"Everybody has a secret world inside of them. All of the people of the world, I mean everybody. No matter how dull and boring they are on the outside, inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds. Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands maybe" ~ Neil Gaiman (A Game of You)



The orderly pushes me down the hall on the gurney, jogging as fast as protocol will allow.  Twin doors swing open ahead of us like the gates of heaven to let us pass unhindered.  He swerves to miss a nurse that absentmindedly crosses his path.


She presses up against the wall as we brush past her.

The orderly stops in front of a door where another nurse, this one dressed in surgical gear, is waiting.  She takes over and wheels me into the room.

I don't remember much about the accident, but judging from the amount of blood covering me, it must have been bad.  A dull ache in my arm hints that it is probably broken.  I can't move, so I think that I might have broken my neck or back or both as well.

A masked surgeon waits at the head of the stainless steel table, scalpel in hand, and I look up into his eyes when I am transferred onto the slab.  He looks like he knows what he's doing.  I think I'm in good hands.

A nurse pulls away what's left of my blouse, leaving my stomach and chest exposed.  She swabs away the blood with wet cotton, and I catch the acrid smell of alcohol.  I wait for the anesthesiologist to put the mask over my mouth and nose, anxious that the unendurable pain might finally end.

The surgeon reaches forward and his scalpel pierces my skin as he deftly draws a line from the top of my sternum to my pelvis.  I try to scream, but my mouth remains closed, immovable, and the only echo is inside my head.  Tears seep out of my eyes.  Can't he see the tears in my eyes?

He's digging through my organs, pulling up my kidneys and they look so small in his hands.  He lays one aside and with a snip severs the other.  He turns to an orderly standing next to him, and I now see that the orderly is holding a cooler.  The surgeon gently places my kidney in the corner, then returns to the forgotten one.  A quick, burning snip and it, too, joins its partner.

The orderly races off as the doctor returns his attention to me.  One by one, he harvests my liver, my lungs, and something I don't even recognize.  Now he's wielding a saw, cutting through my sternum, bone dust wafting in the air.  He slowly spreads the two halves and secures them with a retractor.  I feel like I am being torn apart.

"Lara.  Come with me."

I don't know how, because my neck won't move, but I look over my shoulder to see Papa there.  I remember him giving me piggy back rides and sneaking me soda pop before dinner.  But that was a long, long time ago.

"But I'm not dead yet." I look back to the surgeon who now has my beating heart in his hands.

"I know," he says.  "But you will be."


Today's prompt: Write about your greatest fear.


As Yellow As...

A pirate's parrot?  A Yankee traitor?  A blazing sun?

Today's exercise takes the last lesson on similes and metaphors a little further.  In poetry, as in all effective writing, you want to use descriptions that utilize all the senses: sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell.  It creates more interest, and it gives you more tools in your arsenal.  It makes your writing richer and more expressive.

So, your assignment, should you choose to accept it, is to take your favorite food and describe it using each of the five senses and using similes and metaphors.


Orange like a...
An orange is...
Orange like a fiery sun
Bumpy like a toad
Hissing like a deflating balloon
Sour like an old maid
Fruity like a bottle of old wine.

OK, now it's your turn.  Take a peek in your fridge if you need inspiration.  Share your efforts in the comments.


An Unexpected Storm

Lena had always loved the rain. Showers at any time were an invitation to kick off her shoes, run outside, and dance.

So she didn't try to escape the sudden, torrential downpour, though lightning lit the black sky and thunder shook her bones. She stood perfectly still until her t-shirt was drenched and her shivering could have been from the cold.

The rain washed the blood from her legs, washed his stink from her skin, and when she opened her mouth to catch a few drops on her tongue, it washed away his taste.

She wished it would rain forever.