Resurrection in Turquoise

It’s been several weeks since I’ve had time to participate in Friday Fictioneers, but Rochelle knows the best way to get me back again–by using one of my photos as the prompt. If you’re new to this weekly challenge, the rules are simple: Writers from all over the globe are invited to compose a 100-word story based on the week’s photo prompt. Click here to read and play along.

My story this week is almost entirely autobiographical, but that’s all I’ll say on the topic for now.

Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Copyright Marie Gail Stratford

Resurrection in Turquoise

Thirty years later, she remembers the pale green of hospital walls and her own small legs encased in plaster. Her dreams are haunted. Too often, she wakes with a start.

Thirty-five years later she takes a deep breath, submerges her face in the pale green water of an indoor pool. Three measured strokes, another breath. Three more strokes. A breath. The panic fades.

Forty years later, she sits in her office, glances at the blue-green logo on her business card. In her favorite color, she recognizes a bluer version of hospital green. She’s lived to see the resurrection of the turquoise butterfly.

Identifying the Offender

This is my response to the Friday Fictioneers prompt for November 14. The challenge is to write a 100-word story inspired by the photo prompt. Play along by writing your own, reading others and/or commenting on the flashes we fictioneers create. The photo prompt this week comes from Claire Fuller, a fine writer whose blog you should definitely check out, after reading mine, of course. My piece this week weighs in at exactly 100 words.

Copyright Claire Fuller

Copyright Claire Fuller

Identifying the Offender

 

Brandon sat by his wife’s hospital bed. He knew her objections to the Michelin tires on the SUV. But why was she murmuring about the Michelin man in her drug-induced state?

“We’ll be moving her to a psychiatric facility in the morning.” Brandon nodded dumbly at the doctor. “Is she a trauma survivor?”

Brandon shrugged. “Self-induced trauma, maybe.”

“She’s showing PTSD symptoms. I’m transferring her to a facility that specializes in trauma. Any idea who ‘the Michelin man’ or someone named ‘Mr. Bannister’ is?”

Brandon’s eyes widened. The puzzle pieces were falling into place, but he didn’t like the implications.

Author’s note: I struggled for a while to come up with a story this week, and I finally went with a story that I know well. Sadly, Brandon’s wife is much luckier than many trauma survivors. Several PTSD sufferers, including myself, are repeatedly blamed for their behavior and only treated with psychotropic meds that often make things worse rather than being given the therapy they need to remember, overcome and then let go of the horrors from the past. For me, it took 20 years of “pseudo seizures” and at least 4 suicide attempts before a single intake nurse changed my life for the better by uttering those words, “Are you a trauma survivor?”