Friday, March 22, 2013

Friday Fiction Challenge, a new story begins

Felicia paced the hall of the emergency room.  She walked back and forth, back and forth seeming determined to wear ruts in the floor.

Her steps were hurried but deliberate.  She had to look worried enough.

So many thoughts running through her head at once.  She had to keep this story straight.  She had to keep it consistent.  She had to be distraught and real.  

She was afraid that something might actually happen to Bailey.  

She never meant for anything like this to go wrong.  

She'd been so careful.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.  

Every time she walked past the door to the exam room that contained the bed where her daughter laid still, that was full of people in scrubs, where the beeps and hums of the machines created the background noise, she rehearsed it again in her head.  

About how she didn't know what happened.  

About how she'd brought her in at the first sight something was wrong.  

About how she loves her little girl with everything in her heart and mind.

Chris would be here soon, and she had to figure out what she was going to tell him.  

God, what was she going to tell him?

What had she done?

The nurses had kicked her out of the exam room once they connected Bailey to all the monitors and realized her vital signs were so off.  They asked what had happened, and all she said was that Bailey had suddenly become violently ill.  That the vomiting wouldn't stop.  That there was blood  in the vomit.  That she hadn't eaten anything different than what she usually ate.  

That part was true, though.  She hadn't eaten anything different than what she usually did.  She always ate the same thing, like Mommy's good little girl was supposed to.  She'd been eating it for over a year now.

In that year, Bailey had stopped growing like she was supposed to.  She'd gone from a chubby toddler to a thin two and a half year old.  She wasn't anywhere near potty trained, though Felicia pushed and pushed her to be.  

The girl couldn't control her bowels.  The diarrhea was almost constant.  

It didn't stop Mommy from pushing her.  

Didn't stop Mommy from feeding her the same thing every day.

The nurse opened the exam room door just long enough for Felicia to overhear that they couldn't get an IV started.  They were calling to put in a central line.  

She was so dehydrated her veins were collapsing and her heart rate was nearing 200bpm.

The little girl could barely turn her head and vomited again just as the door closed.

Felicia wrapped her arms around her body and squeezed tight.  

What if she'd gone too far this time?

Chris appeared from around the corner and ran to her side.  He started asking question after question after question, and she couldn't answer him.  

She had no idea how Bailey was, they wouldn't let her in.  She didn't know what was wrong.  She didn't know what was happening.  

She knew why it was happening, but she wasn't about to admit that to anyone, least of all Chris.  

He was her rock.  Her life.  

And so much had changed.  

Everything, really, since she came along.  Bailey.  

It had changed too much.

The exam door opened and people started flooding out.  Then came the gurney with the tiny girl on it.  The nurse shouted something about going to the OR.  She needed a central line, but they needed to do it in the OR.  

Chris stood motionless, unable to do anything to help his little girl.  Someone asked if he was the father.  He nodded.  They shoved a clipboard in his hands to sign for consent and disappeared.   

She was gone now.  His baby girl.  In the OR.  Maybe dying.  

Felicia wrapped her arms around her husband and sobbed.  She buried her face in his chest, took a deep breath.  She inhaled his scent and the edges of her mouth slowly turned upward in a smile.

This post is part of a fiction challenge that I am participating in.   

This is the prompt for this week:

"chance |CHans|
1 a possibility of something happening: a chance of victory | there is little chance of his finding a job.
• (chances) the probability of something happening: he played down his chances of becomingchairman.
• [ in sing. ] an opportunity to do or achieve something: I gave her a chance to answer.
• a ticket in a raffle or lottery.
• Baseball an opportunity to make a defensive play, which if missed counts as an error: 541 straight chances without an error.
2 the occurrence and development of events in the absence of any obvious design: he met his brother by chance | what a lucky chance that you are here.
adjective [ attrib. ]
fortuitous; accidental: a chance meeting.
1 [ no obj. ] do something by accident or without design: if they chanced to meet.
• (chance upon/on) find or see by accident: he chanced upon an interesting advertisement.
2 [ with obj. ] informal do (something) despite its being dangerous or of uncertain outcome: she waited a few seconds and chanced another look."

You decide how to use it, how to demonstrate it and how to reconcile it in your writing this week. 800-1500 words. Go. 

Please check out the pieces from the other participants here:


  1. MUNCHAUSEN!! I LOVE IT! you awesome weirdo.

  2. Wow. Arsenic?? holy moly I wanted more! crazy mother!

  3. So very sad, Kelly. This really struck a chord as I have two little girls, and I couldn't fathom. Terribly heart wrenching, but beautiful at the same time.

  4. Aaahh! I thought I knew where you were going with this and I AM NOT PLEASED!

    Okay, maybe I'm slightly pleased.

    It's just like I was telling Kristal. You're this nice person, and then this horrible stuff just comes spilling out of nowhere...:)

  5. Breathing after reading this...sick sick Felicia... But You are a genius xxx


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