Wednesday, September 09, 2009

It's Just the Fear of Losing You

Coadster in her bright pink hip spica cast shortly after the accident.

So, I've been inspired by a friend to start writing again...No, really writing. Not just jotting down blog posts in twenty minutes to document them for some fabled later date where I will have copious amounts of time to produce actual fiction. So, I pulled out my folder of old stories from when I used to try to write almost ten years ago. I hadn't looked at most of them since then, and rereading them now, kind of made my stomach hurt, the writing was that bad. Luckily, it wasn't all horrible and I think I can actually build something out of what I have.

Since I mentioned the horse and buggy accident yesterday, I thought I'd post a little of the story I wrote about that to piece together what actually happened. I posted it once a couple of years ago too, I think. I had a severe concussion and I was 27 years old, and I wasn't sure if I even had a baby and if I did if she was still alive. So, you can read a little of this and see me at my spazziest. I know. Frightening. I think one of the big problems with this story is that it's in the first person. It was important for me to piece together in that tense, but it doesn't really work as a story. So, here is part of the original and if I think it's worth rewriting, I'll post the same snippet in the third person when I get it done.

Just for fill-in; we were on the buggy with this woman named Marla who worked with me at the coffee/ice cream shop. A guy named Arlen was driving the buggy when the horses got loose. We just happened to be going down a steep hill at the time. Ready? Okaaay!:

"Ah Hell," Arlen says. I see the horses running off, no longer connected to the buggy. Arlen is yanked out of the wagon still steadfastly holding on to the reins and trails behind the horses before he is left with a dislocated shoulder and broken arm in their wake. The buggy keeps going faster.

"Shit!" Marla yells and jumps off the side. Coadster and I are alone. She is crying. I think I am too. We are going too fast now for me to safely jump. The horses are gone, so I figure at some point we'll reach the bottom of the hill and stop. I have to press my feet hard to the floorboards to keep us from getting propelled out of the buggy. I feel my stomach fall and I wish it would drop to my feet to add weight.

This is where things get hazy. It feels like we're flying. I can't hold onto the floor any more and out we go. I can see it all in slow motion and I know exactly where we'll land and how it will feel. I try to keep Coadster in my arms but she starts to slide down my front. When we hit the ground I hear a strange crunching sound and taste the strong iron of my own blood in my mouth. Everything goes black and disappears.

I wake up and hurt. All I know is pain. I panic. There is something awful that happened. I am very familiar with this feeling of dread. There is a loud wailing far away. It is somehow comforting to hear but I don't know what it is. Something very bad has happened. I'm too tired to think and then things get dark again.

I come to again and see Marla. She's crying. She is standing between two ambulances. "At first it looked like the wagon ran over the baby, but then I realized that it was just the white sweater she was wrapped in. I probably shouldn't have picked her up, but I wasn't thinking too clearly. Is Coadster going to be okay?" She is talking to a paramedic. I'm afraid to hear the answer.

I'm stopping it here, because this post is already way too long and you all know the answer since she's seventeen now, and I've bragged about her several times in the last month. I think you get the idea anyhow, it basically sucked and was really scary. The end.


Anonymous said...

I think first person works very well in this case. It allows the reade to feel the emotion as though they were in the buggy too.

Anonymous said...

Google/Blogger is being a real pistol this morning; they insist I change my password and won't tlet me log in until I do. I probably will after I cool down. :)

p.s. I'll be off line for 3 days while doing the canoe race in the Adirondak's

Pamela said...

All she had was a broken hip? That's lucky.

Susan said...

That's great you're going to write again!!

Tara said...

You describe it very well. I'm so sorry that you and Coadster had to experience that accident, though!

laura b. said...

Everything about that makes me shudder. I bet you got tons of questions when Coadster was in her little cast.

AlienCG said...

Quite the ordeal, Churlita. I'm glad you both made it through okay. Thanks for sharing and I like your writing.

Ananda girl said...

How terrifying during and after! My mom senses are frying!

You tell it very well, in fact as I was reading I thought I hear Churlita's voice in this. That is if I had to choose which of the bloggers I read wrote this... I'd have known it was you if the names were changed.

You should write! I'd like to see it in third person too.

booda baby said...

I remember this! I agree with Anonymous, that first person works beautifully IF the point is for the reader to be there.

If it's part of a longer story, though, ... well ...

I'm thrilled - THRILLED! - you're going to start writing writing. I've come to believe (and I definitely didn't) that Virginia Woolf was right. We can write and we can tell stories when we're younger, but since most of us (if not all) are still finding our true balance, it all tends to be slightly ... not good. And then the time comes when both your voice and your gift of editing are rich enough to unleash something else. This is IT!! Yay for YOU!!!

Johnny Yen said...

Oh my-- your description makes me feel like I'm in that spot. Glad everything turned out all right.

Churlita said...


Thanks for suggestion. It does limit me a lot too.I might try writing it in the 3rd person and see which seems to work better. And have fun canoeing. It sounds like a blast.


She had two broken legs. Right above the knees. It could have been so tragic. I instinctively held her in such a way that she didn't hit her head. At 20 weeks, he plates weren't closed and she wouldn't have survived.


Thanks. We'll see how it goes...


Luckily, she doesn't remember it. It freaked me out for years and years.


I did. My friends used to call her the Y baby, because she looked like an upside down Y in it.


Thank you. Yeah. I guess we've all been through the shit at some point.


I'll definitely post it in 3rd person, if I go with that. That's the nice thing about writing, you can just keep rewriting and rewriting until you get it right.

Booda Baby,

For sure. Even without being in a workshop in years, I'm sure I'm a much better writer now. I think part of it, is that I know myself better and don't take myself so seriously.

Johny Yen,

I was definitely going for immediacy when I first wrote this, so I'm glad to hear that.

I'm glad everything turned out alright too. I still have a little memory loss, but Coadster is doing great.

another good thing said...

Holy shit.
you have to write this.
I'd like it from Marla's POV- but change a bit, where she sees all what happened to you...
then post- or better yet, send it to my writing contest
you've got until 9-23