Prepping for Nanowrimo… by writing short stories.

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So as many of you may or may not know, I am planning on taking part in Nanowrimo in November. I am planning to do so to write the first draft of something potentially resembling a novel. I am not sure yet (like really at all) what I am going to write my novel about, but I hope that Nanowrimo will give me the motivation to keep writing (50,000 words in November) and hopefully some of those are half decent.

So basically because I don’t really have a concrete idea for a novel, my preparation for the month of writing is taking its form by me writing short stories when I can in the lead up, to help me better fiction writer, which is a little outside of my depths usually.

This is my progress from tonight, a 1200 odd word story, that I hope makes some kind of sense. I would appreciate if anyone wants to have a read and let me know what you think. The whole idea of Nanowrimo and my writing style in general really is to write stuff that is horribly unedited, in the hope of editing it into something better, sometimes getting the words down onto the paper is the hardest part. So have a read and let me know what you think.

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Comfortable.

“He will be as comfortable as possible” – she never understood why people would say that. Did it bring relief to the person that was dying, or was it something that we delude ourselves into considering because it just makes dealing with what is happening easier?
Because ‘as comfortable as possible’ was meant to be some kind of sick, messed up consolation. I haven’t died yet, I’m not sure that anyone has and has lived to tell the tale of what it’s like to die, so how can you say “he will be as comfortable as possible” to me like it’s some kind of succour?

You don’t know what it feels like to die, to even be that close to death, wasting away until you are a shell of your former self. How can you tell me it will be as comfortable as possible?
Death is just one of these things that we don’t like to talk about. We think of it as this inevitable fate that awaits us, but yet, we push it aside because it’s not happening right now. There is no pressing fear each and every day when you wake up that you might die, so we don’t take it seriously.

If you knew exactly when you were going to die, she thought, what would you change about your life?

She sat by his hospital bed, slumped over the end, perching on the side of a chair. It was the same place that she lived her days for what now felt like a lifetime, but it had only been about six weeks. Life can change in an instant and become something that you never thought it could be. This can be a good thing, but sometimes things happen, completely out of control, that will just come in and flip a table on the future you thought you could have.

It’s funny how she always considered her freedoms, those little things that we achieve on a day to day basis, as something that is just a given. These are the kind of things that she thinks about every single day, this is the kind of life that she would dream about having, just a normal, ordinary life.

While she always considered herself to be the kind of person that seized the day, carpe diem and all that rubbish, this situation had her guilted with regret.

The day that she met him for the first time seemed like any other day. He seemed like any other person, not that she didn’t feel for him, she was just careful. Jumping in all guns blazing right away had been detrimental in the past, so she decided to take the advice that people unwillingly always share with you when you get into another serious relationship after you have had your heart broken; take it slow, you have plenty of time.

Don’t wish your life away. Plenty of time. And here we are.

A few short months after they first met, this is what they had become. Her head resting on the side of the pillow at the foot of his bed, she was accustom to sleeping with her back in a twist each night. She just wanted to be there. The somber lullaby of the life support machine aided her drift off to sleep, it was reassurance that he was still going to be there in the morning.

The metronomic beeps were engrained in her mind, even when she left. She got up to walk to the vending machine to eat another one of her ‘hospital dinners’ consisting of a chocolate bar and a can of Diet Coke. Every night like clockwork she left the room for ten minutes or so, walking down the hall of intensive care, her eyes darting left and right as she walked further down the hall, catching glimpses of the people, the families who, just like her were spending another night, just so they could be next to the people that they cared about.

She came back, the combination smell of hospital bleach and Diet Coke filling the closed up room, settling in for another night of sleepless worry. She pulled the chair up close next to his bed to settle in for the night. The plastic foam of the mattress abruptly shook as she moved the chair and for a split second she could have sworn that his eyes opened.

This has happened a few times, more so in the last few weeks, the nurses and doctors just put it down to her lack of sleep. The flood of unappreciated advice was never far away: you should just go home, get on with you life. He hasn’t shown any response in weeks and the “we will make him as comfortable as possible” conversation was something that happened more often than not, so you should just go home.

She knew that it was crazy, I mean, really, she had known him for little more than six months before the accident. Ever since then, her days blurred into one another. The first time she thought she had lost him, had struck her harder than she thought it would have.
She didn’t want to feel as attached as she did, but she couldn’t shake the feeling that this person that she met might just wind up being the one that she wanted to keep around. She always banked on the fact that they had all this time and that all this time was always going to be there and because of that, she found herself holding back telling him how she really felt. It was so much easier to keep her feelings about him to herself. That way there was no chance that she was going to get hurt, and hey, there was always going to be plenty of time wasn’t there.

It didn’t seem like much, but rescheduling a date to her used to be a common occurrence. They were always going to have plenty of time, because that is how we think of time; limitless. We don’t think of change, we don’t think of death and the possibility of loss because it’s just too uncomfortable.

She sat down next to him, carefully placing down the open can of Diet Coke and half eaten chocolate bar on top of the table that stretched across the middle of his bed. Beeping continues.
Before the accident, she never told him that she loved him. She didn’t want to tell him now, but she wanted him to know. She wanted to know what he would have said back. She hated that she felt like she missed her chance. Beeping continues.

It’s all irrelevant, the past, isn’t it, she thought. What she wouldn’t give for him to just turn over and whisper something in her ear. As she is sitting beside him, she reaches her hand towards his, interlocking his fingers with hers. Beeping continues.

I know if you could snap both your fingers, she whispered, that you’d escape with me, we would go everywhere we talked about. But in the meantime, I’ll just wait here and listen to you. I will keep listening to you until you say something. Beeping stops.

Within seconds of the ceasing beep, a flood of doctors and nurses swarm the room. In the frenzy of new machines beeping and a pile tube and needles, all of a sudden, a deafening silence overcomes the room. A nurse gently places his hand upon her shoulder.

“At least he was as comfortable as possible”.

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