This is my third “contribution” to Purgatorian’s Flash Fiction Friday project. It’s great fun!
The realization slowly dawned on me…
…that this time it was real. That this was not one of my imagining-the-worst-semi-delusional-paranoid fantasies. This was not another script. This time there would be no ‘waking up’ to the hooting of a car behind me because I had daydreamed my way through three sets of traffic light changes! There would be no director yelling ‘cut’. There’d be no toasting another big success. And what’s the first thing I think of? It shouldn’t be this ordinary. There should be more drama, more tears, a better looking doctor. It shouldn’t be like this. I mean- the lighting here doesn’t fit the mood at all. There isn’t even any music and that’s just so wrong! This is almost boring. My whole life I have imagined all sorts of strange and wonderful and tragic situations, and in my head they have always had the full dramatic accompaniment. But then maybe this isn’t real. Maybe it’s just another part I’m playing. I mean, it couldn’t possibly have happened so quietly! The world couldn’t have carried on as normal could it? No, I don’t think so. So I’ll just add my own music, my own lights, I can see the cameras as if I were the director and I know exactly where to look and how to tilt my head for the best effect. That’s why my fans love me. They have no inkling of how much work goes into portraying a sense of loss; or sadness; or pleasure; or agony. But the money keeps coming, and the awards keep coming so I’ll keep right on doing it. Occasionally though- seemingly from far away- I hear a vaguely familiar voice all but screaming at me, telling me I must snap out of it and face reality. And there are other voices too sometimes. I wish they’d shut the hell up; it’s exceptionally annoying even though it’s not always very loud. And I am trying to memorise some new lines here. I’ll have to talk to security about the noise. But I’ll do it later, there’s a ‘look’ I want to practice that I know would be perfect for this scene.
“It’s hard to believe it’ll be thirteen years ago next week.”
“Indeed. We had some hope in the beginning, but she seems to retreat further and further into herself, and there’s been no change for quite some time now.”
“Poor thing. Do you think maybe she knows he survived?”
“I doubt it. When her husband told her he’d died in the ICU, she was almost instantly catatonic. He was very distraught and he didn’t know they’d continued trying to revive the baby after he left. For a while she kept repeating how she’d killed him, how it had been her fault and she should have been more careful. But she stopped talking a long time ago.”
“Well, there were a lot of people said she shouldn’t have been pregnant in the first place.”
“True. But you know how celebrities can be, they have the money and most people treat them like they’re some kind of modern deities.”
“So how long do you think he’ll keep coming to see her?”
“Who knows, she’s never really been his ‘mother’, at least not to him. I think he’s actually negotiating the movie rights to his life story, so he may keep it up just for appearances.”
“Poor thing. So no changes to her treatment then, Doctor Rush?”
“No, thank you nurse. No change at this time.”
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.