Friday, July 27, 2012

A handwritten note.

Chaos swirled about me as I woke up on the hospital gurney, my head fuzzy and my vision obscured by the noisy oxygen mask on my face.  Nurses in green floated around my body, poking and prodding, in a well practiced waltz all orchestrated by the doctor standing at the foot of the bed. The tempo changes and the energy in the small steel colored room drops to a less frantic pace. The doctor well satisfied with his performance rattles off a list of instructions to his dancing companions standing beside me and leaves to lead another performance behind another curtain. 
“What happened”, I asked as a friendly faced nurse as she pulled the mask from my face. “I don’t remember anything”.
My question was answered by my sergeant who walked in. A man who felt more like my dad than my supervisor. A pissed off look on his face didn’t give away the relief that I can see in his yes. 
“Amanda, you were shot in the arm”. 
“Doctor says you are one lucky gal and you are going to be okay. The bullet grazed your upper arm in such a way that it just caused a bloody mess but no permanent  damage done. Only harm done is that you will have a scar about the size of a quarter to brag about”.  
The happy juice dripping from the IV bag into my arm was starting to chase away logic as I fought to keep my eyes open. Using my good arm I pointed to the hook on the wall where my kevlar vest hung next to my bloody shirt gross in contrast to my gold badge shining bright. With slurred speech I asked him to give me the letter tucked in the inside pocket of the vest . All cops keep something there to protect them if the gun and bullet proof vest can’t. Some have pictures of their families or dog. Rosary beads and prayer cards are popular. I have my mama. 
“Get some rest, that is a direct order. I’ll be back and please don’t get into any trouble”, Sarge barked.  He squeezed my foot on the way out. “Good job kid” he mumbled in a controlled voice shaken with relief and pride. 
I opened the letter written to me a month before I graduated from Police Academy. My mother had written it the night before the cancer robbed her of seeing her only daughter graduate. 
As you go out to serve and protect your job is to treat everyone you meet with kindness and fairness. Do justice right. My job as your guardian angel is to protect you from harms way. I have your back so don’t ever be afraid. Now girl, go out there and be the best you can be. 
Love, Mom... your guardian angel. 
I clutched the letter as I drifted off in a vicoden induced slumber knowing that mama is watching out for her little girl. 

This post inspired by Write On Edge 
A stand-alone scene, fiction or memoir, in 500 words or less, involving a handwritten letter


  1. Love your description! I felt I opened my eyes with Amanda and saw everything blurry and confusing, just like she described. Awesome job!

    stopping by from the RED linkup

    1. Thank you! I was trying to put myself in the same position and describe what it would be like. Sounds like it worked!

  2. While very well crafted, I have to admit I'd never thought of the ED as a choreographed number before, it is quite a shift in writing from the rest of the piece. It is very colorful in description and creativity, while the rest of the piece is very elemental in its tone. That's not to say it's not well written, it just seems to me that it's two different tones on one piece of fiction. My mind had to shift to accommodate both, and maybe that's more a commentary on my mind than your prompt. I enjoyed the sentiment of the mom as the guardian angel. I think there's a lot of those 'up there'. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thank you Denise! It's funny because in my gut I felt the shift as well but ignored it and kept going. I learned a good lesson and appreciate that you saw that as well! Thank you for reading!

  4. Very sweet take on the prompt. I love it. My only crit is I thought she was soldier at first and not a police officer. My Sergent is what made me think that. That could just be me though.

  5. I loved this. The premise is simple but it packed a punch. Well done!

  6. I almost cried! Having been a cop - the fear of exactly this scenario is still haunting even though I don't actually do the job anymore. Great job!

  7. Thank you! I just retired as a 911 dispatcher and dreaded this kind of scenario as well. I'm new to writing and was told to write what you know at first til you get the hang of it. Luckily this piece is fiction!