Last year this time I was finishing a creative writing class held at a local arts school. It was such a great thing for me. Challenging, inspiring and it gave fuel to the fire of my dream of writing. I will be forever grateful to my teacher and the other students in this class.
Before this class, I hadn’t heard of Flash Fiction and as much as I would like to define it for you, I can’t. Generally, its a story of 1000 words or less. Husband and I were talking about it and I liked his definition best, “It’s almost like you’re starting a rumor. Giving just enough of the story to wet the appetite, but you’re not giving every detail.” It’s a form of writing which I am coming to appreciate and enjoy.
The Nurse’s Needle
I wake in a foreign bed with a dream of Hunter lingering in my mind, I reach out to feel for him and everything comes rushing back. I could feel my mouth forming to let out the scream that was stuck in my gut. My father spoke, “Don’t start, we don’t want to sedate you again.”
My mouth clipped shut before any sound could escape.
“You are not the only one who lost Hunter. Your mother is beside herself and Kelly had to call his family. You have to pull yourself together.”
I was so fearful of opening my mouth; I just stared at him eyes wide and nodded.
My mother entered the room. “How is she?”
“She’ll be fine, won’t you Sherri?”
“Well good, her screaming was upsetting everyone in the hospital.”
Kelly rushed in, “Hunter’s parents are here, and they want to know what happened. They want to know where Sherri is. I can’t handle this, someone else, please go talk to them.”
I heard myself say, “I’ll talk to them.”
The three of them started to speak all at once, “not a good idea”, “we’ll handle it”, “it’s too much for you”.
“He was my husband. I want to see his parents. Y’all can’t stop me.”
“We can and we will.” My father was trying to keep his voice steady. “Do you even remember what happened?”
“Not really, Hunter and I went to breakfast this morning. Then a doctor was saying Hunter was gone.” The words felt heavy in my mouth, what had happened in the gap of my memory?
“If you have no memory, you will not be speaking to his parents. They don’t know yet you are the cause of all of this, we have to protect you.”
“I caused this?” My eyes darted from my father to mom to Kelly, “Is it true?”
Mom and Kelly refused to look me in the face. My father’s face was drawn and tight, the look he would use when a hard truth had to be told. I could feel the scream welling up in my belly again, threatening to break free.
“Tell me what I did, tell me what happened.”
“You are not stable. I’ll go and have the doctor speak with Steve and June; they can stay at the guest house while everything is sorted out.” He started for the door and I bolted out of bed. Outside of my room I called, “June! June! Where are you?”
Nurses, my mother and Kelly all pounced on me. I was a stray cat they were trying to contain.
I heard the familiar click of June’s heals. “Sherri? Sherri, where are you honey?”
“JUNE!” And the nurse’s needle again hit its mark.