Breathing with a Bicycle Pump

Posted: May 25, 2014 by writingsprint in Fantasy, Weird
Tags: , , , , ,

bicycle pump

Jared waved the dish at Brigid. “What’s the matter with you? Can’t you…” He coughed, out, but didn’t inhale. Nothing came.

Brigid jumped up. “Jay!”

He shook his head. Jared opened his shirt, stuck a mini bicycle pump in the valve in this chest and began pumping. His lungs filled with disgusting, rusty-tasting air. His eyes widened and he woke up. He could think straight again. He checked the plunger. The rod was completely clean, and he could hear the high-pitched metal on metal scrape as it went into the chamber. He kept pumping. “I need to buy some WD-40,” he said.

Brigid said, “Sorry to get you riled up. I didn’t think you’d run out of air.”

“No worries. It was stupid anyway. Getting mad over a dirty dish.” He laughed, and pumped the air hard. “Laughing takes a lot of wind.”

“Why didn’t they finish your surgery?”

“They did finish my surgery. My health plan couldn’t afford the whole procedure. So instead of fixing my lungs I get a manual pump. It doubles as an exercise plan for my arms.”

Brigid shivered. “How do you sleep?”

“Hooked up to a pump, just like those people with breathing masks for sleep apnea. Only instead of my face, it breathes for me.”

“Can you drive? Don’t you need two hands?”

“I hook myself into the air conditioner. Some cars are better than others.” He grinned. Jared was slowing down on the pumping. He clearly felt better. “My cousin let me drive her Lexus once. Talk about fresh air. I felt like I was walking in the Swiss Alps. And a new car?” He whistled. “There’s something in that new car scent. It’s a serious buzz.” He sat down on the couch next to her. He unhooked the pump. “I can probably go for another hour without needing to give myself a boost.”

“We need to get your lungs fixed.”

“Great idea. All we need is a donor, and a doctor who will do the surgery for free.”

“Come on, Jay. Use your imagination. Let’s hit the morgue and go body shopping. Somebody’s got to have lungs compatible with yours.”

Jared tried not to laugh. He didn’t want to hook himself back up to the pump again. “Bridgie…,” he said. But he didn’t try any harder than that. He loved the idea of having live lungs again. Brigid was crazy enough to help him make it happen.

The origin of the word “inspiration” basically means “to breath into” something. I was tangling with a bit of writers’ block and I started to take on the annoying voice of someone who asks, “Well, why can’t you just do it?” My gut responded that trying to force inspiration is forcing air into your lungs through a bicycle pump, rather than breathing.

I may take this one farther as an exercise in how twisted I can get.

Photo credit: “Pumped” by Allan Foster at Flickr
Photo is unmodified
Shared under Creative Commons license

  1. A.D. Everard says:

    “I may take this one farther as an exercise in how twisted I can get.”

    😀 Sounds like fun.


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