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Tiaras and Trucks

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Visit


Ready, set, go!  The RedWriting Hood prompt this week is flash fiction (300 word maximum) inspired by the single word: Life.  This is a little snapshot into Greta’s world; if you like what you see, more of her story can be found on my new page (see the last tab on my menu).
   
Greta wiped her sweating palms through her hair before pushing open the door to the maternity ward.  She stumbled, instead of stepped, into the hallway, the floor wavering in front of her.  Was it possible that the air was thinner here, four floors above ground level?

Swinging around the corner, she shoved the vestiges of fear into the black ball permanently settled in the bottom of her stomach.  She was impervious to the pain she had expected to feel.  Something was pushing the blood through her veins, but it was no longer her heart.  Her heart had stopped that day in her bloody shower then shattered in this very hospital, when the ultrasound confirmed what she already knew.

Glancing at the numbered doors, she glided forward.  There must have been voices laughing, babies crying, nurses bustling, but the only sound she heard was the whooshing that could have been her breath or the brushing of her shoes against the carpeting.

Her sister-in-law was leaning against the nurses’ station, forehead wrinkled quizzically, flipping through a sheaf of papers.  Silently thanking a God whose existence she had recently begun to question, Greta slid into the correctly labeled door.

Paul didn’t immediately look up, expecting his wife back from filling out the paperwork for his new daughter’s birth certificate, but his head snapped up with Greta’s inadvertent intake of breath.

Drawn forward, Greta moved closer to the simple bassinette. 

Knowing her so well, Paul skipped a hug, instead briefly touching her forehead, a gesture their mother had used to comfort them their whole lives.

Without thought, her eyes caressed the impossibly soft, chubby curve of her niece’s cheek, Greta’s mouth opening to breathe in the sweet air in the space above where her niece, where Elisabeth was sleeping, swaddled and safe.

Alive.
 

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16 Comments:

  • At June 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM , Anonymous Lance said...

    I like the descriptions, especially "chubby curve of her niece's cheek". Good stuff. 

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 10:28 AM , Anonymous Ratz said...

    Oh Angela. This is so soft and delicate. There is so much emotion that this piece integrates. I loved it. 

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 11:11 AM , Anonymous Mama Wants This said...

    "Greta’s mouth opening to breathe in the sweet air in the space above where her niece, where Elisabeth was sleeping, swaddled and safe." my favorite line, beautiful.

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 2:05 PM , Anonymous Jackie said...

    So sweet and I sense a bit of sadness in there as well.

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 2:12 PM , Anonymous Kir said...

    Oh my god, it's wrong to be crying now right? Or maybe not, since everything that Greta has been through.

    this:Knowing her so well, Paul skipped a hug, instead briefly touching her forehead, a gesture their mother had used to comfort them their whole lives.well, I literally could feel that touch on my forehead, what a wonderful thing to bring up, give us as a gift. It was sooooo perfect for that moment Ang. This piece, PERFECTION. I love Greta.
    *and you*

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 3:40 PM , Anonymous Cheryl said...

    I so want Greta to find some happiness. My heart just breaks for her!!

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 5:48 PM , Anonymous Brianna said...

    Great minds think alike! We both set our stories in maternity wards. I've so enjoyed following Greta's story.

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 8:20 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Oh thank you!  I will be catching up on my reading tonight :)

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 8:21 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    She will :)  I know a little more about where she's going, so I need to go forward but also fill in some blanks. 

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 8:23 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so much as always :)  Though I don't want to make you cry! 

    I feel like a lot of her story has made some of the people in her life look callous (her mom and sister-in-law in particular,) and I don't think they are.  I think people are just having a hard time relating to her pain.  But her brother is lovely :)

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 8:23 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Poor Greta knows sadness, but she's finding her way out of it.

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 8:24 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    That was one of my favorite parts, too :)  Thanks Alison!

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 8:25 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thank you so much :)  That's a lovely compliment, especially from someone who writes with emotion so beautifully.

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 8:26 PM , Anonymous Angela said...

    Thanks!  Baby cheeks are the best.

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 9:10 PM , Anonymous Christine Siracusa said...

    I love this "Something was pushing the blood through her veins, but it was no longer her heart." So evocative! Oh, this poor woman. I would just say in the first paragraph I, personally, did not need the words "instead of stepped." I think her experience is crystal clear without those 3 words. Totally picky, though. Because this was great.

     
  • At June 24, 2011 at 9:18 PM , Anonymous Renee McKinley said...

    Greta has been through so much.  I hope her niece can help her heal.

    You described her fear and feelings so well.  I love the interaction with her brother. Well done, again!

     

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