Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Drop the Needle: Death #9

TITLE: Sad Girl

Kat's mom was 6 months pregnant, and the baby died.

My mother was sleeping, but the baby was dead.

I was in an unused patient room with two nurses. I might have been in shock, and they were hanging around to make sure that I wasn't going to freak out.

Then they started talking about my mom.

"Your mother is going to be very sad for a while. It might be a long time."

"Your mother will have a difficult recovery."

"Your mother will need a lot of support."

The two nurses surrounded me, talking at me. Words, just words. Didn't they know that our baby was dead? My new baby brother was dead, before he even had a chance. I didn't even get to see him, and they were talking to me about how I needed to be strong and to support my mother and Steve. Couldn't they see that I was a teenager? What could I do?

I couldn't wait to get them out of my face.

I nodded and agreed.

Finally they left me alone.

My baby brother was dead.

It must have been about dinner time.

The sun was weak. It was trying to shine in through the window, but its rays were weak. The sun was giving up. It couldn't figure out why it should keep on shining when babies died without even having a chance.

The room started closing in on me.

I had to find Danny.


  1. I really like this. NPR just had an interview with someone who discussed teenage grieving at the loss of loved ones, and how adults often don't understand what they're going through. You do a great job of capturing that. Nice voice.

  2. Ooh, reading this scene gave me goosebumps. I love how your writing made me feel like the sad girl was completely real, just like she could be the girl next door. I wish I could provide some kind of critique, but... wow... great job!

  3. I felt the terrible saddness, too. Very real.

  4. Incredibly moving! The understated first line almost made me cry. The tone of this feels just perfect, given the narrator and what I think is the situation (Steve was her stepfather, I assume).

    My only nit: "Couldn't they see that I was a teenager? What could I do?" Given the situation, it would sound more natural to me if she thought instead, "Couldn't they see I was a kid? What could I do?"


  5. What I really loved about this scene was that it's incredibly realistic and relatable. I really liked it - but I agree with the above comment. "Couldn't they see that I was a kid?" would sound better to me. :)

  6. To be flat honest, I had to have a full glass of scotch in me just to read this based on the 'info sentence' because my identical twin sister is five days away from her projected due date...

    That said, I LOVED it. It was simple and terrifyingly believable. I cannot articulate my adoration for the last paragraph about the sun giving up.

  7. I really loved it - loved the teenager just wanting to be left alone - loved the visceral connection she felt to her brother. She didn't just see a miscarriage, that was clearly her brother who died. Nicely done.

  8. This is a personal comment - the emotion here is so real. As the sister of a dead sibling, it is so hard to be the one who has to be strong for a grieving mother...when you want to be comforted as well. Well done conveying that sense of unwanted/
    unspoken responsibility.

    IMO, I don't think you need the comment "Couldn't they see I was only a teenager? What could I do?" I think going straight to I couldn't wait to get them out of my face makes a bigger impact.

    Also, great imagery in the sun paragraph, but lose one reference it being weak - the first one? Just start with The sun was trying...

    Great job. I want to read on!

  9. This is full of emotion and I felt the MC's pain. I agree that some adults don't often think of a teenager as suffering through death too. It's hard to be strong sometimes. Love the paragraph on the sun being weak. Nice job.