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Bag of Stones – Flash Fiction

May 28, 2016

Bag of Stones

Millie tried to sit up in her bed, but her whole body felt heavy. She’d been carrying around this bag of stones for months now. Each day it felt like some invisible hand added another one. Soon, she feared she would completely collapse from the weight of it. She sighed and fell back upon the mattress. Her head clipped the headboard and she cried out in pain.

“Millie? What’s wrong?”

Her mother rushed into the room, a worried look on her face. She circled the bed and sat down beside Millie.

“I just bumped my head, Mom.”

Her mother sighed. “Are you sure that’s all?”

Millie nodded. She didn’t want her mom to fret over her needlessly. “Just my head.”

“Nothing else hurts?”

Of course… her entire body ached, but that was nothing new. She accepted her fate. She was paralyzed.

“Don’t worry, mom. I’m okay.”

Her mom ran a hand across Millie’s arm. “Maybe I should call the doctor.”

“There’s nothing the doctor can do. Can you just help me sit up?”

Her mother nodded. There really wasn’t anything the doctor could do. Millie had a rare disease that mimicked polio. Until the cause and a vaccine were discovered, the best they could do was to keep Millie comfortable. Her mother gently tugged on Millie’s arms until her daughter sat upright in the bed. She piled a few pillows behind her head, and then bent over her, kissing Millie’s forehead.

“Your new motorized chair will be here tomorrow. You can go back to school in the fall.”

Millie flashed her mom a faint smile. It would be good to be out of the house. She hated the leg braces and the walker. Kids teased her over them. She came home each day in tears. Finally, her mom decided to home-school her until arrangements could be made for the motorized chair. Maybe the kids wouldn’t be so cruel next year. Millie could only hope.

“Tomorrow, we’ll go to the park. Would you like that?”

Millie nodded. She loved her mom’s enthusiasm. She wanted to be happy too, but she knew her life would never be the same. She wouldn’t be able to play sports like before. No more dance classes. No gymnastics. Another stone fell into her bag.

©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

Each day in May, I will be participating in the StoryADay in May. Here is the prompt for May 23rd (I am late due to illness):

Via Julie – Story focusing on one consistent tone

(note: I tried to keep this in a solemn tone. This girl’s life has changed forever in just a couple of months and at the moment, she feels despondent over it.)

  1. She’s got good reason to be 😦

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