The Hospital in Tampa

Submitted into Contest #99 in response to: Write a story about characters going on a summer road trip.... view prompt


American Contemporary Sad

Olive woke suddenly to her alarm clock buzzing.

She groaned and slammed the Snooze button until she couldn't hear the alarm anymore.

Groggily, Olive made her way to the closet to put on a hoodie and some sweatpants.

She reached for the sweats, but stopped herself.

Right, she thought. I'm going for a run.

Every morning, Olive had gotten into the routine of going running around her small town in Wisconsin.

She would sometimes stop in at the bakery at the end of her run to get a treat, or go to the dairy for some fresh cheese.

It was her only real time to get away from her family and be alone, so she guarded her two hours closely.

Instead of putting on the sweatpants, Olive donned her running jacket and black leggings.

She pulled her hair into a high ponytail and put on a pair of socks, then grey running shoes.

Olive tried to go down the stairs quietly, hoping nobody in the house would wake up.

She tiptoed down the hallway into the kitchen.

Her family had a silent blender, so she made herself a 'Monster Smoothie', as she called it.

It consisted of kale, cucumber, avocado, and almond milk. Olive always made it to drink before her runs.

Sipping her smoothie, Olive prepared some granola with plain yogurt, afterwards sitting down to eat her healthy breakfast.

After the meal, Olive grabbed her keys from the front door and slipped out, locking the door behind her.

Once at the end of Olive's street, she decided to take a different route than usual, running along the lake instead of down Main Street.

Olive ran on the boardwalk, breathing in the fresh watery air and feeling the wind in her hair.

This was another reason why she liked running in the mornings: she could go out into nature and get fresh air and exercise.

When she got back home, her brothers Evan and Ryker were both up.

Evan had already made breakfast, and Ryker was playing Fortnite on his PlayStation 4.

Being starving after her long run, Olive made a beeline for the kitchen and nodded to Ryker on her way.

He was completely absorbed in his gaming, and didn't pay any attention to Olive.

We should really take that PS4 away from him, Olive mused. Well, I should.

Evan placed a dish full of pancakes in front of her, disturbing her thinking.

"Here," he said.

"Thanks! Oh, where's the maple syrup?"

"It should be in the pantry on the left side." Evan walked back over to the griddle to make more yummy pancakes.

Evan was Olive's favorite brother, mostly because he actually paid attention and was nice to her.

They were closest in age, with Evan only one year older than Olive. Ryker was younger, about three years younger than Olive. To be exact, he was 12. And extremely anti-social.

After doing a few things around the house, it was time for lunch.

It was BLTs made by Olive's dad, James, with chips and Cokes on the side.

And it was delicious, which meant Olive wanted seconds.

Once Olive had finished stuffing her face at lunch, she went upstairs to pack her suitcase.

She and her friend Madison were going on a road trip to Tampa Bay, where they would go sightseeing and shopping for the week.

Olive was super excited, and Madison was coming to pick her up at two.

It was already 1 o'clock, so Olive needed to get her butt moving.

She ran down the hall to her bedroom, flung open her closet, and dug around for her suitcase.

"Finally," she muttered, as she saw the corner poking out from under a pile of shoes.

Olive threw the suitcase on the bed and began to open and close her dresser drawers, taking out the clothes she thought she might need.

T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, skirts, and bathing suits all came out of the dresser.

Olive grabbed a bottle of sunscreen and two hats, one big and floppy, one a baseball cap.

She also took her favorite sunglasses off the jewelry holder on her nightstand, and carefully put some actual jewelry in little satin drawstring bags.

Half an hour later, Olive flopped down on her bed, exhausted by her packing frenzy.

"Whew," she said, wiping a little sweat off her forehead. "I think I'm done, but let me triple-check."

She walked over to where her suitcase was sitting, by her open closet, and dug around in it to make sure she had everything.

"Okay, this looks good," Olive said after checking her suitcase three more times. "I don't think I forgot anything."

Suddenly, Olive saw her phone sitting on the nightstand, which reminded her of something.

"Oh! I almost forgot my charger!" She scurried over to the nightstand and opened the top drawer, where her phone charger was sitting on top of her iPad.

"I'd better bring the iPad too," she decided. "I might need it."

So she grabbed that too.

"Now I think I'm done," Olive finally said, after adding about five other things.

Satisfied, she lugged her suitcase to the front door, where it would await Madison's arrival.

Olive walked into the kitchen, and she saw her mom, Allie, making herself a snack.

"Hey, Mom!" Olive said. "What're you making?"

Allie smiled. "Peanut butter on a plain rice cake. Want one?"


Olive plopped herself down on a stool at the kitchen island and waited patiently for her rice cake.

Allie asked, "So, are you all packed for your trip?"

Olive nodded, because her mouth was full and she didn't want to be rude.

"Good. Will Maddie be coming soon?"

Olive swallowed her bite of rice cake, then said, "Yep, she's coming at 2."

Allie looked at the clock, which hands were pointed at one and six. "You have half an hour. Maybe charge your phone and iPad so they're ready to go for the car ride."


When Madison pulled up the driveway, Olive was ready and waiting.

Maddie jumped out of her car and ran up to where Olive was standing at the door.

"Liv!" Maddie hugged her excitedly. "You ready?"

"Yep!" Olive hugged her back.

"Here, Liv, let me take that," Maddie said as she noticed Olive wheeling her suitcase down the driveway.

"No!" she protested. "Maddie, you're driving. Besides, if I couldn't wheel a suitcase I wouldn't be good for much, would I?"

Madison laughed. "No, you wouldn't. And I suppose you're right."

One day later, Olive and Madison were driving along the road. Spirits were high, because they were almost to Tampa!

Both girls were singing along to the radio, windows all the way down.

Suddenly, Olive saw a car coming down the road head-on. She warned Madison, but it was too late to swerve. The car crashed into Madison's, and everything went black.

When Olive woke up, she was lying in a bed, staring up at a white ceiling.

What happened? she thought. Am I in heaven?

A woman walked over to her bedside and fed her a spoonful of water.

"Good, you're awake," she said with a tired smile.

Olive tried to sit up, but the nurse (she'd figured she was a nurse by now) pushed her back down onto the hospital bed. "No, don't get up. You took quite a bit of damage from that crash."

Olive didn't really understand what she meant, but suddenly it all came rushing back. Madison. Was she all right?

The next day, Olive was told by the nice nurse that she would be discharged, and there wasn't too much damage to Olive's body.

The nurse allowed Olive to get out of bed to visit Madison, who was in much worse shape than Olive had been.

As soon as Olive entered Madison's hospital room, she rushed to her side.

"Oh, Maddie," she whispered as she saw all the tubes and things connected to her friend. "What happened?"

Madison tried to take Olive's hand, but she didn't have the strength, and her hand flopped back to the covers.

Seeing her efforts, Olive reached down and took Maddie's hand on the covers, tears running down her face.

"No. Don't leave me. You're my best friend, you can't do this."

Maddie tried to smile, but it was weak. "I."

"Go on..." Olive said urgently.

Madison's voice was now no more than a whisper. "Don't. Want. To."

They were both crying now.

Olive held her best friend's hand as Maddie took her last breaths.

It wasn't long, but Olive could tell her friend was gone.

Madison's hand had gone limp in her's.

She cried for a long time, and no one could move her.

June 25, 2021 12:26

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Wow! I loved this! You describe the sadness at the end perfectly, and it really adds some emotion to the story. My only critique is that you need to title it something different. I'm not sure what, but here is an idea: - A road trip gone wrong Yeah, sorry that's my only one. Maybe you should think of your own. It just needs a different one. Well, I'm not trying to be that picky so remember the positive part of my comment! Great job Vivian! I'd like to see more stories like this!


13:48 Jun 25, 2021

Thanks for the feedback! I also love writing these kind of stories, so I'm glad to oblige!


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Sapphire ~♚
15:18 Jun 25, 2021

I'm guilty of following any Canadian people I meet XD What's your favourite thing from Tim Hortons?


16:11 Jun 25, 2021

Same! Um, probably the powdered with jelly inside Timbit!


Sapphire ~♚
17:12 Jun 25, 2021

So delicious! Favourite drink? I really love the Chocolate Chill


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