Solly Saved Seven Sisters
The headline became a meme shared millions of times within seconds. Solly's picture was permanently embedded as 1s and 0s in networks and motherboards across the world. Solly was now immortal.
Digital pictures tell no lies.
Solly Snail saved seven sisters whose van was hit by a train as they drove to church on Sunday. Cell phone photos and videos captured the exact moment when Solly opened the crumpled vehicle doors, bowed the seven sisters from their van one at a time, and seated them in his limo. Once all safely inside, he offered them champagne (strictly medicinal), turned on the soft, pink roof lights, put soothing classical music through the speakers, and drove them to the nearest emergency room.
The police followed him, as did the EMTs in their ambulances. The ladies refused to get out of the limo when the emergency squads arrived. Solly soothed and softened their fears. He sweet-talked them, kissing their fingertips in an old-world gentlemanly fashion. Solly's accent, Italian and Irish, added to the fantasy of being rescued by a dashing, hunk of a guy. The girls swooned into each other's arms.
When they arrived at the hospital, he chauffeured them to their individual wheelchairs and promised to wait for them to take them home.
As Solly sat in the waiting room, scrolling through social media, he saw the images of himself, tagged #hero #hottie and #hottiehero
Lights flashed. He looked up from his phone to see the driveway filled with local TV vans. Reporters set up with their cameramen for the evening news reports, and photographers clicked pictures of him through the pane glass windows.
He preened before them, grinning from ear-to-ear. Some of the pictures showed up online within seconds of being snapped as they attempted to scoop the story and gain clicks. The news reports waved for Solly to go outside for interviews. Some had tried to come into the hospital, but security kept them out.
He put on his "aw, shucks" demeanor that he had perfected for the limo business that got him the big tips. He shyly sauntered out to the tarmac, rifling his fingers through his strawberry blonde hair that curled enchantingly around his thick bodybuilder's neck.
He knew he was made for the cameras. He gave them his photogenic side and tilted his head to get the best light. He smiled in that way that highlighted his dimples and crinkled his blue eyes. All those hours in front of the mirror taking selfies taught him the best way to stand to accentuate his biceps and flat stomach.
He flirted with the male and female correspondents, making them all giggle. He reached out like he was going to stroke an arm or touch a hand and then pulled back, shyly putting his hands in his pockets and shrugging. They leaned towards him. They loved him.
His moment in the sun highlighted with spotlights.
"How does it feel to be a hero, Solly?" The petite brunette from channel 17 News looked up at Solly, her microphone drawing his view to her big brown eyes.
"I didn't do much," he said. "I just gave the ladies a ride."
"Were you scared?" The reporter from Around Our Town looked like a model in his Dunhill Red Plaid suit, and Wolf & Shepherd Closer Cap Toe Oxford dress shoes.
"I was concerned for the ladies," he said. "They seemed quite upset. Imagine having such a close call on the way to church." He looked up at the sky. "The Lord was taking care of them, for sure."
"Praise his name." Seven sweet voices sang out. The orderlies wheeled the seven sisters outside in wheelchairs, as custom dictated when discharging patients.
The women stood up and surrounded Solly.
"Ladies," called the reporter from a network morning show, "Can you tell us your names?"
They rearranged themselves.
"Are you really sisters?" Someone from the back of the crowd yelled out.
"We are," said the one closest to Solly. "I'm Sue. I'm twenty and the oldest."
"And the prettiest." That sounded like the same guy.
"Thank you," said Sue. Her cheeks turned pink. "This is Sara." Sue hugged the girl next to her. "She's nineteen. Sharon and Sharona are twins. They are eighteen."
There was a round of applause. Clearly, the ladies were a hit.
"Shelby is seventeen." She waved with an excited hand flutter.
"Silvia is sixteen." She bowed, her cornsilk hair, similar to all of her sisters, fell forward, the sunlight dancing in the highlights, and a pink ribbon floating to the ground.
Three men dashed forward, wrestling over the prize: flashbulbs flashed, cameras purred. The victor raised the ribbon on high, whooped, and kissed the trim, and passed it back to Silvia. She clasped it to her heart, held in both of her hands. She scooted behind Shelby, hiding her face.
"Selene, at the very end." Sue pointed to the girl in the lime green overalls and a neon orange t-shirt. "She's the baby of the family at twelve."
"What happened," asked the Red Plaid man. "Did it take four years for your parents to recover from the first six of you?" More laughter, until they all noticed the expressions on the girls' faces.
"Our mother died giving birth to Shelby. Father took care of us alone until he met and married Selene's mother."
Sara poked Sue with her elbow.
"Our new mother," said Sue. The seven sisters nodded.
"Tell us what happened?" The woman from channel 17 called out in an attempt to get back to the current event.
"We were on our way to church," said Sue. "Our van ran out of gas as we began crossing the railroad tracks."
"We didn't know what to do," said Sara.
"Then we heard the train whistle," said Sharon and Sharona.
Silvia started crying. Shelby hugged her and handed her a cloth handkerchief.
"Silvia cried in the car, too," said Shelby. "She's sensitive."
"We prayed," said Sue.
"We didn't know what else to do," said Sara.
"I bet you were glad when Solly came to the rescue," said the Red Plaid guy.
The crowd turned to Solly. He lowered his gaze, the perfect picture of the humble hero.
"That guy back there," said Selene, pointing to a skinny man in the back of the crowd, "pushed our van off the tracks." She waved to him. "Solly just gave us a ride to the hospital."