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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by JD on February 19, 2011
"Just a nice sampling of Life 101."

High School Horror

It was my senior year, a time of much emotional turmoil. It's sort of ironic that such a happy time can be so horribly sad.
It was Saturday morning, December 12, and I was leaving my house to go take the ACT. When I walked past my parents' bedroom, my dad called me my sister's name.
"Barbara?" he said.
First of all, it was not like my dad to be in the bed at 7:30 in the monring. He had always been an early riser, even if it meant sitting at the kitchen table playing solitaire and listening to talk radio.
"I'm not Barbara," I told him.
"See you later," he said.
He was still in the bed when I came back after my test, and I began to worry. My mother told me that he had been talking out of his head all morning, and that he absolutely refused to go to the doctor.
I had thoughts. Maybe it was a relapse of malaria from his visit to the tropics in the military years before. Or maybe it was pneumonia.
I tried to talk him into letting us take him to the ER, but he said no. Mom called Dr. Ellis, who lived a few streets over, and asked if he could possibly do a house call. He said that he would try to work it in on his way home from the golf course.
He finally came over and all he said was that my dad had "some congestion in the lungs."
He gave him a prescription for cough syrup and that was it.
I went to school Monday and came home for lunch. One of our senior privileges was open lunch. Anyway, I read a note that my mom had left on the kithcen tab,le: "Gone to take take your dad to the Air Base hospital. Come straight home."
When I got back from school, my mom was there and she said, "Let's get in the car and go to the hospital."
It was so strange to see my dad laid up in a hospital bed with tubes in his arm and nostrils. He looked at my mom and asked, "Well, honey...what do I have -- pneumonia or luncg cancer?"
I interjected, "You sure don't have cancer, Dad."
About that time a nurse came in and asked us if we had talked to the doctor yet. Her expression was serious and I got a knot in my stomach that frightened the hell out of me.
The doctor came is and asked my mom and I to come into a tiny conference room. He wasted no time.
"I'm sorry to tell you that your hussband has terminal lung cancer. I am so sorry..."
The doctor kept talking but after he said "terminal lung cancer," I didn't hear anotner word.
My mother and I left the hospital, both dazed, totally dumbfounded. He was asleep and we knew that we had to tell my sister who was pregnant with her first baby.
My dad died January 6, just a few weeks later, in a VA hospital in Jackson, Mississippi. I was watching "Hawaii 5-0" when my mom and aunt Sarah arrived home after he had died that day. She told me the news, and I can remember retreating to my bedroom. It was the worst day of my life, the worst day ever. Some senior year.

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