“Monday” Writing Prompt #5

Get your creative juices flowing with a weekly short essay prompt:

Begin your essay with the following sentences: “Alma wanted nothing more than to tell him how she really felt about him before he died. She held the gun steady while she looked for the words.”

Email your 300 – 500 word short essay to me by 10: 00 a.m. on Monday, October 13, and I’ll post my favorite with next Monday’s writing prompt!

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Thank you to all the entries in last week’s Monday Writing Prompt! You can read last week’s favorite by Jane Bryant below:

“I’m sorry, what?” I ask the woman who is suddenly sitting next to me on the only occupied bench in the park.

“My mother’s in the heart hospital,” she says like we know each other and nods toward the building behind us. I give a quick sympathetic nod and return to my reading.

“She’s eighty-two. Has nine kids.” she says, “Thursday she had heart surgery.”

A cursory glance at the stranger reveals a familiar looking high-functioning stressed out middle-aged woman with a cell phone in each hand, a Queen sized pillow stuffed on her lap, a bag over her arm and two purses at her feet. I need to quit coming here to think, I think.

“Early this morning the hospital calls. Says her heart stopped twice during the night. So, they put a pace maker in.”

“That’s too bad,” I say, gathering my papers for the escape.

“Then my sister calls all concerned,” the woman tells me. “Says mom has a DNR, do not resuscitate. She wants to know how they got her heart going again. Probably with CPR, I tell her. They can’t do that when there’s a DNR she says. I say, ‘Dawn, there are levels. DNR is for people who can’t live without breathing tubes and stuff. It’s not for the first time in your life when your heart stops.’”

“What did she say to that?” I venture to ask ashamed that I am both appalled and amused.

“I don’t think there are levels, she says. There are levels I say. They were able to put a pacemaker in.”

“You’re right. There are levels,” I tell her.

She nods, grateful for my confirmation, and goes on, “So I ask her, ‘what do you want to do, protest the pacemaker? You want me to run in there and rip it out of her chest, say she has a DNR, they’re suppose to let her die?’”

I picture the scene in my head and nod for her to continue.

“Then my brother calls,” she says, “he’s all serious, asking how mom is. Fine, I say. ‘Good’ he says, ‘you know I just haven’t known what to do. With this Stock Market crash I couldn’t decide to keep my money in or pull it out. So I asked myself, if I had money today would I put it in the Market? No. And you know what? Thursday I pulled it out and Friday it dropped 700 points!’”

One of her phones ring and she flips it open, “Hey Mark. Mom’s doing great.” She listens. “They’re going to discharge her on tomorrow,” she says rising to talk and pace behind the bench with pillow in hand and a finger plugging her free ear.

I lean back straining to eavesdrop and hear her say, ‘Dawn insists mom stay with her.’ Immediately I dig out my phone and dial the office. “Casey? Margaret. Change the discharge orders for Mrs. Hansen in room 312. She’s going to mandatory rehab for two weeks. Minimum.”

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