Here’s a sad little short story I wrote a couple of days back on a deadline. It was not getting published anywhere but the guy wanted us to get creative. And by golly we did get creative! Now I’ve never written any shorts before and this was a novel experience for me, but I think it turned out pretty decent. It definitely needs some polishing here and there, but see I was on a deadline and this was what I could come up with in one-one and a half hours, tops. Anyway, if you’re reading this, you’ve probably got nothing else to do and stumbled upon this blog by accident, so do leave your comments and criticisms down below. Here goes nothing.
Celia Waltham was dying. ‘Oesophageal Adenocarcinoma, T4’, her chart read. Her cheerful and sweet voice had turned into a hoarse exhalation, barely audible, but enough to make anyone around her shudder. The nurse walked in with her morning medicine, carrying a sponge along for her clean-up. The sponge was new and yellow. The hospital staff finally took heed of daily complaints by Rupert to change the worn and old sponge. “God knows how many people that thing has been used on”, Rupert muttered under his breath every time they sponged his granddaughter. Rupert was by Celia’s bedside every morning, to cheer her up and watch re-runs of Duck Tales with her. It had been a little over two months of hospital stay now and Celia knew holding hope was futile. Rupert knew her case was hopeless. Jeannie, her mother who wished and prayed for a miracle, knew it was hopeless. Rupert Jr. was hopeless too. He wanted his daughter to pass painlessly. He could not look at her all pale and frail, with all the tubes hanging around her bed. She tried to smile at her father when he entered the room at noon. Rupert Jr. smiled back but all the while crying inside of shame at all these putrid thoughts he was having. Everyone in the room pretended to not think about what lay ahead. Everyone played along. Jeannie meanwhile had begun her regular chore of asking the nurse about Celia’s medication and complaining about the curtains being closed.
A few weeks later, April was upon the world. April meant frolic and fun and vacation for kids in England. The birds chirped in haste outside, a hazy smell of grass wafted around, and you could almost hear the faint laughter of children as they devoured their snow cones and ran. But if you were looking over a bed in room number 304 on the third floor of Colney Cancer Centre in Norwich, you would be completely oblivious to this cheerfulness outside. A girl of twelve was breathing her last and there was no one by her bedside. Rupert was out in North London for the day, down by the union offices to collect his pension. Celia’s parents were stuck in traffic by the Waterfront; a tree had crashed into a lorry on the road and workers were hacking it away. Celia had awoken from her afternoon slumber just past six in the evening with throbbing pain, and it was getting dark outside. She had immense pain in her throat and chest. All the nurses were celebrating the birthday of another patient on the fourth floor and forgotten to turn the light on in Celia’s room. Every dying person somehow learns that their passing is near somehow; Celia was no exception to that. Celia knew it was time and she only wished that there was someone near her. Fighting the dark and all the pain, she started sobbing. She thought about all the good things in life and how much she’d miss her mother. Thinking about her mother, she started to cry and wail but she could make no sound. Tears rolled past her ears and she was losing consciousness amidst the stinging pain and the excited “happy birthday to you” upstairs. There was nothing she could see in the room and she closed her eyes and stopped crying out of exhaustion. Just then a car passed the hospital blaring out a song Celia had never heard before, ‘…been a pack of lies! And I can feel it coming in the air tonight, oh Lord. Well I’ve been waiting for this moment for all my life, oh Lord…’ Celia laughed at this, eyes still closed and couldn’t take it out of her mind and she finally let go…
If you’re looking for the song in question, its In the Air Tonight by Phil Collins.
That’s it for now peeps. Our tech fest starts tomorrow, so I’ll be sure to pick something up to write on.