A Close Shave

Sorry, I couldn't help melyself with the cliche title.


“Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.”


The razor itched against Ashley’s throat, and his breath came sharp. It hitched in his throat, and he struggled to remain calm.

Once. Twice, his jugular pulsed and each time he could feel the blade pressed against his skin.
Sweat stung his eyes, and he blinked it furiously away.
Down his cheeks, off his chin, and pulling at the gap between razor and skin.
“I-its ok, it’s o-ok. You can do this”, he said.
No you can’t, the bathroom door was barred and the window too small. There never was an escape.
Ashley opened his eyes and saw himself in the mirrored wall. He didn’t like what he saw. The bathroom was cramped. There was nowhere to run, nowhere to hide. The shower steamed the lights, and the tiles were damp,
He could make out his bloodshot eyes, the wild way they stormed about, looking for anything but the razor at his throat, the murkiness around behind that manifested as a shadow of his self.
His breath calmed, and the razor steadied at his throat.
The door rattled behind him and slammed it against its locks.
“Open up. Stop,” cried a voice.
In his despair, he didn’t recognise them and the razor inched closer.
“Don’t do it, please,” said another.
He turned around and watched the door splinter and crack. “It’ll be okay,” He squeezed his eyes shut. “Everything will be perfect. Without me.”
He sliced the razor across his throat and the door burst open.
Its metal edge sliced his jugular and left his hand a dyed red.
Figures crashed into the cramped room, knelt down and held him.
He lay there, dazed, and confused. None of them were his mum or dad. He didn’t recognise their yellow helmets and thick jackets.
One of them held his head as he laughed. He raised his arm enough for a logo to become present.
Ashley struggled up and squinted at it. MFB – The Metropolitan Fire Brigade.
“That was a close one,” the fireman said.
One of the others removed his gloves.
“Ashley was it, your parents were worried about you,” he said, “Hold still please.” He reached up to his neck where blood bubbled from his throat, fingers entered the wound, and Ashley found it easier to breath.
The other fireman was still grinning. “Your parents love you, Ash.”
Ashley tried to turn away. “Woah woah, hold still,” the man held his head level.
“But no one else,” Ashley said.
Suddenly, the grinning fireman loomed close to Ashley’s face.
“We’re firemen Ash. No one gets left behind before us. We put out the fires in people’s lives.”
He ruffled Ashley’s hair and there was a feeling in his chest that he hadn’t felt in a long time.
“Who are you really, you’re not firemen?” Ashley said.
The man’s grin grew larger.
“Just Firemen Ash, the job entails rescuing people from themselves.”

The Victorian Metropolitan Fire Brigade and the Country Fire Association both provide firefighting, rescue, medical and hazardous material incident response services in Melbourne. 

Despite performing these duties for decades, their appearance at scenes that don’t involve fires is perceived to be surprising or an act of misinformation. The result of this is that firefighters are often turned away before their abilities can be put to use.

 In Australia, all firefighters are first aid responders and capable of treating the injured on sight until paramedics arrive. I am not sure of the incident responsibilities of firefighters overseas, but if emergency responders appear on sight, and they don’t belong to the service you called for; I urge everyone to not turn them away. 

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18 thoughts on “A Close Shave

  1. Decided to take a look at your blog, I must say you have a way with imagery and well placed suspense. Very well written, and has a bold and powerful message behind it. It is true that Firemen outside a place of fighting fires are looked at most strangely by the greater portion of the populace, though their duty is just as a police officers or an ambulance. They have a duty to protect and serve, which makes sense as to why they would be there in such a time of need as was the young fellow in your story.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow, thank you for turning up here, and thank you for your praise!
      In the past, I have heard many stories of first responders refused access and turned away. It’s sad, and it’s depressing to know of so many people that could have been saved.
      So I wanted to write a message educating everyone about the role they play.
      Thank you for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I feel that anything that could be written so persuasively and with intent to educate those who are ignorant on the topic deserves praise. I hope you are looking at writing a book eventually if you haven’t already, your writing is intriguing.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I am trying, but its a long and tedious process.
        I made the mistake of diving head long into novel writing without a plan, so now I’m stuck editing and ridding myself of plot holes.
        Thank you for the praise though, very few people in my life have acknowledged my prose; it makes me really happy inside!

        Liked by 1 person

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