Thanks to all those who responded - both facetiously and seriously. You all have terrible senses of humor. Really. <g>

Here is a little snippet for you, the title of which should make its relevance obvious :-)

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2100 RPM

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Life was little more than a cruel joke. Jim sighed and leaned back in the small, vinyl chair. The monitors in the dim hospital room beeped and hummed steadily. On the bed, Blair lay still and silent except for the gentle rise-and-fall of his chest.

It didn't make any sense. Nothing made sense. It had taken only a millisecond for Blair to go from a vibrant, brilliant young man to....

To this.

Jim swallowed. His vision clouded, and he blinked back the threat of tears, then closed his eyes.

He suspected he'd relive that particular millisecond every day for the rest of his life. He and Blair had been at a construction site to investigate a possible drug smuggling operation. They'd been walking out in the open, wearing hard hats, amidst rubble and workers. He hadn't heard a thing. One minute, he was hurrying toward the grinder to speak with one of the foreman with Blair chattering behind him about some tribal thing, and the next thing he knew, Blair was down. He'd looked back when he'd heard the sickening thud and found his partner laying on the ground, blood trickling over his face from beneath his helmet.

That was two days ago, and Blair hadn't regained consciousness since. The specialists had been in, bombarding him with numbers. Engineers were called and lawyers mobilized. A forensic team had covered The Scene, taking photographs of the blood... and the 8 1/2 pound steel tooth that had flown off the tub grinder and slammed into Blair's skull at 161 miles per hour.

The hard hat had caved, but at least it had helped shield Blair from the full force of the impact. After MRI's and CAT scans, all the doctors could tell Jim for sure was that Blair had a skull fracture and intracranial swelling. They'd drilled a hole in his head to relieve the pressure.

Now, Blair lay in a coma. At least, he was breathing on his own. That was something. All he had to do now was open those eyes and say something to let everyone know that he was still there... still whole.

~~~~~~~

A noise prodded him, intruding, unyielding. It dragged him away from the dark, quiet place. Soon, other noises joined it. A faint, familiar odor came to him.

White penetrated the darkness, and he realized his eyes were opening. The noise that had woken him grew louder, and he turned his head toward it, blinking away some of the bluriness form his vision.

A faint smile touched his lips. So that was the noise. Snoring. Jim was slouched in a small, orange chair, a shadow of stubble on his face. His chin rested against his chest, which rose and fell in sync with that god-awful roar.

His tiny smile grew, lingering on his face even as his eyes closed and he succumbed to a deep, soothing slumber.

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The End

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