Cyclamens and Swords Publishing
Publishing fine poetry, prose and Art
Geoff Tollman April 2012
Helen Bar-Lev
Bernard Mann
David Collett
Donna Langevin
Geoffrey Heptonstall
John Grabski
Katherine Burkman
Lilian Cohen
Lisa Okon
Mike Leaf
Geoff Tollman April 2012

Geoff was born in S.Africa in Dec. 1931. In Israel he was a successful businessman running well known furniture companies until retirement in 2005. Geoff is a member of a Creative Writing group and enjoys writing. Over 30 short stories have flowed out of his pen, and his first book “Snatched from Death, Gaby’s Story”.                             

Losing an Arm

The strangest things happen to me, I wouldn’t know why. I honestly believe that I am as normal as the next guy. My wife is always accusing me of being unique, I would like to think she is being complimentary, yet I have a bad feeling that I am kidding myself. I’ll give you an example, we bought this new car recently, I say we, but it was really her idea. It’s a hybrid, very economical, she keeps repeating. It's unlike any car I have ever driven. Firstly you can't hear it. She will say its because of my hearing.


Secondly it doesn’t have a key, it has a small box like a match box, which slots into the dash board.  To start it, you need to press a starter button, like in the olden days, I guess retro is the fashion these days. To fool people it also has a code, secret of course. So listen to what happened to me, and you decide whether I am unique, or just a regular guy.


We went to one of these enormous shopping malls which I hate. You have to park under ground, which she hates. My wife is allergic to fumes and to smells. So, I must stop really near an outlet, for her to jump out of the car, and escape into the mall. I need to park, switch off the engine by pushing the starter button, can you believe it.  And then remove the match box, climb out and discover that I left the lights on, climb back in to switch off the lights, better she doesn’t know.


I am again out of the car. Carefully I press the little locking button on the match box, the lights flash to let you know the car is locked. Then I notice that both the front window is open, as well as the back window half open. As far as my memory goes, the front window should go up automatically, the back I am not too sure about. I stand patiently hoping I won’t have to reopen the car and start the process again. The front window goes up, half a minute goes by, it looks as if the back window has signed off, when suddenly I notice my jersey on the back seat in order not to be cold, when I go up to the air conditioned mall.


I slip my hand inside to take it. As I start to withdraw my arm holding the jersey this maniacal window decides it will go up after all, and starts the process of crushing my arm. There is no escape, I am trapped. I look around and cannot see a soul. I am desperate, the blood in the arm is barely flowing, minutes go by, the pain is becoming excruciating when suddenly I notice a couple alighting from their car, about 25 meters away, and start screaming help. They hear my yelling, and start and stop, and start, and stop again, as if they want nothing to do with this maniac. Eventually they pluck up courage, and arrive.


I give him the match box, trying thru the pain, to explain where to press to open the car, and then where to put the match box, and give him the code number, and he it seems was born, with two left hands, not that I can blame him, what with his wife trying to help him, and yelling, as I start to change colour.


Suddenly my wife appears at a distance, she thinks they are trying to steal the car and hesitates. Eventually she gets the picture, and comes running over. We get the guy out of the driver’s seat, and my wife jumps in starts the engine and opens the rear window to free me. The blood starts to gush and the pain is killing me, but she starts to cry, and I am trying to calm her. It's only an arm, and then when she stops crying, she starts giving me a hard time because I did not have my cell phone on me.


If you had your cell, you could have called me, cells save peoples lives. When are you going to learn. Things happen to you that simply could not happen to anybody in the world, she is very well travelled mind you, and then, - out it comes - you are really, and truly, unique !