At first there was silence, which was followed by a ringing. It escalated until it became piercing and unbearable.
Instinctively, Mitch reached for the back of his head while the rest of his body assumed the fetal position. As far as he could tell, he was on the floor. Not on the safety of the padding, but rather on the concrete, roughly 10′ from the ring itself. When his vision returned, the overhead lights blinded him again, but he lacked the coordination to shield his eyes.
Voices began to cut through the shrill noise in his head, slowly gaining reception like a distant radio station. Things like ambulance, get back, and holy shit faded in and out ad nauseum.
“I’m OK,” Mitch groaned. “I’m sorry, I’m OK.”
“Yeah dude?” A recognizable voice came from somewhere above him. “It’s Jodie. You with me, Mitch?”
“Hey Jodie.” He glanced upwards, and vaguely made out familiar purple of her hair. “I’m OK, really.”
“Don’t move,” Jodie warned. “You took a big spill from the top rope. Ambulance is on its way, we’re gonna get you out of here.”
It wasn’t until he was lifted onto the stretcher that Mitch felt anything; once the EMTs shifted him from his position on the floor, a searing pain consumed his shoulder and arm. His head throbbed. The breath that remained in his lungs burned, until it was snuffed out.
His vision went dark again.