Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And finally...

Daily Stats:
Caffeine: morning cup + morning cup + morning cup + morning cup
Evil Calories: can't remember
Reality TV: anything that will make the boy happy and agree to drink apple juice

I am a zombie. Not the "living dead, hungry for your brain" variety. No. I have reached the zombie-like state that can only be brought on by having a sick child. There truly is nothing like having a sick almost-three-year old. They're at that point where they know what they want (and don't want), yet they aren't quite in tune with how to tell you using practical means, such as words. When my little guy gets sick, he likes to communicate solely through shit-fits. Of course there are varying degrees of shit-fits. If I try and talk him into eating a few little apple slices, we reach defcon-3. If I try and take his temperature or give him some Tylenol, we hit defcon-5. It's loads of fun.

But I know he feels like crap, and I understand where he's coming from. When I'm sick, do I want someone rubbing their face all over mind, trying see how hot I am? Hell no. That would surely result in someone being pelted with the Kleenex box.

Anyhoo, in the tiny little breaks I've had between naps and shit-fits, I managed to write my final installment for Tell Me What To Do. Couldn't bear to leave my dear friend Elizabeth hanging any longer. It's a bit short (blame the shit-fits), and a little dark for me. I wrote it after only three hours of sleep and then went back a few hours later after I'd napped and was a bit alarmed at myself. It's funny what lack of sleep will do to you.

so, here it is...

Original prompt by Elizabeth (read her fabulous blog here):

The priest's sermon seemed endless, but I didn't really care, as it gave me time to pick the dried blood out from under my nails.

And my take...

The priest's sermon seemed endless, but I didn't really care, as it gave me time to pick the dried blood out from under my nails. Flakes of red falling, scattering, collecting on my skirt. I clean one, then move on to the other, the sound of them flicking together drowning out the message; the reminder; atone, atone, atone. The priest, with his voice disconnected, reading pages, reciting, adjusting his glasses again and again. Everyone around me drawn in, nodding, hands clasped. The blind leading the blind. Going through motions, unwilling to truly give themselves. To truly commit. To fight. On to the next nail, and the next. Digging. Picking. Finding peace. Nudging away images. That man. One of many living among us. Criminals. Demons. Cancers, nipping at our heels. No sign of rehabilitation. Souls blackened by the lives they destroyed. Preying, lurking, planning. I only did what needed to be done. What any mother would do. It was only a matter of time before his weakness resurfaced and assumed control.

Last nail, clean. I look at Jonah, his tiny curls swaying from the spinning fan overhead. So many outside forces we can’t control. Unpredictable darkness.

But he’s safe now. For one more day.


Elizabeth said...

your poor little man!
I hate it when they get sick.
Life stops and whirls around their care. Worries fuel us mothers into a tireless watch all night.
I hope he gets better soon.

And your story was not too dark for me. Interesting though, I was wondering what you would do with it. I thought that you would take it and wressle it back to a lighter wave length. But you resisted.
Now go!
Be well.

Big Plain V said...

So you didn't plunge headlong into the gory, blow-by-blow, dismemberment, but it was still delightfully creepy. You stayed aloof, with mere subtle allusion to the deed - very classy. It makes me curious (morbidly curious) to know more. You have quite a bit of skill and flexibility with narrative voices, too, Vivi. I like that.

I am painfully familiar with how a sick child can transform your household into some sort of dismal and inescapable dungeon. I hope your little guy starts feeling better soon.

If he has a sore throat, give him some of those lollipop cough drops - they're always a huge hit at my house.

Vivi Alden said...

Elizabeth, you're so right. Worries do fuel us into tireless all night watches. And he had a WICKED high fever, too, which kept me parked at his bedside. Sniffles I can handle, but fevers just scare me! And I did resist hitting the lighter wave length. Gotta keep you on your toes, and all that :>)

And thanks, BPV! Your insightful comments are so appreciated. I'm terrible at gore (and I'm a total wussy, fraidy-cat to boot) so I figured I'd better take a different approach :>)