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|AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (5)
A Rainly Day In New York City (Short Stories) - [585 words]
A Tale Of Exile (Short Stories) - [432 words]
Beautiful Is The Night (Short Stories) - [247 words]
The Airport (Short Stories) - [346 words]
The Child Prophet (Short Stories) - [990 words]
There was nothing anyone could do but wait. Tortured by worries, despair, and self analysis, his face stuck to the ICU glass, Corbin Jameson watches the vast array of vials keeping his daughter alive. When Abigail was transferred to ICU, hospital personnel cleared the room, stripping her of the things she loved. They had dragged away her stuffed animals, books, flowers and balloons. Bareness crept over everything and no matter how snug the nurses wrapped her legs and body against her favorite blanket, Abigail felt alone. Greta Jameson kept telling herself that nothing out of the ordinary was going on. Something she did often when negative thoughts invaded her mind. She glances over at her husband Corbin, as he squeezes his hand into a fist against the glass which held him fast from his daughter's bedside. Even through the partition, Greta seems unnerved by his presence. Bending her face toward her mother, Abigail, with outstretched arms tries to sit up.
"It hurts mommy."
"What does sweetie?" Greta asks.
Abigail collapses. Her body remains motionless. A nurse bringing in a fresh set of vials is startled by the sight and drops the tray. The vials fall and shatter on the floor. Oozing silver medicine flows slowly, meticulously as Abigail lays unconscious. Doctors, nurses, specialists, dash toward the room. Abigail feels herself breathing more freely. Sliding back from her body, from the meat that held her forcibly. Abigail's spirit crisscrosses over the walls and ceiling. She is blissful, free from pain. Abigail circles the room several times before skittering forward.
In the blink of an eye, she finds herself in a beautiful vast meadow filled with roses, lilies, violets, daisies and wildflowers. The morning sun leaves strips of light and shadow that she gives chase to. There is no fear. No perception of being deserted and totally alone. No panic or thoughts about the bad things that must have happened. Something furry tickles her cheek. The touch is so soft she hardly notices. Gentle, it is a butterfly's wing. Abigail tries to swoop it up in her hands but starts to feel trembly and wobbly. She lays down on the grass and concentrates on breathing slowly. She thinks that babies do the same thing. Sleep soundly, control their breathing even when people are coming and going, talking, and moving around. That's the way her life had always been since birth. Struggling to gain the ordinary composure of things. Trying not to feel tired while at play. Hiding her frequent nosebleeds and shortness of breath. Eating when she wasn't hungry. Attempting to overcome the pain in her bones and joints. Denying the low grade fevers, the swollen lymph nodes. Even after the diagnosis, she kept her mind steadfast on remission and recovery. She is her mother's daughter after all. Her father is different. He's a sweet guy. Shy, sexy hot, popular with various women and absent. Greta knows he's been with someone. Many someones. But she loves him completely and convinces herself it's all been a huge misunderstanding. Abigail thinks how ironic, that when you return to someone you love, it's already beyond repair.
"I'm sorry, daddy."
Her body heaves up and down, straining desperately for air. Dandelions rise from damp metal screens. The white room awaits the writhing of her life. Sickness soon becomes an acquaintance.
The cause of death: Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia.
The time of death: 3am
Her father is slightly drunk and quiet. Her mother is crying uncontrollably. Corbin holds Greta and asks for her forgiveness. And this is where the story ends. With silence, and submission to the ordinary.
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© 2007 Newbill
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