion pieces for radio. She enjoys writing comedy sketches and hopes to complete her first play by the end of the year. She has recently moved to London in the hope of finding work in the media industry.

Blood stained boots by Joanne Waugh

I put my hand to my head. All I feel is wetness, too concentrated to be sweat. As I remove my hand, I feel a sensation of dripping on my thigh, like a leaking cup, constant and consistent.  Feet shuffle before, towards and away from me as I sit head down on a dusty, wooden dance floor. Music that I can no longer hear entices a muscle in my lower back to spasm. I was always a pretty good dancer.

A moist hand grabs my upper arm. Sections of my flesh are wrenched in between their tense fingers. A forest supply of toilet paper is rammed against my forehead. I am helped up by a girls who’s voice I recognize and a man, who is not as tall as his voice.  As I am directed to walk straight on, crimson drops hit off the floor between my boots as I progress. Someone is screaming hysterically, and I realize my mouth is open. My conscience hopes that my boots don’t stain. Blood can be stubborn on suede.

Like a hooded horse, I am shuffled down winding concrete stairs. Each step merges into either two or three. I feel like a President, escorted away to a getaway car after a foiled assassination attempt.

Dark hands pin my head down, and eight eyes stare down at me. Tears mixed with blood fog my vision, but I am pretty sure one of the doctors is cute. This motivates me to stopscreaming.The blood, snot and tears thing is a little harder to make attractive.

I hope they don’t think I am drunk. I hope they don’t think that I brought this on myself like a troublesome college student shown on investigative shows.

Maybe I did bring it on myself. Fears of my head continuing to bleed are voiced above me, and words such as ‘artery’ and ‘deep’ repeat. Like a shoemaker, the Nigerian doctor begins to lace me up. The feeling of disfigurement is sewn in with each stitch.

My friend returns, not as she looked two hours previously. Mascara stains her cheeks and her once blue top is now drenched with my blood. I look at my reflection and thoughts of me ever becoming a red head are dismissed for good. Black, stiff, thick thread sticks out at the end of my gathered skin.
I take a shower, and a large piece of glass falls out of my bra. It seems friendly, as it has not cut me. Diluted streams of red run down my body, I have never felt so uncomfortable.

Against my wishes, I am forced to stay the night. Promises of an x-ray await me in the morning. A nurse recommends I call my parents, it’s too late and I don’t want to disturb their sleep or risk one of them falling on the way to the phone. Nobody calls at 3 am without bad news. Nurses are insatiable creatures and I reluctantly follow them to the phone.
A brief synopsis of my condition is given to my mother and the phone is then passed to me. I promise I won’t cry.

I apologize frantically, I didn’t want to wake them or even find out if I could help it. Triggered by my mother’s voice- the different minds, the one that worried about my boots, the one that felt ugly in front of the doctor and the one that screamed, all amalgamated into one. How soon can you come?


What do you think of this piece? Email
Please enclose the title of the work and the name of the author.

The BBC will display as many of the comments as possible on the page of commented work but we cannot guarantee to display all comments.

More from this writer:

Short Stories
Blood stained boots
Licence to mourn
Mr Music
Mr Pecks

More showcase writers:

Full list of writers

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy