This free-writing Friday is dedicated to all the writers (and people who write) out there. You know. The ones privy to those little voices. The ones telling stories. Whispering promises of enlightenment, or even just fun…
Then… there are these… ones. You will recognize them in the following snippet.
It began about a month ago.
I was in the midst of final research project and exams… and then, this whisper.
I tried to ignore it.
But, he was so insistent… so compelling:
“Why, hello, Mr. Mangrove. How are you today?’
The hospice nurse settled into the cushy faux-leather armchair by the bed. Her arsenal of juice boxes, waters, and reading material tucked neatly into a book bag thrown casually over her shoulder… she dropped them onto the floor within arm’s reach.
“Wha’ the hell’ da ya’ want?” Mr. Mangrove was more than annoyed… how do these people keep cycling in? One after the other? Waiting for him to die? Who in their right, God-fearin’ mind, volunteered for something so horrible? Sadists. One and all!
I had no choice. The words gathered, like an eddy in a Class IV river. It was late one night. Assignments still due, and…
It pooled and pooled, until… the rest flowed out:
“Mr. Mangrove!” the nurse chuckled. “You’re a hoot and a holler, aren’t you? I bet you were a bit of trouble in your day!”
“Trouble?” The old man almost spit when he snorted out… “You people don’t know nothin’ ‘bout trouble…”
“Well, you know how I love a story!” the nurse leaned in and patted his arm softly. She deftly, almost psychically avoided the IV drips plugged into his forearm and hand. “I’m here sir. You’re here… Tell me about it!” She smiled, and winked at him… that’s all it took.
Hook. Line. And sinker…
Mr. Mangrove grinned conspiratorially. “Funny thing? We weren’t no trouble when I wuz young. Get yer ass beat, you would!”
The nurse nodded solemnly. “Yep. We was the same sir… seen an’ not heard.”
“Exactly” Mr. Mangrove huffed and settled back into the pillows. His eyes wandered up to the pockmarked, padded-looking, industrial ceiling. Lost in thought, and memories, he was mute for a few moments…
Then… finals were done. Grades were in… and despite an almost fatal dive in the last exam… I survived… maintaining a 3.8 GPA. (Not that it matters… Grad school. D is for Diploma.)
Point is… all of my psychic energy was renewing… I could feel a charge building. A spurt of energy…
…I was going to see… what Old Man had to say…
What. The. Freaking. Hell.
Back to the drawing board.
Wish me well! 🙂