Cutting Loose

IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON ON THE TENNESSEE RIVER. I'D SPENT MOST OF THE DAY DIVING FOR FRESHWATER PEARLS.

I'D JUST STARTED TO HOIST THE CRATE LOADED WITH MUSSELS WHEN IT BECAME HUNG UP.

I WRAPPED THE ROPE AROUND MY HAND TO GIVE IT A GOOD PULL.

WITHOUT WARNING, THE ROPE SNATCHED MY ARM INTO THE PULLEY, MANGLING MY HAND AND TRAPPING ME IN PLACE!

I PULLED A KNIFE FROM MY POCKET TO CUT THE ROPE BUT DROPPED IT OUT OF REACH.

THE PAIN WAS INTENSE! FORTUNATELY, THERE WAS A GLASS SODA BOTTLE BARELY WITHIN REACH.

I SMASHED THE BOTTLE AND CUT MYSELF FREE WITH IT, THEN RACED TO A FRIEND'S HOUSE FOR HELP. I PASSED OUT JUST AS I REACHED HIS DOOR.

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