33 comments

General

(Write a story about an established group of people welcoming (or not welcoming) a new face into their midst.)


Sarah is so tired, so very tired, of these annoying medical appointments. Simple answers, that’s all she really wants. Just give it to me straight but they talk in medical terms, the printed reports she receives are just full of words and descriptions she has no idea about. When she goes on the computer to look up the words, it gets even more confusing the more she reads. A simple term could be a condition that one patient barely notices but may hospitalize a different patient. Where does she fit in all of this medical jargon? This medical gobbledegook!


Why can’t they just say it? Whatever “it” is! Knowing would be so much better than waiting and wondering! All of this poking and prodding, and for what? We are six months into visiting one specialist after another and still no closer to answers.  


What new test to try, more blood draws, scans and scary sounding things like biopsy. She felt like a veritable pin cushion the number of needles she had endured. It makes her skin crawl and her head hurt. She wonders if anyone ever died of worry alone.


Making her way now from the examining or treatment room to the changing area where her personal things are locked in a locker, she shivers. Sarah begins to be positively cold! Maybe germs cannot live in this cold atmosphere. Sarah shivers and holds her scanty hospital gown closed as best as she can.


She knows it is a very hot day today and this is a huge facility to keep cool but this is just too cool for comfort. She almost laughs now at the thought of developing pneumonia while being here for something much simpler.  


She hopes that the waiting room where her husband waits for her is warmer. She doesn’t want to listen to him complain the whole drive home. He will already be in a bad mood as he hates doctors and hospitals and will repeat every negative or tragic anecdotal story he has ever heard about hospitals. Sarah begins to think he is correct. She begins to agree with him.


She hurriedly dresses and pulls her light sweater closer around her body. Checking out her hair and general appearance in the full length mirror she is satisfied she is ready to go to the conference with her primary physician. It is time she insisted on some kind of answer and will not leave until she understands things.  


Checking the locker one more time and patting her pocket for her keys and cell phone, she gathers her purse to go. She feels ready to turn in the key and get on with the consultation.


Going out through the big stainless steel double doors Sarah thought she felt a light coating of frost on the door surface but she is distracted by a woman she is passing that seems dazed and confused. The woman mumbles something about or it sounded like, “nothing is as it seems!” That poor woman needs some solid answers too it would seem.


The attendant at the desk takes her locker key and goes through the routine checklist of personal information. Everything you do here they ask you to repeat your name, date of birth and insurance information. It makes you nervous, it makes you wonder if they have lost people or mixed up folks in treatments. I guess in medicine you must be very careful, when you are ill you become so fragile.


“Just have faith Sarah”, I say to myself, “better safe than sorry, I guess!”


The attendant took the key, gave Sarah her results folder and directed her to the reading lounge.  


The attendant adds, “when you are finished reading, should you have any questions, and some folks do, please come back to this desk.” “Otherwise, if you are trying to get in your steps for today, the stairs are through the door on your left, or the elevator is through the door on your right.”  


She smiles a gentle smile as she hands Sarah her folder. Sarah thinks to complain to her about the cold but then decides she is sure the attendant has no control over the facility temperature. Drawing her sweater tightly around herself, she goes in search of the reading lounge. The further she goes in this direction the colder it seems to get.  


The reading lounge is very small to be called a lounge Sarah thinks, it is only a small room with a door at each end. Only three chairs and no magazines or tv. She wonders if she is waiting for her doctor or if someone will take her or direct her to his office. It is unusual for them to give the patient the results without medical staff to explain.


Sarah sits, her teeth are almost chattering, she digs around in her purse for her reading glasses. Should she wait for someone? Sarah then decides to open her folder to see if she has any questions on the results . There are only a few lines of type.


YOU HAVE DIED!


BUT DO NOT FEAR GOING TO THE HOT SPOT OR BURNING IN HELL!


HELL IS COLD, VERY VERY VERY COLD!


HAVE A GOOD DAY!


Please remember, stairs on the left, elevator on the right, both only go DOWN!


As Sarah begins descending the steps, she sees a group of people far at the bottom of the stairwell. They are all looking up and seem to be talking all at the same time. It begins to sound like a lament, like they are wailing ! Their breath puffs out like huge clouds of frost or snowflakes. The snow flakes settle back down on top of them. The more they wail, the harder it snows.


Sarah feels dazed and confused and she can’t quite make out what they are saying but they seem to be welcoming her! 


Perhaps they want the scant bit of residual heat Sarah still contains. 


Or perhaps they are just curious.  


Curious to see if anyone they know is going to hell today!








August 24, 2020 13:32

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33 comments

Doubra Akika
13:43 Aug 24, 2020

Omds! The ending was perfect! Loved how it was sort of in contrast to the title (my English is so bad sometimes 😂)! The part where you wrote you have died... was so creative! Loved it Only thing I noticed, She feels like a veritable pin cushion the number of needles she has endured should be she feels like a veritable pin cushion with the number of needles she has endured. (Also, I wanted you highlight some sentences that needed commas, but I’m using my phone) Great story again! Will keep looking out for more of your work.

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P. Jean
13:49 Aug 24, 2020

Thanks Doubra, will go back and reread and try to fix things.

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Doubra Akika
14:08 Aug 24, 2020

My pleasure! If you ever get the time would you mind checking out my recent story?

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P. Jean
17:07 Sep 19, 2020

Many just like stories. I hope they really read them before liking! I hope you do! Thank you for the likes!

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Charles Stucker
06:44 Sep 15, 2020

This is substantially better than really great fishing down the road. Your character shows agency, deciding to complain where it will do good and gathering her things as best she can, but you twist the end, so she died before she realized. This is a very good piece. Look at the difference between the two. In one, you have a guy telling you about what he's going to do and why. Here, you have a woman doing things. Not only that, you keep a twilight zone feel, with the isolation, the banal help desk, the aggressive cold, and the woman mumbling,...

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P. Jean
12:32 Sep 15, 2020

Thank you. Reading your comments is better than reading some of the stories. Writing in itself is effortless and the words just flow once I decide on which idea to go with BUT you are pointing out that GOOD writing takes effort. My stories take on average 35 to 40 minutes and then I do some other necessary thing. It is recreation like walking/hiking or taking my camera for a walk. It is fun. I appreciate every insight you offer. Great food for thought. I agree some of my stories, or maybe most, are truly without much direction. Th...

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B. W.
10:18 Sep 05, 2020

Hey ^^ so i made a couple of stories yesterday after getting out of my writers block finally and getting a ton of ideas but there are two i want you to check out first and tell me what you think, then maybe the others but only if you want to. "useless" and "Getting her back" are the names, i'd love to see what you think ^^

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P. Jean
12:39 Sep 05, 2020

I will try to have time today but no promises. I usually comment or critique when someone has done the same for me. If you read your comment, there is only a solicitation no critique.

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B. W.
21:01 Sep 02, 2020

Hey, i've come back here but its not to review your story (i think i already have though) its for something else. i was wondering if you could maybe help me with something?

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B. W.
21:01 Sep 02, 2020

Hey, i've come back here but its not to review your story (i think i already have though) its for something else. i was wondering if you could maybe help me with something?

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B. W.
21:01 Sep 02, 2020

Hey, i've come back here but its not to review your story (i think i already have though) its for something else. i was wondering if you could maybe help me with something?

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B. W.
21:01 Sep 02, 2020

Hey, i've come back here but its not to review your story (i think i already have though) its for something else. i was wondering if you could maybe help me with something?

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P. Jean
21:26 Sep 02, 2020

Possible? What do you need?

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B. W.
21:30 Sep 02, 2020

i need help getting ideas for a story. the only things i've managed to think of is that its about a princess and powers. she can shape shift and mind read

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P. Jean
21:45 Sep 02, 2020

Sounds like a great beginning. Now that you know what powers she has, how can that become a story of humor or mystery, or adventure....whatever you wish. Of course a story has many parts. So think where you wish to go and how you wish to get there. Decide on the genre! You have the main character...is she a heroine or a joke.

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B. W.
21:46 Sep 02, 2020

Well there was another thing where i was thinking that there might be a war going on

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P. Jean
22:10 Sep 02, 2020

I hope you cover me on your progress!

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Bianka Nova
14:41 Aug 30, 2020

Great story! You've related very well the atmosphere of the place - I almost started getting chilly myself while reading. Only, I would've loved to learn some more about why did she end up in Hell (I don't think being annoyed with your husband is reason enough) :) You could've added more snippets of her back story here and there.

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P. Jean
14:49 Aug 30, 2020

I guess you will have to wait for the prequel! There are some among us who are perpetually bitter, angry and resentful about life! Maybe she was just that? And maybe somewhere going down that long long set of stairs, someone calls her name from above, where she stood before starting down, maybe they say....wait it was a mistake! You must try to come up again but it will be hard! Thanks for your thoughts and critique. I think about and consider them all.

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Bianka Nova
14:53 Aug 30, 2020

Those are some nice ideas. If inspiration strikes again, you could develop them in another prompt. Would love to read them :)

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P. Jean
22:59 Aug 30, 2020

Thanks Bianca!

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Elle Clark
09:29 Aug 30, 2020

This was such an interesting read! I thought you rounded out your character very well - I felt like I knew who she was and what she was like (especially after the bit about not wanting to hear her husband moan on the way home). You slipped from third to first person half way through and there were some punctuation mistakes that looked like they were there because you’d edited and then not adjusted the punctuation. Just watch out for that. The contrast between the ending and the title was clever too! I also liked the hell’s receptioni...

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P. Jean
12:36 Aug 30, 2020

Thank you Laura. I seem to be doing that 3rd to 1st person over and over. Not sure how to break the habit except to go back and reread at least one time looking ONLY For That fault. I think I identify strongly with the character and end up in the story. Crazy!

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B. W.
22:55 Aug 24, 2020

this is really good, you did great with it. i'll give you a 10/10 for this. and i was wondering if you could go check out my two latest stories "Goddess child" and "Legend of Evie" i'd love to see what you have to say.

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P. Jean
23:10 Aug 24, 2020

Thanks for the kind comments. I will give yours a look later after I’ve fed my husband!

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B. W.
23:14 Aug 24, 2020

no problem and alright ^^

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Deepti Kumari
15:47 Aug 24, 2020

Nice story.

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P. Jean
15:49 Aug 24, 2020

Thanks for reading and commenting

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Deepti Kumari
16:02 Aug 24, 2020

I love reading your stories.

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P. Jean
16:08 Aug 24, 2020

Again thank you!

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The Cold Ice
03:19 Aug 27, 2020

Super story.Nice job.Well written. Would you mind to read my story “The dragon warrior?”

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P. Jean
05:26 Aug 27, 2020

Thank you for reading and commenting

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