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Roobearrr
April 27th, 2014, 03:56 PM
Chapter One

Lauren could hear the rhythmic beeping of a machine next to her, it was soothing but then she wondered what it was. Nothing beeped like that in her house. The bed she was laid on felt funny, it didn’t feel like her soft luxurious king size bed at home. She tried to open her eyes but they felt too heavy, her body wanted to sleep but her mind was too worried. She couldn’t remember what she did this morning or where she was meant to be going but she had the feeling that she needed to be home tonight. The beeping noise had increased. Something warm was clasped around her left hand, she tried to pull her hand away but it wouldn’t move. Her eyelids felt less heavy, she knew that soon she would be able to open them. The warmth moved from her hand, where had it gone? Her ears were misbehaving too; everything was muffled apart from the increased beeping right near her head. Finally her eyes opened much too slowly for Lauren’s liking. At first all she could see was blurred beige, she blinked feverishly trying to get them to clear. Soon she could see clearly from her right eye but her left was being sluggish. She saw a man running out of the room she was in, she didn’t recognise him, why was he running? She was right about the bed; she was lying on a flat hard hospital bed with a thin beige blanket placed over her. Someone had tucked her in at the sides. The beeping was ever increasing and she realised that it was in time with her franticly beating heart.

It wasn’t long until someone entered the room; she was tall, slim & brunette. Lauren felt like she should make some remark about the wart on the woman’s face but another part of her was asking, why should she?
“Hello Lauren, my name is Dr Fisher” She pointed to a name badge pinned to her chest. Lauren’s eyes followed but all she saw was a bunch of letters. “But please call me Angela.” Angela sat down on the plastic chair next to the bed. She looked like she was waiting for Lauren to say something back but Lauren couldn’t think of what to say. “Okay.” She paused and took the file from the back of the hospital bed and got a pen out from her top pocket, “I’m going to ask you some questions, answer if you can but don’t worry if you can’t.” Lauren nodded slightly, her eyes wide with confusion. She had her own questions buzzing around her brain but she didn’t know how to ask them. “Do you know what day it is?” Lauren thought for a moment and then shook her head in defeat. Angela scribbled something down on the paper. “Do you know what year it is?” Lauren was sure she knew what year it was, was it 1989? No, that didn’t sound right. Maybe 2011? Lauren was chewing her bottom lip really concentrating until she shook her head again. None of them sounded right. Angela wrote something down again, her face calm. “How old are you?” I must know this, Lauren thought, the answer came to her so quickly it was a shock. Lauren opened her mouth to answer, but only the right side of her mouth obeyed. She dismissed it as she was so keen to get an answer right.
“Twenty-five.” Her voice was hoarse from lack of use, but Lauren didn’t know that and it took her by surprise. It felt weird only talking out of one side of my mouth, thought Lauren. Then she began to ponder about the rest of her body. You could barely make it out under the blanket; it was like she was wasting away. Her stomach was flat; Lauren had a little niggle in a brain like she knew that her stomach shouldn’t be flat, but why? She was becoming more and more frustrated.

“Thank you Lauren.” Angela’s voice broke the silence, “Now I’m going to do some simple physical tests with you.” Lauren nodded in response. “Okay, firstly are you in any pain?” Lauren shook her head and Angela’s face screwed up whilst she frantically wrote something down. Am I meant to be in pain? Lauren questioned herself. Angela got a small torch out of her top pocket and told Lauren to follow the light, Lauren obeyed. In fact Lauren obeyed all the orders Angela gave her, but her body didn’t. When she was asked to lift her left arm or left leg she couldn’t. No matter how much she willed them to move, they wouldn’t. Once Angela had finished, she sat back down and looked at Lauren. “Do you have any questions Lauren?”
Lauren knew what question she needed to ask but she was scared of the answer. She knew she needed to find out and she knew it was best to get it over with. Maybe the answer would answer all the other questions flying around in her head. She took a deep breath and asked “What happened to me?” Again her voice was rough but at least she expected it this time. Angela closed her eyes for a bit too long and when she opened them they were full of sympathy.
“You’ve been in a coma.” She replaced the file and put away her pen and torch then held onto Lauren’s hand. Lauren was unsure of whether it was for her benefit or Angela’s. “You went for a run and suffered a severe stroke.”
Lauren couldn’t comprehend what she was hearing, even more questions poured into her head. She felt like it was going to explode at any second. Why couldn’t she remember? Why couldn’t she think about what her life was like before this happened? How long has it been? She opted for the latter.
“How long have I been in a coma?”
“Well, this is a most unusual case. I haven’t had a case like yours in my whole 30 years of being a Doctor!” She looked anxious, “I’m afraid it has been 12 years Lauren.”

***

That day was the only day Lauren could remember as clear as day. Everything before that was still and probably will forever be a blur. Lauren spent a further two years in rehabilitation. It was gruelling to say the least. Her physically recovery was, as the doctors said, miraculous. To begin with Lauren couldn’t walk, talk, eat or do pretty much anything by herself but after only a matter of months she was doing it all on her own apart from using a stick for longer walks. It wasn’t the physical side that was the problem though; it was the psychological. If you knew Lauren before the stroke you wouldn’t recognise her now. She was withdrawn. She didn’t engage with anyone, not even her own mother, unless she was spoken to. Even then her responses were emotionless. No-one understood the turmoil that was going on inside her mind. She still couldn’t find her equilibrium in this whirlwind. She was constantly expecting some miracle flashback to occur when she did things and everything would go back to normal. Everyone was telling her about how she used to be, fun-loving and a bit of a bitch, but that wasn’t who she was anymore. She no longer felt the need to be nasty about people, she no longer felt the need to cover her face in make-up and she no longer felt the love for life. That person was a ghost to her now and it seemed that everyone wanted that Lauren and not the new one.
She was in her bland room one day when one of the nurses entered, she didn’t know her name, and she never bothered learning them. “You’re being discharged today, Lauren,” She had said in a chirpy voice. Lauren vaguely remembered being told a few days ago about this but she never truly believed it. How on earth was she ready for the world beyond this rehab centre? Sure, it wasn’t much but to her, it was the only home she ever knew. Her mother was to pick her up in two hours, so she had to pack up her belongings and say any goodbyes she wanted by then. That almost made her laugh but that was another thing she didn’t do. It wasn’t because the left side of her face was still paralysed; it was because she had never done it. She saw others doing it and wondered what it would feel like, for all Lauren felt was sadness and complete confusion 24/7. She had nothing to feel happy about, she couldn’t remember any memories and since the accident nothing good has happened to her.

Lauren was going to moving in with her mum and her mum’s new husband. Her mum didn’t soften the blow when delivering the news about her parents divorcing. In fact, it was one of the first things she told Lauren about. They had crumbled under the strain of looking after her, as her mother had bluntly put it. She told her that her father wanted to ‘pull the plug ages ago’ but she wouldn’t allow it and that was the final straw, she moved out and found comfort in Ian’s arms. Lauren was yet to meet Ian, but by the sounds of it she didn’t want to. Then her loving mother went on to tell her about Luke. A man who Lauren couldn’t even remember how he looked but was apparently madly in love with. She was told that he also couldn’t hack the strain and left her. Every time Lauren asked more about him, her mum changed the subject very quickly. After that her mum updated her on Bethany, her sister, who had turned to drugs after the trauma of Lauren. Every word that left her mouth sent Lauren deeper into her depression.

The only breath of fresh air was her weekly visit from Hannah, the only friend to visit her after the accident. Well at least she thought so; her memory wasn’t very good anymore. Hannah would visit every Thursday at 11 o’clock and not a minute later. Lauren lived for Thursdays.

Apple Ice
April 27th, 2014, 10:49 PM
Hello Roobear,

I started reading and was sure I recognised this story and just remembered I read the prologue of this some time back.

The first thing I thought was, are people allowed to be in comas for 12 years? Do you know if that's realistic? I'm not sure myself, it might be.

The biggest problem is that the second part is one big and rushed info dump. It's almost as if someone else who's not as interested in the story has written it. The last paragraph of it is good I thought, but the rest could be done a lot better. You skipped over her rehabilitation which I thought would have been a major part in the story as it is a massive change and 2 years is a massive amount of time for something like that. It just doesn't feel natural to skip over.

Other than the last part I thought it was good and well written. Just work a bit on that last part and address the time spacing issue then you'll be golden.

Roobearrr
April 28th, 2014, 07:23 AM
Thanks for the input. It was meant to be 7 years, must have forgotten to change it. It is unrealistic to survive a coma for so long however I'm using a bit of artistic liscence, it's fiction not non-fiction after all :)
I am going to change the 'info-dump' section later on, I just struggled with writers block for ages so I thought I would write a temporary one until the words came to me.
Thank you for the comments :)

Pork Sausage
April 29th, 2014, 02:23 PM
Hi Roobearr.
I enjoyed the first paragraph, I like it when my mind searches for the story with each new word, and this happened here. What's going on? Where is she? What happened?
I agree with the comment below/above on the second paragraph though . My advice would be don't hit submit it if your not happy with it. I want to review the finished thing. Im not an expert but I have an issue this sentence 'That day was the only day Lauren could remember as clear as day' Read it over, is there a word that appears too often?
Also I think you addressed the reader directly with the 'If you knew Lauren' bit. but the rest of the piece wasn't written in the same way. I'm not sure what its called,(omnipresent is it? ) but I think its a POV issue that would confuse a reader, i'm sure there is someone here that could elaborate. But it could be just me that's confused.
You can be in a coma for much longer than 8 years. Just saw a program on it. It depends on the family as to how long they keep hoping.

W M Gardner
June 3rd, 2014, 06:01 AM
I like the description. Your imagery is very good. Keep it up.

son_of_lockman
June 25th, 2014, 06:22 PM
Chapter One

Lauren could hear the rhythmic beeping of a machine next to her, it was soothing but then she wondered what it was. Nothing beeped like that in her house. The bed she was laid on felt funny, it didn’t feel like her soft luxurious king size bed at home. She tried to open her eyes but they felt too heavy, her body wanted to sleep but her mind was too worried. She couldn’t remember what she did this morning or where she was meant to be going but she had the feeling that she needed to be home tonight. The beeping noise had increased. Something warm was clasped around her left hand, she tried to pull her hand away but it wouldn’t move. Her eyelids felt less heavy, she knew that soon she would be able to open them. The warmth moved from her hand, where had it gone? Her ears were misbehaving too; everything was muffled apart from the increased beeping right near her head. Finally her eyes opened much too slowly for Lauren’s liking. At first all she could see was blurred beige, she blinked feverishly trying to get them to clear. Soon she could see clearly from her right eye but her left was being sluggish. She saw a man running out of the room she was in, she didn’t recognise him, why was he running? She was right about the bed; she was lying on a flat hard hospital bed with a thin beige blanket placed over her. Someone had tucked her in at the sides. The beeping was ever increasing and she realised that it was in time with her franticly beating heart.

It wasn’t long until someone entered the room; she was tall, slim & brunette. Lauren felt like she should make some remark about the wart on the woman’s face but another part of her was asking, why should she?
“Hello Lauren, my name is Dr Fisher” She pointed to a name badge pinned to her chest. Lauren’s eyes followed but all she saw was a bunch of letters. “But please call me Angela.” Angela sat down on the plastic chair next to the bed. She looked like she was waiting for Lauren to say something back but Lauren couldn’t think of what to say. “Okay.” She paused and took the file from the back of the hospital bed and got a pen out from her top pocket, “I’m going to ask you some questions, answer if you can but don’t worry if you can’t.” Lauren nodded slightly, her eyes wide with confusion. She had her own questions buzzing around her brain but she didn’t know how to ask them. “Do you know what day it is?” Lauren thought for a moment and then shook her head in defeat. Angela scribbled something down on the paper. “Do you know what year it is?” Lauren was sure she knew what year it was, was it 1989? No, that didn’t sound right. Maybe 2011? Lauren was chewing her bottom lip really concentrating until she shook her head again. None of them sounded right. Angela wrote something down again, her face calm. “How old are you?” I must know this, Lauren thought, the answer came to her so quickly it was a shock. Lauren opened her mouth to answer, but only the right side of her mouth obeyed. She dismissed it as she was so keen to get an answer right.
“Twenty-five.” Her voice was hoarse from lack of use, but Lauren didn’t know that and it took her by surprise. It felt weird only talking out of one side of my mouth, thought Lauren. Then she began to ponder about the rest of her body. You could barely make it out under the blanket; it was like she was wasting away. Her stomach was flat; Lauren had a little niggle in a brain like she knew that her stomach shouldn’t be flat, but why? She was becoming more and more frustrated.

“Thank you Lauren.” Angela’s voice broke the silence, “Now I’m going to do some simple physical tests with you.” Lauren nodded in response. “Okay, firstly are you in any pain?” Lauren shook her head and Angela’s face screwed up whilst she frantically wrote something down. Am I meant to be in pain? Lauren questioned herself. Angela got a small torch out of her top pocket and told Lauren to follow the light, Lauren obeyed. In fact Lauren obeyed all the orders Angela gave her, but her body didn’t. When she was asked to lift her left arm or left leg she couldn’t. No matter how much she willed them to move, they wouldn’t. Once Angela had finished, she sat back down and looked at Lauren. “Do you have any questions Lauren?”
Lauren knew what question she needed to ask but she was scared of the answer. She knew she needed to find out and she knew it was best to get it over with. Maybe the answer would answer all the other questions flying around in her head. She took a deep breath and asked “What happened to me?” Again her voice was rough but at least she expected it this time. Angela closed her eyes for a bit too long and when she opened them they were full of sympathy.
“You’ve been in a coma.” She replaced the file and put away her pen and torch then held onto Lauren’s hand. Lauren was unsure of whether it was for her benefit or Angela’s. “You went for a run and suffered a severe stroke.”
Lauren couldn’t comprehend what she was hearing, even more questions poured into her head. She felt like it was going to explode at any second. Why couldn’t she remember? Why couldn’t she think about what her life was like before this happened? How long has it been? She opted for the latter.
“How long have I been in a coma?”
“Well, this is a most unusual case. I haven’t had a case like yours in my whole 30 years of being a Doctor!” She looked anxious, “I’m afraid it has been 12 years Lauren.”

***

That day was the only day Lauren could remember as clear as day. Everything before that was still and probably will forever be a blur. Lauren spent a further two years in rehabilitation. It was gruelling to say the least. Her physically recovery was, as the doctors said, miraculous. To begin with Lauren couldn’t walk, talk, eat or do pretty much anything by herself but after only a matter of months she was doing it all on her own apart from using a stick for longer walks. It wasn’t the physical side that was the problem though; it was the psychological. If you knew Lauren before the stroke you wouldn’t recognise her now. She was withdrawn. She didn’t engage with anyone, not even her own mother, unless she was spoken to. Even then her responses were emotionless. No-one understood the turmoil that was going on inside her mind. She still couldn’t find her equilibrium in this whirlwind. She was constantly expecting some miracle flashback to occur when she did things and everything would go back to normal. Everyone was telling her about how she used to be, fun-loving and a bit of a bitch, but that wasn’t who she was anymore. She no longer felt the need to be nasty about people, she no longer felt the need to cover her face in make-up and she no longer felt the love for life. That person was a ghost to her now and it seemed that everyone wanted that Lauren and not the new one.
She was in her bland room one day when one of the nurses entered, she didn’t know her name, and she never bothered learning them. “You’re being discharged today, Lauren,” She had said in a chirpy voice. Lauren vaguely remembered being told a few days ago about this but she never truly believed it. How on earth was she ready for the world beyond this rehab centre? Sure, it wasn’t much but to her, it was the only home she ever knew. Her mother was to pick her up in two hours, so she had to pack up her belongings and say any goodbyes she wanted by then. That almost made her laugh but that was another thing she didn’t do. It wasn’t because the left side of her face was still paralysed; it was because she had never done it. She saw others doing it and wondered what it would feel like, for all Lauren felt was sadness and complete confusion 24/7. She had nothing to feel happy about, she couldn’t remember any memories and since the accident nothing good has happened to her.

Lauren was going to moving in with her mum and her mum’s new husband. Her mum didn’t soften the blow when delivering the news about her parents divorcing. In fact, it was one of the first things she told Lauren about. They had crumbled under the strain of looking after her, as her mother had bluntly put it. She told her that her father wanted to ‘pull the plug ages ago’ but she wouldn’t allow it and that was the final straw, she moved out and found comfort in Ian’s arms. Lauren was yet to meet Ian, but by the sounds of it she didn’t want to. Then her loving mother went on to tell her about Luke. A man who Lauren couldn’t even remember how he looked but was apparently madly in love with. She was told that he also couldn’t hack the strain and left her. Every time Lauren asked more about him, her mum changed the subject very quickly. After that her mum updated her on Bethany, her sister, who had turned to drugs after the trauma of Lauren. Every word that left her mouth sent Lauren deeper into her depression.

The only breath of fresh air was her weekly visit from Hannah, the only friend to visit her after the accident. Well at least she thought so; her memory wasn’t very good anymore. Hannah would visit every Thursday at 11 o’clock and not a minute later. Lauren lived for Thursdays.

I like the beginning as she's alone and thinking in the house. I also like stories with episodes. :)