52 comments

Feb 24, 2021

Sad Drama Fiction

โ€œPenelope, open up!โ€

Penelope glanced her head towards the door. Her sister had been banging for at least two minutes now, so she stood and walked a few paces to the huge oak door.

After she had the door pulled open, Peneโ€™s sister Maia stood in the doorway.

โ€œPene, are you okay?โ€ Maia asked.ย 

Pene did her best to stand tall. She had been feeling under the weather recently, but she wasnโ€™t going to tell her over worrying sister about that. โ€œYes, Mai, Iโ€™m alright.โ€ Pene tried for an eye roll, but she was too fatigued.

Maia glanced over Peneโ€™s shoulder. She spotted the peppermint schnapps bottles that littered the floor.ย 

โ€œCโ€™mon. Pene.โ€ Maia sighed. โ€œYou were never a good liar.โ€

Pene sighed.

โ€œAt least let me take your pulse ox.โ€ Maia insisted.

โ€œFine.โ€ Pene said. Whatever could get Maia out of her house quicker.

Pulse ox stands for pulse oxygen, or the amount of oxygen in the bloodstream. It showed how well you happened to breathing at the time. The average person had about 98%, and smokers averaged 95%.

Maia slipped the little clamp around Peneโ€™s middle finger, and they waited in silence as the machine gauged her pulse ox.

Finally, the machine was done.

It read 60%.

Maia stood bolt upright. โ€œPene! With that percentageโ€ฆโ€ She didnโ€™t need to finish. Pene knew what she was going to say.

You should be dead.

---

Pene didnโ€™t want to go to the hospital, so Maia took her to the Urgent Care. Peneโ€™s daughter Felicity met them there.

โ€œI left Scout at home.โ€ Felicity said to Maia. โ€œShe doesnโ€™t quite understand what's happening, but I left Colin with her.โ€ย 

Scout was Felicityโ€™s daughter (Peneโ€™s granddaughter), and Colin was Felicityโ€™s husband.

Together, the three of them entered.

Not long after Pene had entered the office, the doctor sent her back out, saying she needed to go to the hospital, stat.

Pene protested, but in the end, she went.

After Pene was checked in at the hospital, the doctors spoke to Felicity quietly.

โ€œI donโ€™t know how you want to tell her,โ€ They said, โ€œBut her kidneys are failing. Sheโ€™ll need to start kidney dialysis.โ€

Felicity was mortified, but she knew it was possible. Her mother drank like a fish, and had since Felicity was very small.

She nodded. โ€œIs there any other solution? Mom wonโ€™t want to do that.โ€

โ€œWellโ€ฆโ€ One of the doctors glanced at another, who shook his head. โ€œWeโ€™ll explore those options if the dialysis doesnโ€™t work.โ€

Felicity straightened and went in.

โ€œMom,โ€ She said, and Pene looked up at her. โ€œYour kidneys are failing.โ€

Pene didnโ€™t look shocked. โ€œI know.โ€

โ€œWhat?โ€

โ€œI know. Dr. Gregor and I have been talking about it for years.โ€ Pene waved her hand dismissively.

โ€œMom.โ€ Felicity stared at her. โ€œHow could you say that? Like it's no big deal?โ€

โ€œBecause it isn't. Iโ€™ve known for years.โ€

โ€œThen why didnโ€™t you tell us? Me and Aunt Maia both! Why did you keep drinking if it destroyed your kidneys?โ€

Pene shifted in her hospital bed and put her head back against the pillow. If Felicity knew her mom, that meant the conversation was over. Felicity walked outside the room.

She walked outside and called Colin.

โ€œSheโ€™s stable and settled. You and Scout can come now.โ€

---

Scout was twelve years old and knew about hospitals and death. Felicity worked in an old folkโ€™s home, where Scout often came and spent her days in the summer.

And so death was normal to Scout. She knew it happened to everyone, and she knew lots of people died in hospitals.

But she was worried about her grandmother. She had put two and two together and Grandma = sick + Grandma = in hospital made her worried.

Colin had his hand on her shoulder as she made her way inside. The sliding doors whirred open and the receptionist gave them the room number for Pene.

Scout ran into the room. โ€œGrandma!โ€

Pene smiled, her eyes etched with guilt. This little girl really cared for her, why did she keep drinking?

Because it was a constant. It was something to lose yourself in. It made you feel better.

Pene had learned that.

Scout flattened against her grandma, hugging her tight.ย 

โ€œWoah, there, Scout. Donโ€™t disconnect my machines.โ€

โ€œDo you need the machines to live? Are they keeping you alive?โ€ Scout asked, her eyes big.

Pene looked over at Felicity, who was leaning against the doorframe, staring daggers at Pene.

Do you see what youโ€™re doing?

---

A few days later Pene was moved into the Intensive Care Unit. The ICU was cold and sad and generally not a fun place to be.

Pene got worse. She was always sleeping and was often delirious. One day, Pene was thirsty and wanted something to drink.

She looked at her daughter, who had gone out of work on FMLA. โ€œCan I have some coffee? I know not the regular stuff, since you guys probably wonโ€™t let me have it, butโ€ฆโ€ Pene paused, searching for the word. โ€œDiet coffee?โ€ She said, scrunching up her nose.

Felicity tried not to guffaw. Diet coffee?

โ€œDo you mean decaf, Mom?โ€

โ€œYes, that's the word.โ€

---

A few days later, Pene tried dialysis for the first time.

It did not go well.

The dialysis nurse was very kind. He had already ignored a racial slur from Pene, telling her he was from Puerto Rico and he was not โ€œone of those Mexicansโ€.

Machines started to whir and beep. He mumbled curses in Spanish and Felicity asked, โ€œIs everything okay?โ€

โ€œSheโ€™s going into afib.โ€

โ€œOh no.โ€ย 

Felicity ushered Scout out of the room in case it went really wrong. Then she returned, and the nurse was unplugging Pene.

โ€œYouโ€™re not done already?โ€ Felicity asked.

โ€œI have to stop.โ€ He said. โ€œHer afib was getting so bad, I legally could not continue.โ€

โ€œBut without dialysis, she canโ€™t live!โ€

โ€œDoctor Marino will talk to you about that.โ€ He said before leaving the room.

Soon enough, Doctor Marino came through the door. โ€œFelicity.โ€ย 

She stood. โ€œYes?โ€

He beckoned. โ€œCome with me.โ€

They walked into Doctor Marinoโ€™s office. โ€œSit.โ€ He said, pointing to a plush chair.

She sat.

โ€œSo, it has come to my attention that the dialysis isnโ€™t working for Ms. Pene.โ€

โ€œYes. Is there anything we can do?โ€

โ€œTheyโ€™re testing a product right now. A metal kidney. That can work in place of her failing one. Theyโ€™ve told us to offer it to anyone in dire need here in this hospital. Iโ€™d say your mom fits those guidelines.โ€

โ€œReally? Are you joking right now?โ€ Felicity looked around the office, then leaned close to the doctor and whispered, โ€œWhere are the hidden cameras?โ€

โ€œThere are none, I assure you. If she says yes, we can operate on her as soon as the day after tomorrow.โ€

ย ---

โ€œSo, Mom, I have good news.โ€

โ€œYes?โ€ Pene opened her eyes and lifted her head off the pillow before finding her head too heavy and flopping back onto the pillow.

โ€œThey can give you a new kidney. Just for you.โ€

โ€œThe catch?โ€ Pene asked skeptically and narrowed her eyes.

โ€œItโ€™s metal.โ€

โ€œTheyโ€™ll be putting a computer inside of my body?โ€

โ€œYes. But it will save your life. Mom, your body is rejecting dialysis.โ€

โ€œMaybe I donโ€™t want to live that badly!โ€

โ€œMom! You really donโ€™t mean that! Think about Scout! Think about Maia! Think about me!โ€

โ€œYou donโ€™t think I have? I donโ€™t want a computer inside me! What if it controls my brain?โ€

โ€œWHAT IF IT SAVES YOUR LIFE?โ€ Felicity roared.

Colin grabbed Felicityโ€™s arm and dragged her out of the hospital room.

โ€œBabe, you canโ€™t scream in the ICU.โ€

โ€œI know that, but itโ€™s just like...like she doesnโ€™t care at all!โ€

โ€œYeah, but thats on her. Maybe if it was you in her position, youโ€™d do it without a second thought. But her generation never had the technology ours had. So youโ€™ve gotta give that to her.โ€

โ€œYeah,โ€ Felicity sniffed. โ€œI suppose so.โ€

---

Three Months Later

A stroll through the park.

A sunny day.

These are the kind Felicity wished her mother had seen.

After that day in the ICU, Pene adamantly refused the metal kidney. They had tried dialysis trice more, all ending the same.

Extreme afib.

And so Pene passed on a quiet afternoon, surrounded by her family.

And thus

Is the bane

Of the

Technological

World.

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52 comments

Amara Tillington
22:41 Feb 24, 2021

Wow.

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Kaylynn Stuckey
18:47 May 10, 2021

i agree

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Amara Tillington
16:29 May 12, 2021

With what?

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16:50 Mar 11, 2021

A sad story, written wonderfully.

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Gerald Daniels
08:55 Mar 04, 2021

Great story, I felt hopeful through the dialogue and thought things were about to change for the best. You did well to foster a sense of sadness at the end with your descriptive writing.

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Maya Emerson
17:47 Mar 03, 2021

Hi :) Would you like to play Skribble today at 3:30 EST, even though we haven't played for a while. Also, if you want to ask anyone else if they want to play, feel free. :)

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Maya Emerson
20:29 Mar 03, 2021

Here's the link if you want: https://skribbl.io/?5EIqZpEpdZua

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Chloe Hanna
01:13 Mar 02, 2021

WOWOWOWOW! this is amazing!

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wowEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE how- liek- the idea- djghjshODHFGJWNGKVBJ CONGRATS FOR 20 STORIESSSS!!!! :D GREAT JOB! ~ Amethyst

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:D np! i want the new prompts to come out so I can write, because the science fair is OVER! *pumps fist*

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yay! did you do well? ive done many science fairs but never win because my pojects are always last minute

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idk, they're gonna judge them and choose people to go to the city wide one I do NOT expect mine to get to city wide XD lol I had to upload my recording and pictures 2 hours before the deadline and that's the most last-minute thing I've ever done in my LIFE XD

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XD our county has such a low population two from our school go onto COUNTY wide along with all the other schools I hope u do well! :D

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Nainika Gupta
15:32 Feb 24, 2021

Oof, Carolina..what a story. Amazing job (and yay 20 stories!!)

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Antman ๐Ÿœ
00:20 Mar 05, 2021

Ok... So, lots of words are coming, so I hope you find time to read it all! This was an amazing story! I like the certain spin on the prompt (I love this stuff) and how it seemed like she would survive, but... :( I love sad stories, even though I can't write them...My best try was "The Fate I Didn't Want" and that was not sad at all. So basically, great sad story! Also, I LOVE RICK RIORDAN! Did you know that he is coming out with a new book? It's called Daughter of the Deep, and it is supposed to come out in October. So far, I have read all...

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Thank you! I will totally check your story out! I have heard about Daughter of the Deep! So so excited, I may have to preorder it ;) I havent read Maze of Bones, but I have read everything else. My favorite of his books was probably the tower of nero, because the ending was so heartfelt it made me cry. Have you heard about the Celtic mythology series he may be writing? Also, do you agree that we need a novel where Nico and Will go save Bob? Word blurb totally fine, I love nerding out haha ๐Ÿ˜†๐Ÿค“

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Antman ๐Ÿœ
01:06 Mar 05, 2021

Thank you! I have also considered ordering it or trying to wait XD The tower of Nero is a really good book, too! I love how much Lester changed from the first book, and I agree that the ending was really touching! ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ˜Œ I have not heard about the Celtic mythology book yet! I might have to check that out! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I DEFINITELY think that Will and Nico (Solangelo) should save Bob! ๐Ÿ’–I actually almost cried when they had to leave Bob and Small Bob...And Dasmien too ๐Ÿ˜ญ Rick Riordan literally left the TOA on a CLIFFHANGER and is writing OTHER books now ๐Ÿ˜ซ I t...

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WHOA I hadnt noticed that! but its true! I really hope Estelle comes in some way, like maybe as a sidekick to whoever the main character is in the Celtic mythology book, and its a time jump so shes twelve or thirteen. "Twelve minutes, I can give you that." ๐Ÿ˜ญ

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Antman ๐Ÿœ
02:18 Mar 05, 2021

That would be SOOO cool! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฎ๐ŸŽ‰๐Ÿ˜ƒ๐Ÿค“๐Ÿ˜

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Also, I wrote a heroes of olympus fan fic! You have to scroll pretty far through my stories to find it. Heres the link! https://blog.reedsy.com/creative-writing-prompts/contests/71/submissions/45130/

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15:57 Mar 03, 2021

Hi Carolina! It's been a LONG time since I read any of your stories, and this one was really well written! I couldn't stop reading till the very end, and I can't wait to read more of your stories! (which I will, after I catch up with things on reedsy because I'm logging in after a month) Is there any specific story of yours you want me to read? If there is, you could tell me, and I would love to read that one! Also, are the downvoters behind your points, too? They stopped for a while when I was inactive, but I'm sure they will strike again a...

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Hi! So glad you could stop by! My favorite story of mine is probably "Names", its autobiographical. Yeah, I was up to #92 and I got downvoted from 1900 to 1700. I've been working my way back up but it'll take a while. If not for the downvoters I would probably be around 2200 right now. :( Thank you so much! I hope the same.

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07:35 Mar 04, 2021

Sure, I will read that story! Me too, I've been getting downvoted the past 2 months, and I think I would have been in the 2000s or even 3000s by now, too :( No problem! I hope things get better.

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A glossary of terms: Dialysis: In medicine, dialysis is the process of removing excess water, solutes, and toxins from the blood in people whose kidneys can no longer perform these functions naturally. Afib: Atrial fibrillation (afib) is an irregular and often rapid heart rate that can increase your risk of strokes, heart failure and other heart-related complications. Kidney: The kidneys are a pair of bean-shaped organs on either side of your spine, below your ribs and behind your belly. Each kidney is about 4 or 5 inches long, roughly the ...

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Kaylynn Stuckey
18:46 May 10, 2021

I love how her Grandchild cares for her so much and she relizes but its a sad story its beautifly written

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Kaylynn Stuckey
15:01 May 11, 2021

your welcome

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Kaylynn Stuckey
15:01 May 11, 2021

your welcome

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Kaylynn Stuckey
15:01 May 11, 2021

your welcome

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