Nameless Piece

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  1. #1

    Nameless Piece

    You’re an only child and you’ve never really experienced noise on the level that encompasses the first floor of your grandparents’ house. Your oldest cousin is playing a first-shooter video game with the volume all the way up, your second oldest cousin is squeaking away on her violin, and the youngest is tapping away a tune on the Organ. Meanwhile there’s a bustle in the kitchen as the adults talk about dinner and pretend that all is right with the world. They can’t hear the quiet over the cacophony, and it puts them at ease.

    You, on the other hand, feel drained. The noise grates on your nerves and settles in your belly like coal. You want peace and quiet, however going outside in the December chill is against your wishes. You head upstairs; the place nobody wants to think about. You consider taking up brief residency in one of the guest bedrooms, but alas they are all occupied with the belongings of those downstairs, and you’d much rather not be disturbed if they were to come and retrieve something.

    So, you take an immediate right turn at the top of the stairs and trod lightly into the room where your grandmother is dying.

    Dying , as in not actively living, but not gone just yet. Dying as in she is still breathing, but the grandma you knew and loved is mostly gone, traveling somewhere between your world and God’s arms. You’ve all stopped praying for a miracle at this point. No longer are the prayers “Please let her live” but “please take her gently”. Praying for her survival stopped on Thanksgiving when your papa had to stop in the middle of the prayer to step away and calm his heart. Your uncle, a typically quiet man amongst the family, picks up the prayer where his father-in-law left off, and that’s when you know this is the last Thanksgiving with grandma. She knew it too, and sat gracefully at her end of the table, having accepted her fate.

    You’ve known, perhaps, just a little bit longer than the others that she wouldn’t make it. You had a feeling when your mother told you six months earlier, because who survives cancer past the age of 70? However, just like the rest you prayed for a miracle. It was October when you asked your mother what the clothes in the back of the car are for. When you wouldn’t stop asking, your mother agitatedly answered, “They’re the clothes grandma wants to be buried in.”

    “Oh.” You said it so hollowly that it echoed through the stars in the night sky. It impaled the moon and left another dimple on it’s shiny surface.

    Regardless of this knowledge you still make your way into your grandma’s room where she has stayed since Thanksgiving night. She has not come down since and her health has declined so rapidly that communication with her is no longer feasible. She is paper mache bones wrapped in grey cloth that hugs her distended belly and sags against her failing organs. She’s covered in multiple blankets and is almost always on her back as she breathes and moans incoherent words.

    It’s quiet. There’s an elephant in the room, but it dares not speak because it knows everyone realizes it’s there. The sounds of the chaos downstairs sound so muddled, like you’ve dove underwater or have been swallowed at sea. Even Fox News on the small tv in the bedroom is soft on your ears when all it’s ever done has screamed nonsense.

    You lay down behind the sitting area, in front of the fake fireplace and next to the large drawing desk at the window. The rug beneath you has seen little traffic and it’s soft against your arms. You sigh, probably in tandem with your grandmother, and close your eyes.

    You recognize this moment as precious. Even though you aren’t talking, even though nobody’s eyes are open, and even though there is no animation, there is still a semblance of bonding. You’re laying with your grandma, albeit on the floor across the room, hidden behind chairs, rather than next to her in bed. You listen to the wheezing you’ve grown used to and the groans of discomfort and disorientation. She settles back into some sort of hibernation, and you try to do the same.

    It’s easy to exist and not exist within that small moment. It’s easy to forget the world downstairs, to drown in your own warm fatigue and let your eyelids droop over the blue eyes you inherited from your grandmother. There’s so little to take in, so little to experience if you just let it all go. With each noise your grandma makes you find yourself being drawn back, like a dog on the alert. She goes back to sleep and so do you.

    She is dying. There is no denying that at this point. You’ve accepted that, and you take this moment into your heart as a gift from God. One last moment with grandma, even if she doesn’t know it at least you will. Between the holiday rush, the constant company in the bedroom, and your school life there isn’t a lot of time for you to just be with her. To be honest, you’d been too afraid to be alone with her until then. How do you think and act around someone who’s slipping from your world and into the next?

    You’re only 16 and it baffles the fool out of you, this whole death thing.

    Still, you rest your heavy head on your arms and listen to the nothingness of Bill O’Reilly, and the elephant that whistles along with your grandma’s breaths.

    (Thanks for reading-- this thing definitely needs comma help!)
    Last edited by Miss-Riah; January 17th, 2019 at 07:32 AM. Reason: Formatting issue

  2. #2
    Member dither's Avatar
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    I don't know about needing help, let the nitpickers pick, but it's a good piece, a well written piece, and, for what it's worth, I liked it.

    Keep writing Miss Riah.
    If i post a comment on a "WIP", LOOK! I'm a reader that's all, and i can only tell how i feel, as a READER, giving/offering feedback. Hoping to learn and grow here. So please, tell me where i'm going wrong.

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  3. #3
    Nicely written well told. You did a great job of capturing the sounds and feelings of the moment. I am the wrong guy to help you with SPAG. All the important stuff is there, I read the story, more interested in what happened than the delivery.

    Welcome to the forum.
    Last edited by Plasticweld; January 27th, 2019 at 05:31 PM.
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

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  4. #4
    Ok. A nit...
    Anytime Grandma is what you call her capitalize. Anytime you call her a grandma you don't. For instance, my grandma and Hi, Grandma.

    And Bob, it's spag, not spam. Nicely done (good to see you up and around).

  5. #5
    Auto correct got me ? thanks
    God hates a coward Revelation 21:8

    “Good writin' ain't necessarily good readin'.”

    Hidden Content ,

    To encourage and facilitate "me"

  6. #6
    Presumably it is from personal experience, and so in non-fiction, in that case I think maybe it should be in first person and past tense, otherwise it looks like fiction.

    A nit
    "So, you take an immediate right turn at the top of the stairs and trod lightly into the room where your grandmother is dying."
    A change of tense in the middle, should be 'tread lightly'.

    "You had a feeling when your mother told you six months earlier, because who survives cancer past the age of 70?"
    You have been talking about her dying, so the first half of the sentence reads as though that is what your mother told you, that she is dying, then the reader has to switch ideas, try introducing the cancer earlier:- 'You had a feeling when your mother told you about the cancer six months earlier, because who survives that past the age of 70?' that sort of thing.

    " The sounds of the chaos downstairs sound so muddled," That the sounds sound is a bit obvious, (or sounds it ) try 'The sounds of the chaos downstairs are so muddled,'

    Again, I am afraid I am no real expert on punctuation, there were a couple of places that were arguable, but I could see why you did what you did, and you seem to use semi-colons correctly. If you have commas in lists and places where there is a slight pause reading aloud you won't go far wrong.
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  7. #7
    I feel like I want to comment on the content, but I'll abstain for now. Each person's loss is so personal.

    But your piece worked well not only in setting the scene, but your(?) feelings and observations. Thanks for sharing.

    "Now let's all agree, never to be creative again."

  8. #8
    Thank you for sharing your story. You described everything so well, that I can actually picture your house and i have never been there! Your use of similes and metaphors serve to enrich the story, which sometimes is difficult to do given the subject matter. Great job!

  9. #9
    A good write-up! Keep up the work.
    For more reads, please have a look at my blog: Hidden Content

    Have a good day!


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