Loss (Act II), Part Nineteen


This started as one epic 24 page, 9k word tome.  It became impenetrable, but there is room to breathe at the end of this particular chapter, so I’ve divided it into two with a little help from my friends.  Part Nineteen today.  Part Twenty on Saturday. ❤️

I am not sure what I ever did to earn the input of smart writers/friends like @sassenachwaffles, @kalendraashtar​, @kkruml​, and @notevenjokingfic in my life. They keep me honest with my writing and to keep me plugging along.  But here we are, and I am ever-so-grateful.

Loss: Act I and ficlets

Loss: Act II: Part One | Part Two | Part Three | Part Four | Part Five | Part Six | Part Seven | Part EightPart Nine Part Ten | Part Eleven | Part Twelve | Part Thirteen | Part Fourteen |  Part Fifteen | Part Sixteen | Part Seventeen | Part Eighteen

Loss (Act II)
Part Nineteen

My fingerprints lived in magazines.

The ghostly remnants of my touch forged an acquaintance with the disembodied arches, ridges, and whorls of countless other waiting room souls.


Their loved ones and caretakers.  

All frightened, nervous, and (perhaps, like me) entertaining the first gilt flickers of a tempting hope through their fog of panic.

These unknown people were my waiting room comrades.

If they were anything like me, they sat waiting and paying only half of their attention to the articles on which they left their shadowy imprints.  

The articles had little relation to the parade of horribles that would bring anyone to a hospital waiting room.  

Rankings of various cashmere sweaters that took into account durability, color range, cost, and softness.  

Debates over whether certain sleep positions caused premature aging coupled with an admonitions to sleep on backs and purchase silk pillowcases.  

Explicitly illustrated tidbits relating ways to “get him hot” and “keep him interested.”  

Horoscopes purporting to demystify the future (as a Libra, I could apparently look forward to a torrid affair with a stranger and an unexpected windfall of cash before Christmas).

Curling pages with earlier waiting room patrons’ half-finished crossword puzzles (the chicken scratch of some poor speller making my stomach flip at the memory Jamie penciling in my inaccurate guesses with my equally questionable spelling with a tight, stoic expression).

I was not sure why I bothered to read at all.  Opening a magazine was a feeble attempt to to distract from what happened across the hall.

Physical therapy.

Appointments blocked in forty-five minute increments.

Keep reading

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