I need your help. If you would take time to give me feedback about this story, I will forever be in your debt. If you like, I will send you copies of 5 poems of your choice by way of saying thank you. If you are like me, you often print long stories to prevent eyestrain. But this is 475-word flash fiction.
Admittedly, AD's software deletes indents. Give anything if it didn't. . .maybe we should talk to Matt about it? Hope you find something to like about Courting Able. T h a n k s!
“Can’t never did anything..” “Can’t never did anything.” Before that drunk plowed me down, my mother’s lectures had rolled off like water. Something on TV suddenly distracted her. Yes! I thought as the timer beside my bed began beeping. Gesturing “Stay,” I started wheeling toward the door. Therapy sucked, but give me a break from the Little Engine That Could lectures. Walls were closing in. The fluorescent light over my bed blinked every four seconds. I’d counted. The room where I’d spent Christmas, Easter and my l6th birthday smelled of cotton dipped in alcohol, icky gift perfume, yellow tubes and dead hopes. Bang!! I backed up, corrected and resumed pushing. Dare me to race on a straight-away, but try rolling around a bed and fold-away with your right arm in a sling. “In a coma two months!” friends couldn’t stop yelling. “Almost died!” Were they disappointed? Practiced sad for the funeral? I could show them sad.
“See-ya!” Poor Mom. They wouldn’t have kicked her out of O.T. and P.T. if she’d stopped helping. “Not your baby that’s hurt!” she’d howled. Did my face burn.
My occupational therapist wouldn’t listen.
“Mom’s right, Sheila.” She pointed me toward a giant peg-board that bristled with hard-to-turn knobs. “Can’s where it’s at."
“Like I can do anything,” I muttered.
She handed me a tissue. My nose felt raw. A five-foot mirror stood to one side. I goofed and looked to see how red my nose was. My jeans were mashed and my eyes looked like pee-holes in yellowed snow
My O.T., whose name was Jane, figured she was the boss of me. Show her.
Yak-yak-yak, she mimed.
“So?” I sniffed. “I can talk. Big deal.”
My chair bounced a foot as she grabbed, pushed and let go. “Get your butt to the elevator!”
The patient elevator moved like the last day of school, but when we got off, things suddenly went Warp. Zzzzip, I was shaking hands with a woman in a page-boy wig who’d had her voice-box removed. Zzzzzip, we were in a lounge watching hard-of-hearing patients sign for coffee, tea or juice. Hello, goodbye, and a quadriplegic lay nodding at a mouth-brush-painted bouquet of tiger lilies and irises. Must have just finished it, because the acrylic paint looked wet. Every stem, leaf and petal was perfect. Roomie was typing on this weird keyboard with a stick. What a hunk. Not that Jane let me look. Whooshsh, we were at another elevator, punching B.
Back in the basement, Jane and two P.T.’s. ganged up beside the parallel bars. Held on hard, you could maybe walk a step.
“What can you DO, Sheila~?”
“What can you DO, Sheila~?”
“Cheesh!” I finally said. “Just stand me, point me and shut up.”
Saturday, Mom brought me home. Actually let me walk from the car.
Because she could.
Because I can.
(c) Phyllis Jean Green
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|Reviewed by Glenda Bixler
|Hello...I'm coming in to this quite some time after you wrote it, as a fairly new member at A/D...I enjoyed very much your thank you poem to poets in your bio...and this story caught my eye since you were asking for comments...
Conceptually and overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It is, of course, very fast paced, almost the rambling thoughts that flow through our minds, and, in this case, Shiela's. While I adjusted to the pace, there were a few stumbles with fragments. Fragments are ok with me, but when they stop my read and I have to go back, I think the writer should reconsider and decide whether she wants to actually disrupt the story in that way. I read a lot of books, so this type of issue does affect me. What Shiela would want, in my mind, would be to allow the reader to absorb her thoughts as they come through her head...to do that, the reader can't be asked to stumble and say, "huh?" what did you say!
Just a few places...easily reconsidered...Shiela has a story to tell, I'm glad you the writer is helping her with it!
|Reviewed by Larry Jameson
|Other than breaking up the two long paragraphs into more digestible chunks, I wouldn't touch a thing content-wise. Having been through a very similar situation, it spoke directly to my heart.
That's a good thing!
|Reviewed by Denise Contreras
|This is a great story very well written.
|Reviewed by Mary Coe
|Good write. Very interesting story.|
|Reviewed by George Thompson
|This is just soooo GOOD, I had goosebumps after reading it. I identify with poor health, harsh realities, needing assistance to "move," and realize that my 'few' disabilities pale in comparison to those around me. Therefore, I can learn to teach by example that the End of Life is not near and there is Hope. As mentor, I also realize that I must be a student and be taught so that I learn even more.
|Reviewed by Deb Rhodes (Reader)
|I like your zippy style of writing, with a main character who wants to indulge in self-pity, but can't quite pull it off. Nothing maudlin here, just life as it is! Keep the stories coming, and I'll keep reading.|
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|holds reader interest|
|Reviewed by Marcia Duning (Reader)
|If you really know Phyllis, then you should understand every word she writes and where she is going. I do. Took awhile!|
|Reviewed by Mitzi Jackson
|very interesting read,the flow was fast but the details put you right there....I liked it!!|
|Reviewed by Linda Alexander
|I found this to be a very touching, quick read, telling of the power to stand tall over difficulty . . . & that no matter how bad off we think we are, someone else is in a more difficult place.
|Reviewed by Karla Dorman, The StormSpinner
powerful write about not giving up...sometimes anger can be a good thing
(((HUGS))) and love,
|Reviewed by Sandie Angel
|I was a little confused with "O.T." and "P.T." for I didn't really know who they were in the beginning. Perhaps it was just my own ignorance that I didn't catch on to the titles rightaway. I still don't. Perhaps a little footnote to that might work better.
On the whole the story speaks very well for itself. Very well-done with good expression of courage and feelings. A good reading piece.
I hope you didn't mind my honesty. I had people telling me where to go just for telling them to do spell-checks. Some people's feelings are very fragile, I hope you are not one of them.
May Lu $*_*$ a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
|Reviewed by john zimmerman
the beginning is good although the sense of "place" is a little weak (IMHO)
the scene between Sheila and the OT is good
as far as it goes. Is there some way to show that Jane is tough cookie -- Tougher than Sheila realizes?
I'm ambivelent about the WRAP speed tour, as opposed to an incounter with one person who had over come a disability . . .
The ending I'm partial to cryptic and ambiguity --- so I'd end it after "What can
A less cryptic ending would be after Sheila says "...point me, and shut up."
These comments are of course IMHO.
|Reviewed by Karen Lynn Vidra, The Texas Tornado
|a wonderful story of courage and perseverance over incredible odds; just my type of story! i write a lot on this subject myself. check out my story, "ronee's story: the 'don't give up' kid (revised)". it is about a little girl with arthritis who refuses to let past or current health problems get her down. i have plenty of more stories along this vein, not just with ronee', but her brother johnny, her sister, jodie, and many more people i have created! :) feel free to visit my den and check out my stories! i have written over 500 and am still going strong! :) (((HUGS))) and love, your new texas friend, karen lynn. :) p.s.: i AM physically disabled myself: have degenerative osteoarthritis and walk on forearm crutches, but i still have a job (been there nearly 3 1/2 years now; work in a restaurant, rolling silverware), and i still try to live as normal of a life as i can, although i always DO hurt (some days being worse than others, but my pills help somewhat with the pain!).|
|Reviewed by Beth Elaine
|Very good. I'd like to read more!|
|Reviewed by Teresa Henson (Reader)
|This was an excellent "short story" on the proof of mind over body. Don't give up and you can do about anything, and no matter how bad you think you have it, someone else has it worse. It was a real pick me up for when you are feeling discouraged.|
Phyllis Jean Green