Friday, March 4, 2016

My Week in Short Stories

A friend recently started a FB page encouraging people to write a short story everyday. The rules are simple: 55, 150, or 300 words. No critiques. Just practice writing.

I've been doing them when I remember (and feel well enough), and the collection of them from this past week explain our current lives fairly honestly and succinctly. With no further ado:

Monday, February 29, 2016 - 55 words
Sounds of bathtime - splashing water, giggles, rubber toys squeak. "Uh-oh!" Daddy got wet, too. A room away, she coughs, rolls over, restless from fever, desperate to be a part of the often-avoided routine. Rush of water, drain plug pulled. Sleep claims her once again, leaving her to wonder if this was reality, dream, or hallucination.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 55 words

Armful of toys, bending over to pick up more, humming along to the children's show in the background. These songs will never leave her head. Dumping toys into the toy box, grabbing a diaper. Chasing down the toddler. "Don't wanna change!" Diaper changed. Dinner started. Homework begins. Sighing, frazzled, knowing she'll miss this one day

Friday, March 4, 2016 - 150 words

Holding her close, but loosely, while the coughs rack her little body, rocking her back and forth, gently. The hacking subsides, and she slowly, but completely, collapses against me, breathing hard, trying to catch her breath. A moment's peace. Then, the tell-tale heaves of pre-vomit, the rush to aim it at the floor, gathering her hair while her stomach empties of the little she's eaten today, plus the medicine that's supposed to make her better. Gasping sobs, from both of us, until it's impossible to distinguish one from the other. It finally passes, and there is only the clean up. Naked, and scrubbed with baby wipes, she folds herself into my lap, crying silently, wishing, I'm certain, that this could just be over. I squeeze her tight, and wish the same, wanting to watch her dance and laugh, hating whatever illness has befallen her. And suddenly, I understand true helplessness.