September 7, 2011

Able to exhale

As I recently explained, I am participating in the Platform-Building Campaign. This week we were issued a challenge - write a short story in 200 words or less. It could be in any format, including a poem. The story was to begin with the words, “The door swung open”

As an added challenge (optional), you could end with the words: "the door swung shut." For those who wanted an even greater challenge, you could make your story 200 words EXACTLY! Here is my entry:

The door swung open. Dr. Boyd stepped back into the room. A tall, middle-aged woman followed her, careful not to make eye contact.

I’d been fighting back tears since Dr. Boyd had stopped the ultrasound and excused herself. Her sudden departure had convinced me it was bad news. Again.

“Sorry about that,” she said. “I wanted to consult my colleague, to ask her to confirm what I think I am seeing.”

I hadn’t bothered wiping off the cold goo or covering my belly. As soon as she turned off the lights, the ultrasound continued.

They stared intently at the screen. Dr. Boyd pointed and exclaimed, “There! Do you see it?”

“Mmmm,” her colleague answered. “I definitely see the fetal pole. And here…” She pointed now.

“Yes!” Dr. Boyd replied enthusiastically.

I waited anxiously. I wanted to scream, “Just tell me!” Finally, she turned the screen to face us, a huge smile on her face.

“Well,” she asked, “Would you like to see your baby’s heartbeat? It’s rare to be able to this early on. It’s a very good sign.”

The unnamed colleague made a quiet exit. Just as joyful tears began to stream down my cheeks, the door swung closed.

My piece is exactly 200 words. I used the beginning and the ending phrases. But this isn't a story; it's real life. That is what I write about. This was the day we found out our daughter was coming into our lives.

If you enjoyed this piece, please click here, find me (#237) and click on "Like!" You'll find some more great writers there, too!

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