[Write about a memory inspired by either three of your own photographs or a memory sparked from a set of samples below.]
I used the photos below to inspire my short story for this week’s writing challenge. It’s written from the perspective of a man who has just lost his wife during childbirth.
Sample set by: A Tribute to Mom by Cardinal Guzman
The doctors were whispering again.
I still didn’t know why, but I had long since given up any hope of an explanation. I didn’t care though. I could feel the numbness starting in my toes and my fingertips and crawling in and up and through me. It would reach my heart soon. But I didn’t care about that either.
I stared at her, lying there limp and cold in the hospital bed. The monitors had been turned off but the beeping was ringing through my ears so loudly that I feared my eardrums would burst. “How did we get here?” The thought repeated itself over and over in my brain. “How did we get here?” My pulse quickened and beads of sweat trickled down the back of my neck. The question was like a virus that threatened to take the life of my sanity. “How did we get here?”
The doctors were staring at me now. I backed out of the room and slowly turned away from the door. I didn’t notice the shouts as I sprinted down the hallway, but a sharp pain in my side knocked me back into reality. The medical cart crashed to the ground and I used the chaos as my camouflage, slipping into a stairwell that I was not certain I was allowed to be in.
“How did we get here?”
I sat still, fearful, not that my location would be discovered but that my mind would never again be rid of that infectious question. I tried to play back the last hour in my mind but couldn’t piece together complete thoughts. I remembered her face as the pain took over. I remembered the sound of the ambulance doors closing. I remembered the sound of her breath as she let out the last scream. I remembered the sound of her crying…
I stood up so fast that I nearly fell back over. I remembered the sound of her crying. I remembered noticing how tiny her hands were as the doctors carried her away. I remembered the name we had picked out for her.
I left the stairwell and walked towards the elevators. I saw someone pushing a bed out of the room my wife had been in, but I did not stop to look. I could not help her now. She was not alive.
But my daughter was. And she was all I had left.