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November 11, 2012
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"Do you think he'll make it, Doctor?"

"I'm sorry, I can't say for sure. This is nothing like anything we've seen before. His vitals all seem to be okay, he's on a respirator, but we're not entirely sure that he even needs one. We don't want to take him off just yet, but we may be able to do it at some point in the near future. He's healthy for the condition he's in, Mrs. Gregori. Everything is fine for the time being, except for the fact that he isn't waking up."


The voices woke me from the terrible nightmare I'd been having. I remembered getting ready for bed-- I had had a long day at work and I was incredibly tired, more so than usual. I remembered eating a quick dinner, and then brushing my teeth. I told myself I would shower in the morning, even though I knew I was essentially a walking pile of shit.

Other than that, I couldn't remember anything else from before my nightmare. My nightmare was about me, as are most of my other nightmares. I'd been dreaming that my life was hanging in the balance. I'd been in a car accident or something, I couldn't even remember the nightmare itself... I'd been critically injured, on life support, almost in death's grip.

I'd been dreaming that I had one foot in the grave, and that I was in a coma. My life was hanging in the balance, my fate in the hands of my family and the doctor taking care of my life.

I came to in a world no better than my nightmare. It was a world of darkness. I could hear everything, I could see nothing. I could feel everything, I could do nothing. I assumed my eyes were closed for some reason, but try as I might I couldn't do anything about it.

I knew I was lying down, that much I could sense. And I figured I was in a hospital or care home, but the reason was a complete mystery. I knew my family was there every once in a while, I could hear them talking, but it really bothered me that I couldn't see them or do anything to communicate with them.

I tried, I really did. But I quickly realized I was pretty much paralyzed. I tried talking, I tried moving, I tried everything... I couldn't move, I couldn't talk, I couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't do anything.

I drifted in and out of consciousness--falling asleep, blacking out, however it's termed. I heard conversations every once in a while, but it tended to be quiet wherever I was. I usually had one visitor at a time, sometimes they would talk to me if they weren't napping or eating. Most of the time it was just an aimless diary like, one-sided conversation about their day or the episode of whatever television show they were into, but sometimes there would be a heartbreaking speech-- something truly from the heart, something that really made me want to cry those tears that make you heave just so you can breathe. But nothing ever happened.

I remembered one particular time, when my mom came to visit. She'd been there for some time already, just sitting in silence, but she started talking after a while. It started as pointless small talk, but the escalation of seriousness was much quicker than I would have predicted.

"Daniel? I don't know if you can hear me, but I just needed to talk to someone... Even if they don't talk back. I don't know if you're in there, and I don't know how you got so far lost in there, but I really want you to come back. I need you to come back. Children aren't supposed to die before their parents, Danny. I know you're not dead, but... You're just a shell at this point. I don't know how much longer we can keep going like this. I can't lose you. I can't bring myself to let you go. But the doctors have no idea what's wrong with you, they don't know where to even start looking for a solution... A cure... Anything to help you. And we can't afford the costs of your respirator, your hospital bills... The doctors won't let us take you home because they want to keep an eye on you. They want to monitor your condition and see what happens. They're using you, Danny... Oh God, I can't bear to see my boy go. Please, Danny... Please wake up..."

I could feel my emotions going all over the place. I never imagined I would hear my own mother so distraught, and I never even considered the possibility of her losing me. Yet with my own internal emotional roller coaster, I still couldn't shed a single tear.

It was much later that I heard them talking again. The doctors had come into my room for something concerning my parents. I knew it was something serious because the doctor's voice was different, more monotone in a way. They left the room and I could hear them discussing something out in the hallway, but no words could be made out even though I was focusing all of my attention on them.

I could hear my mom's voice cracking as she started crying, and I could hear the hitch in my dad's voice as he said something to the doctor. I assumed they had made some discovery with a none too bright outcome for me.

But assumptions aren't always right.

My parents came in after what felt like a few hours. I could hear my mom crying as she sat by my bed. I could feel the weight of my dad's hands on my bed as he leaned this way and that way, fidgeting like he always does when he doesn't know what to do with himself.

He finally sat on my bed and spoke up:

"Danny, I doubt I ever told you this enough, but I love you more than anything. I don't know what's wrong with you, I don't know where you've gone, and I don't know if you'll ever come back. I don't know if you can hear me, I don't even know if you're still in there at all. The doctors told us that there's nothing they can do anymore... They said they've never seen anything like you. We... We can't go on like this Dan. Jesus, I can't believe I'm saying this... Dan, we've done all we can do at this point. If you can hear me, do something, anything. Even breathing by yourself..."

I tried so hard...

His voice was slowly dying as he went on. I'd never heard my father so emotional.

"I am so sorry Danny... I, we, can't do any more. We can't afford this medical care, son. You're not okay and we can't do anything about it. You don't understand how much that hurts us. Please, come back, son."

I never wanted anything more than to show my parents, and the doctors, that I was alive.

I heard my mom get up and open the door. I heard my dad walk out. I heard some commotion outside. I felt my mom come back and hold my hand as she sat next to me. I heard the doctors come in, my father right behind them. I felt my mom shaking as sobs racked her body. I felt the respirator stop, I felt my lungs take in a single breath. I felt myself leaving. I felt my mom hugging me for the last time. I heard my dad crying as he watched me go.

I felt a single tear slip from my closed eye, every emotion enveloped in a single drop.

And then I was gone, my body literally just an empty shell on that hospital bed.

But some final decisions were meant to be questioned.

The realization of their decision set in, and my dad determined that he would not let me go so easily. Not without a fight. I watched from above as a defibrilator was brought in. I watched as my body convulsed. I watched as things got blurry and I watched as my surroundings turned back to black.

I opened my eyes.

My vantage point was from the hospital bed.

And the first thing I saw was my mother's face, filled with relief as her tears splattered onto my face and her arms wrapped themselves around me.
Despite the doctors best efforts, Daniel, a boy who suddenly became comatose, is not waking up. The finances of his parents are quickly draining, and the dreaded decision comes ever closer - when will they have to pull the plug? Ultimately they are forced into doing so, but some decisions are made to be changed.

YES I wrote this.
NO you may not use it or take credit for it.
YES I would adore feedback.

I wrote this for a 30 day project (which is most definitely not a 30 consecutive day project anymore). The topic was "Your Worst Fear" [I'm terrified of being in a coma and knowing everything that's going on around me but not being able to do anything about it while my family decides to pull the plug].
So yeah. Sorry for posting yet another thing death related. I thought I'd make this one a happy ending though.
NO, it is definitely not a true story [at least for me or anyone I know]. :)

Give me whatever you've got for feedback. I appreciate it all.
Or you can answer these if you want something specific to answer:
--Is it believable? The dialogue, the choices made, the parents speeches...
--Is there anything specific [that I haven't asked about] I can improve on?
--Is it clear what's happening?
--Is the ending too abrupt/does it feel unfinished?


Yeah, I cried while writing this... Give me a break, the parents' dialogue was pretty heartwrenching.
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:iconemowraith:
This was an amazing piece of writing. The dialogue was well thought out and the emotions present were truly palpable. I couldn't help but read the entire thing because it was just that gripping. This piece is realistic enough that the reader can put themselves in the shoes of Daniel and feel his emotions. I believe that regardless of how you decided to end it, it would still have been a wonderful piece of literature. I definitely think you should continue writing if you can keep up this quality of work. Once again, congratulations on a great work of literature.
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The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 4 deviants thought this was fair.

:iconlaeneris:
Whew, finally here! Let's begin then, shall we? :D

First off, this was incredibly sad. Especially the dialogue - I've never been on someone's deathbed before, but what the parents said to Daniel gave me a reasonable impression of the intense grief one would feel. So good job on that!

I have my doubts on the realism of this piece, though. You're probably thinking 'oh lord, not the realism again! It's fiction!' but even fantasy stories can be somewhat truthful to the real world. Since this is something that could possibly happen for real, I thought I'd share my opinion with you. So here's what kind of bugged me. I'm not sure if it's possible for Daniel to breathe on his own, but still be paralyzed. I'm just going to assume he breathes on his own because you said he didn't really need a respirator (which, might I add, is actually called a medical ventilator or just ventilator for short, I think). Let's take the eye muscles as example. I think it's either everything or nothing being paralyzed, but I'm not sure. Just for realism, this seems more like total locked-in syndrome to me (don't ask why I know that... :XD:) :)
(Here's the link to wikipedia if you wanna learn more) [link]

The 'nightmare' was a cool touch, by the way. Especially because it makes the reader wonder whether he really dreamt it and something else caused his state, or that everything really happened and his memories present themselves as a nightmare because it was so traumatic.

I wanted to give you more stars for originality, but I've read stories about this before. ^^; Even though it's not entirely fresh to me, I still really enjoyed it!

I'll weave in the rest of my feedback through answering your questions:

Is it believable? The dialogue, the choices made, the parents speeches...
It seemed that way to me, although I don't think anyone would call such dialogue unbelievable. I mean, everyone reacts differently to situations like this. So in that sense, nothing can be wrong. That said, I did think this is one of the reactions a parent would most likely have. It's heartbreaking, I cringed a bit while reading it. Poor family... :iconcry-plz:
The fact that they won't be able to afford it any longer just makes everything a lot worse for the parents (and for Daniel himself of course). However I don't think parents would let their child die because they couldn't afford it anymore . Which it seems might've happened, if Daniel hadn't come back before that. Maybe a mention of a fundraiser or the parents debating on selling something valuable (car? TV? House?) would make it more realistic? On the other hand, since we have no indication of time, we don't know how long Daniel's been there. But I still think they should fight more for their child. One more question. He's not on life support, so why is it so expensive? :(
What the doctors said about keeping and monitoring him seems reasonable to me. I mean, they could've given Daniel a portable ventilator to help him, but he wouldn't get any better than he would be in that hospital bed. At least there they can keep an eye on him. :)

Is there anything specific [that I haven't asked about] I can improve on?
Hmm, well apart from what I mentioned above, I can't really think of anything! You reveal enough to answer general questions people might get, and there were no unneeded details. Just Daniel and his thoughts. I thought you handled that very well.
Although I thought that the 'single tear' thing, while nice and emotional, was a little bit cliche. Can anyone really cry just one tear, especially someone in such a state? :?

Is it clear what's happening?
If I had to write a synopsis/summary, it would be this:
Daniel is a boy/man who, after getting into a car accident, gets into a kind of coma. Despite the doctors best efforts he is not waking up. The finances of his parents are quickly draining, and the dreaded decision comes ever closer - when will they have to pull the plug? Ultimately they are forced to doing so, but as Daniel is dying, his dad brings him back to life with a defibrillator.

Did I get that right?

Is the ending too abrupt/does it feel unfinished?
It doesn't feel abrupt, but it also doesn't seem entirely right. Did the dad use the defibrillator, or did the doctors? It struck me as a bit odd that they didn't decide beforehand to immediately try to shock Daniel's heart back into action after pulling the plug. That sounds like a plan you make before you actually kill your son. ^^; Also, since he's practically choking from lack of oxygen, a mention of doctors giving him something to dull the pain beforehand would be nice. Patients don't just die straight away, they suffocate... assuming his heart was still beating (and I'm assuming that because he's not on life support). That's going to hurt. But this causes another problem - they said in the beginning he doesn't really need a ventilator. So why does he die, instead of breathing on his own? Unless his condition got worse over time, then a mention would help the reader out.

That's it! I think I've covered it all. You must be really sick of me rambling about realism now, and I'm really sorry. Truth be told I feel like an absolute jerk to take everything apart like I did... I just try to imagine the scene in my head, and when things feel wrong, I can't really ignore it and read on. There probably are heaps of people who don't care about a piece being realistic or not as well, so if you change it, do it only for yourself. :)

I'll just say this again; the emotional weight this piece has is amazing. When parents are forced to make such a tragic decision, you can't help feeling really bad for them. Not to mention poor Daniel, who can't do anything even though he hears and feels things. Now that you've shown your skill with writing such scenes, I demand more! :dummy:

Please don't let anything say discourage you. I want to help you to become better, so none of this was said in spite. :) As always, I'm not an expert so feel free to disagree with me.

Peace out! :peace:
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:iconshadowofnifaris:
ShadowOfNifaris Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Sadness cake..at first. But then I read that Daniel was alright thanks to a defibrillator and I was like yaaaaay xD very gripping narrative sir. Awsome ^^
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
Thank you so much, I appreciate it! :D
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:iconshadowofnifaris:
ShadowOfNifaris Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
No problem at all, I thoroughly enjoyed this piece ^^
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012
Means a lot!
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:iconshadowofnifaris:
ShadowOfNifaris Featured By Owner Nov 16, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Yay ^^
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:iconwriteacrossme:
writeacrossme Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Writer
Whoaaaaa it's really sad ;_; I cried a wittle too aughhh... :iconreallysadplz:

Anyways! I really liked the dialogue. As you said - the parent's dialogue was really sad. But you know what's weird? I feel as if I had a dream similar to this, the whole Children aren't supposed to die before their parents, Danny.

De-ja-vu! (or however the hell you spell it)

I'm really bad at feedback, so forgive me, I don't have anything to give for this. Just know that I really like it!

Oh and question: How old is Danny? Just wondering, because it said he had gone to work and so... yeah... lol

Good job!
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
Aww I'm sorry :'(
*I originally had it cut off at "And then I was gone, my body literally just an empty shell on that hospital bed" but I thought I had too much stuff death related so I wanted it to have a kind of happy ending :meow:

Really? That's funny/weird/sad. But thanks! I was trying to make it believable. :nod:

That's ok, I am too. :grump: Thanks so much!

haha I was thinking this myself when I re-read it... I was going to make him be like 20-30, like a married guy with a famiy and all, but then I thought it'd be weird to focus on his parents instead of his wife so I guess he's like late high school, early college? Like.. somewhere between 17 and 20 I guess. I may have to change that around a little.
:shrug:

Thanks so much! :glomp:
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:iconwriteacrossme:
writeacrossme Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Writer
Don't be sorry! It's really good if it makes me cry :nod:
*ohhh really? I'm guilty of writing too much sad stuff myself, actually. I hardly ever make happy endings... :/ But I like that you did make a happy ending for this one!

It was believable, I think! It's always hard to make things realistic when it comes to medical stuff. But one piece of feedback I just thought about: the ending seems... abrupt, I guess. It was like he died, but then he didn't die. I do like the ending, don't get me wrong, it just confused me a bit.

Ah I see! It sounds fine to me, I kind of like it better at the 17-20 range because it's like he hasn't really lived his life yet, just starting or going into college, still young... just a lot sadder to think about, in my opinion.
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:iconcranberry413:
Cranberry413 Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012
I know, I like stories that bring out emotions in the reader, I just don't like making people cry. :P
*My novel's ending... it's going to be sad.. But shhhh don't tell anybody I said that. It's supposed to be a secret. :XD:

Yeah, I agree. It was nearing 2 am when I was finishing this last night so I just wanted to finish it. I tend to do that a lot. It's one of those things where the dad I guess realized he was essentially killing his son, and changed his mind and I didn't know what else to include in there without over-describing everyting. He did die, but the defibrilators brought him back.

Yeah, I kind of like it better that way too :D
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:iconlaeneris:
Laeneris Featured By Owner Nov 11, 2012  Student Writer
Did I hear someone say secret? :eyes:
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