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General

Dear Diary,

           Today is the first day of my confinement. April 18, 1943 is officially the worst day ever. Not because of the war, not because of the death caused by the war, but the fact that I have been quarantined. Yes, you heard me, quarantined. A word that can send shivers up anyone’s back.

           Now, you may ask, why am I quarantined? Well, the answer is quite simple—I have an infamous case of the oh-so-dreadful Scarlet Fever. My body aches and my throat hurts and everything about me looks sick, or that’s what Ma had said. Currently I am too weak to even hold a simple pen, this, in fact, is written by none other than my older sister Carrie. This is the reason the handwriting is neat, mine would be atrocious even without this meddling disease; and the spelling is perfect, don’t get me started on spelling.

                                                                                                                       Joy Anderson


Dear Diary,

           Today is the second day of confinement. The weather outside is beautiful, and normally, me and my friend Amanda would be happily frolicking about. We would usually pick wildflowers by the dozen and stuff them into our apron pockets, or we would be sitting under the shade of the big oak tree dressing and playing with our dollies.

           But, with Scarlet Fever, I have no intention about going outside. Even the mere thought of sitting up is one to disturb me. This makes going to the toilet awfully difficult. Besides, I am not allowed to even see Amanda now. Scarlet Fever is very contagious and even though I wish so dearly to see Amanda, I do not want to get her sick and give her the agony I am going through.

                                                                                                                       Joy Anderson


Dear Diary,

           Today is the third day of my confinement. Yes, I have survived three whole days. They were tiresome and painful and sucked all of the soul out of me, or at least it felt like it.

                                                                                                                      Joy Anderson


Dear Diary,

           Today is the fourth day of my confinement. Today seemed as ordinary as any other day to any other person, except me. Early this day, I heard a rap upon my window; I began to agonizingly turn my head towards the sound. When I finally managed to get the window in my view, what I saw delighted me. Amanda’s pleasant face greeted me. She waved and yelled a “hello” through the glass.

At first I was confused how she had gotten up there and how she managed to stay up there, being my window was on the second floor. Then I remembered how the thick strands of ivy grew up the side of my house. I was astonished that Amanda would even dare to climb up. She usually didn’t even climb the small tree in the schoolyard, let alone the side of my house.

                                                                                                          Joy Anderson


Dear Diary,

           Today is the fifth day of my confinement. Amanda visited again this morning and we talked for quite a long time. She did most of it, my throat preventing me from saying nothing more than a simple “hello” and “goodbye.” I did indeed nod or shake my head, but that was all that I could muster. She told me about school, about the essay assignment I was lucky to be missing. She told me about Henrietta Sherman and how she got chewing gum stuck in her hair. I tried to laugh at this, and I wanted to, but it only made my throat even sorer.

           We talked about millions of things over a wide variety. But once Amanda was called away for chores, she did not visit me for the rest of the day. Thankfully, Carrie read me a story from an old book of Ma’s. That cheered me up a little.

                                                                                                                       Joy Anderson



Dear Diary,

           Today is the sixth day of my confinement. This morning Amanda had to go to school. I was lonely for most of the morning, for Carrie had school as well. I was left home with Ma and my baby brother Thomas. All Ma did was carry on with the household chores and tend to me, checking my temperature and re-wetting my cold compress. Thomas was no use of entertainment either, all he did was scoot around our house in his newly discovered way over crawling.

           That afternoon Amanda’s head finally appeared in the window frame. She greeted me with the usual “hello” and began to tell me about her day. Halfway through as she was describing lunch time, her happy face turned to one of panic. Suddenly, her head disappeared, and I heard a thump coming from the ground underneath the window.

           I screamed as loud as I could, drawing in Carrie, Ma, and even baby Thomas. My fear was unconscionable as I stumbled slowly and painfully towards the window. My mother yelled at me to lie back down, but I ignored her. I was determined to help Amanda. I could feel the gush of tears cascading down my cheeks.

           All of the sudden, Carrie’s face turned extremely pale. “Amanda!” she yelled and she sprang to the window. She quickly propped it open and thrust her head out. Seconds later she pulled her head back in and rushed down the stairs to the front door. She too had tears streaming down her face. My petrified mother followed behind her, unknowing what she was soon to behold.

                                                                                                                       Joy Anderson


Dear Diary,

           This was written later in the sixth day. I finally decided I had done all that I could to help Amanda. I lay on the ground, too weak to lift myself back into the bed. I stared at the ceiling as the dreadful sound of sirens filled my neighborhood. I could hear screaming and crying coming from Ma and Carrie as well as Amanda’s parents.  I was stricken with fear and I wanted to go and help even more but my body ached from the exhausting walk to the window and wouldn’t carry me any further.

           In a matter of minutes the sirens grew quieter and I knew they were taking Amanda to the hospital, hoping dearly that she was still alive.

                                                                                                                       Joy Anderson


Dear Diary,

           That morning I awoke back in my bed with Ma’s smiling face above me. She told me that Amanda had survived the fall! How happy I was. She explained that Amanda had only broken her legs in fairly minor way. She would still be in the hospital for a couple of weeks and have casts during that time too, but she would definitely recover. “It is truly a miracle,” Ma exclaimed. “Thank the Lord that nothing severe happened and that he spared Amanda’s life.” And with that I issued a single word, “Amen.”

                                                                                                                      Joy Anderson

April 18, 2020 19:28

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6 comments

Zilla Babbitt
23:46 Apr 29, 2020

Here for the critique circle :). Interesting story! Your descriptions of scarlet fever are both excruciating and on par. I also like how you don't put dates except for the beginning, it makes for smoother reading. The characters of Amanda, Joy, and Carrie too are well-formed and compelling. I do think it is unnecessary to say every time "this is the ___ day of my confinement." It's a little redundant and removing those sentences (except maybe from the last entry) would make the writing more realistic. Like does a scarlet fever victim car...

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22:02 May 11, 2020

Thank you for your suggestions! I'm so grateful you took the time to read it and help me out! Well, I guess you have nothing else to do nowadays.

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Zilla Babbitt
23:28 May 11, 2020

Of course! So true :)

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17:48 May 12, 2020

I really enjoy chatting with you. I've said it before, and I'm say it again, thank you for all your support.

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Zilla Babbitt
20:12 May 12, 2020

Thanks :) And you're welcome, too!

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22:15 Apr 27, 2020

Thank you all for liking my story. I know there are not many who did actually like it, but I know I am not a very skilled writer compared to everyone else. But, I love writing and hope to someday publish a book. I consider these contests training and if I actually win, hey, I got 50 bucks!💵

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