June 11, 2019


Each Tuesday, rather than a POSSIBLY IRRITATING ESSAY, I'd like to both challenge you and lend a helping hand. I generate more speculative and teen story ideas than I can ever use. My family rolls its collective eyes when I say, "Hang on a second! I just have to write down this idea..." Here, I'll include the initial inspiration (quote, website, podcast, etc.) and then a thought or two that came to mind. These will simply be seeds -- plant, nurture, fertilize, chemically treat, irradiate, test or stress them as you see fit. I only ask if you let me know if anything comes of them.

H Trope: The dead coming back to life...
Current Event: Any “miraculous” “resurrection” of someone who was “dead”…

Ephraim Mendoza shook his head and said, “That can’t be.”

Mercedes Chokkoon pursed her lips, closed her eyes and rubbed her temples. When she opened her eyes, she said, “She’s dead. I was with her when she died.”

Frowning, Ephraim looked at her, eyes wide and said, “You said she’d be fine.”

Mercedes shrugged. She couldn’t take any more of this. “She was my sister. She was just your girlfriend. You think this is easy for me?”

He stared at her for a long time before he said, “No. That’s why I don’t understand how cold you’re acting. You sister is dead. The love of my...” his voice caught and he looked away. Not before she saw the tears slid down his face.

Mercedes glare at him, willing herself to blame him. “I can’t.”

“Can’t what?”

“Blame you.”

“What do you mean ‘blame you’? How could I have had anything to do with...”

Mercedes shook her head hard, “Nothing you did. Nothing you didn’t do. She wanted to live for you.”

“So? She wanted to live for you, too!”

“Not enough.”

“You’re blaming her for dying?” he said, incredulous. “She didn’t do anything to deserve this! She had no control...”

Mercedes slapped him. Then found her hands clenched in fists. One moment she was trembling, the next she was hitting him. She hit his face. Hit his nose. His eyes. Then she kneed him in the groin. He shoved her away, slamming her into the wall. She bounced off, spun, and fell face-first into the meal tray, screaming obscenities at him. He was down on the floor with her, hands around her throat, pressing; pressing; pressing the life out of her...

On the bed beside them, Chante sat up and said, “Stop it. Now.” There was no emotion in her voice. There wasn’t even a breath. The sound came without her moving her lips.

Mercedes scrambled back, free suddenly from Ephraim’s hands. He tried to stand as well, but tumbled over her. They found themselves with their backs against the hospital room door, side-by-side, clasping hands.

The heart monitor, still connected to her, was silent. The respirator, still taped to her jaw, was silent. The EEG waves turned the screen green with wild activity as she spoke, “Stop it. I love you both and if you don’t stop fighting…”

Names: ♀ French, Thai; Israeli, Mexican; ♀ French

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