"Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish."~John Jakes

Friday, January 7, 2011

Red Writing Hood: The Blizzard of '94

"And we will be right back after this commercial break," the news announcer exclaimed. Becca took her eyes off the television and moved to the back of the cafe to clear off another table as Jimmy turned the volume down and counted the till. Clanking was heard from the back where Zachary, the young dishwasher, was stacking the clean dishes.

Diminished with time, the "Garrett loves Becca" that had been engraved in the table so long ago, still managed to catch her eye despite its fading. Emitting a long sigh, she finished polishing the antique wood of the table and booth while her mind carried her away, remembering...

Falls Run Hospital was far enough away that it was no easy feat driving there in a blizzard, but babies had no patience when they decided it was time to arrive. Garrett stayed as close behind the ambulance as he could, but he was thankful that Becca was not in the car with him. Heavy in labor when the paramedics arrived, he was grateful that she was in good hands because the going was so slow. Inclement weather aside, the drive to the hospital was long enough under normal conditions and his concern over their arriving in time grew.

Jimmy had been called at the cafe, where he had an apartment on the top floor, and would be ready with a thermos of hot coffee. Keystone Cafe was located in the heart of the small town. Lined up on the same corner as the hospital, it was within easy walking distance of the hospital's front lobby. Men and women, mostly doctors and nurses, flowed continuously out of the hospital on a regular basis making up the main percentage of the cafe's business, but today, the storm kept them all inside, settling for the hospital's bland cafeteria food and flat coffee instead. Nobody was foolish enough to brave the blizzard, not even to take the few steps to the cafe's front door, so Garrett was looking forward to hot coffee and good company, once Becca was settled.

Obstacles of an unknown nature filled his path, and he lost sight of the ambulance while trying to maneuver his way around them. Praying that she would arrive safely, his focus turned too late to the road ahead of him, and his car took a slide across the bridge and plunged him into the icy waters below.

Quieting the sirens as the ambulance approached the bay, the paramedics worked quickly to move Becca into the delivery ward. Records were broken as they ran her through the building, stopping only when she sat up and seized her heart, knowing in that instant her beloved was gone.

She sighed again as she read the names on the table, engraved there seventeen years before, tracing them again with the tip of her finger. Tears filled her eyes and splashed on the worn checkered linoleum tiles beneath her feet, and she fumbles with the child proof top of the little pill bottle she keeps around for times like this. Understanding still evaded her, and her heart still ached the same as it had the night he disappeared.

Visions of him flickered through her mind; silly dances here in the corner, and just over there, at the counter where he proposed. Weakening, she sat at the counter and let the memories wash through her, allowing herself to cry.  Xanax set in, and she returned to her duties, with her eyes red and swollen as one last memory comes.

"You have to name this boy to take him home," the nurse says, her caring eyes searching Becca's face carefully.
"Zachary, just as Garrett would have wanted," Becca answers as she gazes down at her newborn son, born the day his father died.






Constructive criticism is welcomed and appreciated.

--Stephanie, AKA The Drama Mama

21 comments:

  1. Wow.
    Just wow. I really loved this story.

    Okay, that's not helpful. I know X is the hardest letter to use but your word choice broke up the rhythm of your writing, making the word stick out like a sore thumb. Does "Xanax in hand...." work?

    Feel free to strike my comment.

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  2. Noted. Thanks for the tip! I worked it in. Great suggestion.

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  3. A heartbreaking story. I agree that as a whole, the letters flow naturally. I loved the flashback, and the way you weaved details about that little town in so seamlessly. Are you working on a novel about that diner? There's totally one there.

    Visiting from RDC

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  4. beautiful story telling. I agree with what has been said, it flowed so well.
    visiting from RDC

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  5. amazing post! I love how if you didn't highlight the letters? I would have forgotten that this was the alphabet prompt. Such a powerful post!

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  6. Great minds think alike! I highlighted my letters too :p

    This was really well done, it flows so well that like Sluiter Nation, I'd never have realized it was following the prompt.

    Visiting from Red Writing Hood

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  7. This is so beautiful and so sad! What an excellent piece of writing!

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  8. I see more growth in your writing every time I visit. Good job on a tough assignment.

    Stopping by from the red dress club.

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  9. I can see it all so clearly - the hospital, the storm, the....xanax. Very powerful piece.

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  10. We got to go so many places and through so much time in this short piece. The characters are very well developed and I was sad to get to Z.

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  11. Oh how awful I feel for Becca. And how much do I love that you used inclement weather. I have no idea why, but it's one of my favorite phrases. Amazing as ever...

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  12. I love that you have a dedicated site just for writing! How hard was it to write and work in every letter of the alphabet?

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  13. Love the new site, Stephanie! I liked this, how so much happened in such a short time.

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  14. Wow! That story gave me chills!!

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  15. The rhythm and flow are so peaceful. I hope it isn't a true one, Please?

    But, very peaceful and the Alphabet works effortlessly there.

    Thank you for the quietness with your post today.

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  16. Oh this is heart breaking. :-(

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  17. I really enjoyed reading this sad story!

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  18. Wow. What a heart-felt, sad story, I really liked it.

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  19. Loving the new site! It's something I've been thinking about doing, too.

    If the letters hadn't been highlighted, I would've never caught on to the alphabet - it flows beautifully!

    Love the story, but then again, I love all of your writing :)

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Leave me some critique and help me grow as a writer. I love me some readers and their comments!