All potential unfurls from the bud.
“Be brave,” he said, and closed his eyes to ward off at least the pain of seeing his skin pierced by sharpness.
“Just a scratch,” the nurse stated in rote-like monotone, forgetting that for this boy nothing at this point was ‘just a scratch,’ especially not with veins well worn from prodding, let alone in a child who must struggle to understand why any of this was necessary.
“Be brave,” he said again, and his voice shook, and a tear slid under his lids and traveled down the small cheek to settle on his ear like a tiny sorrow-diamond.
“I’m sorry,” the nurse pressed her lips together when the third poke failed and another scarred blood vessel rolled under her needle. She’ll have to try another site. How on earth did someone not put a port in this child yet?
“Be brave,” the boy clenched his eyes to slits but more tears fled. “Be brave.”
The nurse looked up, distressed by his determined resignation. She paused and placed her gloved hand on his cheek. “You are,” she said. “Very.”
Eyes still shut, he shuddered and she wasn’t sure if he understood. She pulled a chair to his gurney and smoothed his hair. Someone from the Children’s Home had brought him to the hospital with another flareup, but the orphanage was too short-staffed to have anyone stay with him, especially when the boy wasn’t fussy and reportedly “used to” the hospital.
As if there could be such a thing as a child being “used to” being alone in a hospital.
“You are brave,” she repeated. Her eyes stung and perhaps the emotion in her voice more than her words filtered through his bracing because his eyes opened to meet hers.
“You don’t deserve any of this,” she said. “No one does. What you do deserve is to get better, and for people to really see and understand how brave you are. You are so so brave.”
Another tear rolled toward his ear. She hoped this one wasn’t from fear but from recognizing a connection.
“I’ll be as gentle as I can,” she promised. “I know this must be awful, but I need to get a line in for your medicine. Can you be brave for me just a bit longer?”
He held her eyes before he nodded.
“Good boy. So let’s just get this over with?”
He nodded again and this time did not close his eyes but hung them on her face. He did not look away or make a sound as she flicked and poked and needled.
“Good lad,” she praised, relieved, as she finally placed the clear bandage over the IV.
He took in a long breath.
“Can I get you anything?” she lingered, wanting to do something for this boy, so small and pale and alone.
“Some juice or crackers, maybe? It’ll do you good to get some of these in you,” she chattered. “I bet we have some toys I can borrow from the playroom for you.”
He held her gaze.
“Can I go home with you?” he asked. “I promise to be brave for you. I’ll be brave every day.”
(*Based on a true story.)
Six words are not quite enough
For me who lengthy rhymes adore
So instead of words to doff
I’ll celebrate with six times four.
For The Six Word Saturday Challenge
History of the Bloomingdale area on Manhattan's Upper West Side
A creative miscellany of mythic fantasies
a weekly flash fiction prompt inspired by google maps
A community for writers to learn, grow, and connect.
To participate in the Ragtag Daily Prompt, create a Pingback to your post, or copy and paste the link to your post into the comments. And while you’re there, why not check out some of the other posts too!
Alternative haven for the Daily Post's mourners!
never judge a girl by her weight
original fiction and rhyme
Taotalk is a forum for the discussion of both the academic and pragmatic aspects of dao and Daoism, with participants expressing themselves on Daoist writings and pragmatics from their unique perspectives. It serves as a community for Daoists, and those interested in Daoism, to gather and talk dao.
A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams
Life in progress
Straight up with a twist– Because life is too short to be subtle!
WordPress & Blogging tips, flash fiction, photography and lots more!
Better Living Through Beauty, Wisdom and Whimsey
Life in a flash - a weekly writing blog
Aroused by Arête, an eco-meditating logophile