Thursday, June 21, 2012


Originally posted on May 18, 2012

I am honored that my piece from last week's Write on Edge prompt was used as a springboard for this week's prompt about choice and consequences. I had a lot of fun putting that conversation together.

This week my response to the WOE prompt is taking us back to the very beginning of Carly's story where a single choice will snowball into a million consequences, both good and bad.

The WOE prompt for this week is:

For this week’s prompt, you were asked to write a story or memoir which relates to choices and/or consequences. Because of the 400 word limit, you may choose to focus just on the choice, or just on the consequence, if you like.



choices and consequences, fiction prompts

      Photo courtesy of stock.xchange



This time I went to the hospital out of obligation, not love.

I hate hospitals. Hate. A word I use so frequently that it has lost passion. Now it simply describes anything that is inconvenient. I hate hospitals, family obligations, my situation. I hate the man that lies in a hospital bed beyond the steel doors of this waiting room. I hate that I hope he dies tonight because that makes me despicable.

“The little princess has arrived.” Greer startled me. How had I missed my wicked aunt? The stench from her habitual smoking should have alerted me she was nearby. When I faced her she wore a yellow, haggard smile, but she bore no friendly intentions.

“I wish you wouldn’t call me that.” I stated wishing my voice didn‘t always float one octave higher when I spoke to Greer.

She squeezed my shoulders, clucked her tongue. “Just a pet name, Carly. One you use to not mind.”

I tried to brush off the sarcasm, but instead I absorbed it, allowing it to knock me down. “How is Grandfather?”

“You even say his name like a little princess.” I stared blankly at her, refusing to engage in her spitefulness. She motioned to the menacing steel doors. “ See for yourself. Ilsa is with him.” Ilsa, a gentler aunt.

I hesitated. “Perhaps I would just be in the way.”

“There is more than enough room.” Greer challenged me with her menacing eyes. I accepted and pushed through the doors, entering the stale, antiseptic infused hallway.

His room was on the right. The door slightly ajar. Bile rose and settled fire-hot in the base of my throat. I paused in the doorway, gazing at the frail, petite man lying in bed.

John Spencer. When I was a little girl and ignorant I called him Grandma Johnny. A maze of tubes supplied him with oxygen and nutrients. He held his youngest daughter’s hand, talking about lousy television programming that was the bane of his existence. I tried to feel sympathetic, revulsion was all I could muster. Smugness rested heavy on my shoulders as I considered this fact: His life had caught up to him.

Ilsa looked up at me wiping away tears. I suspected the deathwatch had begun.

I prayed to the devil that he would die tonight. A monster who had raped my mother. And if he did not die tonight, then I would be the one left taking care of him.

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