Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Prompt: Make-Believe Princess, Part 2

Some days later, Miriam woke from her nap and climbed down from her big-girl princess bed. She found her mother crying on the living room sofa. Miriam crawled in her lap and hugged her without speaking.

“We’re going to go visit Auntie Karen in the hospital, honey. Do you remember she’s very sick?”

Miriam rested her head on her mother’s chest and listened to her heart beat. “She has cancer. You told me there’s a tumor on her back that’s getting bigger.”

“That’s right, honey. The doctor’s can’t do anything about it.”

Miriam wore her princess gown and took her wand to the hospital. She danced in the halls and curtsied to everyone she passed. Some people smiled. Some waved. Some ignored her. Her mother was too sad to pay attention.

In Aunt Karen’s room, Miriam curtsied to the nurse who was changing the saline bag hanging on a pole by Aunt Karen’s bed. Miriam waved her wand, following the looping tube from the bag down to the needle in Aunt Karen’s hand. When the nurse left, she climbed up on the bed and gave her aunt a gentle hug. She settled in to her aunt’s arm on the other side from the medicine. Her mother kissed Karen on the forehead and sat in the chair, eyes red and lips trembling.

Miriam tugged at Karen’s free hand resting on her hip, and when she raised it, began clapping a rhythm against it with her other hand.

“Miriam!” her mother said sharply. But Karen waved her away and continued the clapping game until she tired and tucked her arm around Miriam in a soft hug. “Thank you, baby. I think I’ll sleep now, for awhile.”

Miriam knelt and leaned over, pressing little kisses against her cheeks, forehead, and lips. Her mother picked her up off the bed as she leaned down to kiss her sister.

Did Karen feel better? Sleep more soundly than she usually could with machines hissing and beeping and nurses interrupting? Did the pain lessen? Did the tumor shrink at all? We don’t know. This is not her story. This is Miriam’s story…

Dogs in House
Houdini, Malachi

Time writing
~40 minutes

March word count

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