#52weeks52stories The Problem Princess


I’m having another one of those weeks. It will pass soon. 😉


#52weeks52stories: Week 34

Word prompt: queen

Word count – 235

Reading time – 58 secs.


In a kingdom far away there lived a Queen

Who had a troublesome daughter just out of her teens

On her tasks, she did tarry

And she vowed never to marry

And she thought her mother quite mean.


The Queen blamed the girl for her migraines

And the lines on her face showing the strain

“This brat of mine

Must get in line

Or I’ll be in court tomorrow getting arraigned.”


She got an idea – a Ball!

“Invite a few men, no, invite them all

And make sure this royal order

Gets to my hard-headed daughter

Her time is up, she no longer can stall!”


The Princess was tired of the stress

And thought, “I’ll wear a horrid dress!”

“The men will think me quite strange

And maybe a bit deranged

And then I’ll be free of this mess!”


When the Queen saw the dress, she moaned

The royal court was filled with giggles and groans

Except for Prince Luke

Who thought she was cute

And wanted to take her home.


The Princess considered the crown-Prince guest

Who didn’t mind her wretched dress

“Hmm? Live at home with the Queen

Or marry this man of means

Are you mad? I won’t fail this test!”


And that’s how this story ends

A royal wedding with family and friends

As they raised a toast

Her mom couldn’t help but boast

“I’m the Queen, I always win!”



Image from Pixabay

©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Song Lyric Sunday | “For You” – Kenny Lattimore

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “plan.” 


I must be in a wedding-song mood this week as I stretch the theme out again to include this romantic ballad.

In 1997’s For You, artist Kenny Lattimore pledges his love and devotion… and a plan for life together to the woman he loves.

Written by Kenny Lerum, a high school classmate of Lattimore, the song reached number six on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks (Billboard) and number thirty-three on the US Billboard Hot 100.  For You received a Grammy nomination for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance at the 40th Annual Grammy Awards but lost to R. Kelly’s I Believe I Can Fly.

It’s simply a beautiful song.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

For You

by Kenny Lattimore

Written by

#52weeks52stories Wowie Zowie!

wowie zowie


#52weeks52stories: Week 33

Word prompt: flu

Word count – 2105

Reading time – 6 mins


She put off the appointment for too long and missed her chance.

Flu season had arrived with a vengeance and Teri Wilson’s doctor’s schedule was full.

She knew better.

Along with her daily meds, the yearly flu shot kept the chronic asthmatic out of the ER and off her nebulizer.

Now she stood in line at her local pharmacy to pay out-of-pocket for a flu shot from people she didn’t know.

All because she dreaded making that appointment.

Because Teri Wilson was afraid of needles.

Not just, oh-this-is-going-to-hurt afraid, but anxiety-laced, blood-pressure-raising, vomit-inducing, pass-out-on-the-floor afraid.

It was an irrational fear, she knew, especially for a woman of her years and medical history.

But when Teri looked at a needle, she didn’t see the long hollow pointed part of a hypodermic syringe used to deliver medicines or fluids to her body to help her. She saw a Viking’s sword, poised over her in battle ready to pierce skin and bone and eviscerate her very soul.

And no amount of counseling, sedatives, or taunting had ever been able to change her.

Family and friends who took turns escorting her to medical appointments to hold her hand—or hold her down—would be exhausted from the physical struggle.

Teri’s husband, Leonard, made fun of her and called her a big baby.

“Jesus, Teri. It’s just a tiny prick and over before you know it.”

His smugness annoyed her and wasn’t close to the level of compassion she felt a spouse should have.

“You’re right, Leonard. I should be used to it since I married a tiny prick and it always ends before I even get started.”

He wasn’t amused.

Leonard’s lack of support wasn’t the reason Teri filed for divorce six months ago, but she’d find room to squeeze it in among his long list of flings, affairs, overspending and other mid-life crisis issues.

As if on cue, a couple in line behind her sniped at each other.

“It’s a flu shot, Deb. Stop acting like it will save your life.”

“It might. Remember how sick I was two years ago, Larry? Nineteen days in the hospital. I got my flu shot on time last year and never even had the sniffles.”

“But forty dollars? Isn’t that pricey? I’ve seen them advertised for twenty-five.”

“Well, I didn’t find that price today, and it’s a small investment in my health compared to the visit to the doctor’s office that’s three times as much and not covered by our insurance.”

“I get it. This is about me switching to a cheaper health plan at work without talking it over with you first.”

Teri heard the woman scoff.

“Larry, this is about me trying to stay as healthy as possible this winter so I don’t miss a ton of work and can still take care of the kids.”

His voice softened. “I want you healthy too, Deb. I need you.”

Their voices lowered into cooing and breathy kisses and Teri mentally applauded the man for at last speaking from his heart and not his head.

She hadn’t been so lucky.

The line moved forward five steps and Teri craned her neck to see a divider was added to make second booth to assist with the small crowd.

Droplets of perspiration formed around her ears and hairline.

Don’t start this, Wilson. It’s just a flu shot. Stand still before you embarrass yourself.

She took two cleansing breaths to calm herself and went back to people-watching.

Her gaze fell on a dark-haired boy of about five three places ahead of her in line.

His mother had a firm grip on his hand while her other hand-held the ereader she focused on.

Teri watched the well-behaved child and smiled. He appeared to be talking to himself while waving his hand around in the air.

Was he doing jazz-hands?

Her smile grew into a grin as her curiosity got the better of her. Teri tapped the shoulder of the man in front of her.

“Sorry to bother you,” she tilted her head toward the child, “but can you hear what’s he’s saying?”

The young man in front of him turned around chuckling. “Excuse me for butting in but I was wondering the same thing.”

The adults took a step forward and leaned toward the child.

The first man frowned. “Sounds like ‘Wowie Zowie.’”

This got the mother’s attention, and she faced the small group, a sheepish look on her face.

“He is saying ‘Wowie Zowie.’ Nicholas is afraid of needles and my goofball brother taught him that so he wouldn’t be afraid.”

“Does it work for him?” the young man asked.

Before his mother could respond, little Nicholas looked up at the curious group. “Unkie Tate gave me magic. It always works.”

The young man laughed. “It does, huh? Always?”

“Yep. Long as you believe, anything’s possible.”

Both men high-fived the boy and knelt to talk with him as his mother looked on, smiling.

Teri was speechless, mesmerized by the child’s eyes. They reminded her of Boyd at that age. A chocolate-brown so soft it resembled velvet. What intrigued her about Nicholas’ eyes was the ring around his irises in gradient shades of gold. The contrast of the deep brown against near-platinum hues created a glowing effect.

At least it did to Teri. No one else appeared to notice. The younger man and Nicholas were in an animated conversation about Peppa Pig while his mom and the other gentleman seemed pleased to find out they were both single… and available.

“Next in line, please.”

A couple with two pre-teens moved to the reception counter and now Teri was fourth in line.

A dull roar sprang to life right behind Teri’s ears and competed with the butterflies in her stomach. Clenching her fists, she tried to will away the sense of dread moving through her.

“It’ll be okay.”

Touched by his concern, Teri looked at the boy… and gasped.

His beautiful eyes were glowing.

She looked around.

Nicholas’ mom was at the counter filling out forms. The two men discussed their last bouts with the flu. The line behind her carried on with their conversations, reading, and looks of boredom.

No one saw the golden light shining from the child’s eyes.

Except her.

Teri turned back to the tyke, but he was disappearing behind the divider next to reception with his mom.

She rubbed her temple, unsure of herself and what she saw.

His eyes glowed.

Listen to yourself, Wilson, you sound crazy as hell.

But you’re standing too close to miss it.

About to give in and ask the men if they’d noticed anything different about Nicholas’ eyes, Teri was interrupted by crying from the far divider.

Her mind remembered where she was and why and her anxiety rushed back to the surface.

More crying followed by soft wails assaulted Teri like a punch in the gut. She stepped around the two men in front of her to lean against the counter no longer trusting her legs.

The preteens reappeared ahead of their parents, heads bowed and clutching their arms. Not even their father announcing a stop for chili dogs and fries could raise their tear-filled faces.

“Guess I’m up next.” She heard the young guy say as he zipped behind the divider.

Why is he so happy? They’re about to plunge a piece of metal into his skin.

The pharmacy aide slid a health form over to Teri. Focused on not throwing up, she wasn’t sure what she put on the form but by the time Teri finished the young guy was waving and heading up front for the exit as the first man took his place.

Oh, God. I’m next.

Her vision blurred and Teri cursed herself for allowing pride and a bad attitude to let her come here alone today. She wanted to bolt but knew she’d never make it to the parking lot. Patting her coat pockets, she searched for her phone to call Boyd. Her oldest child was the only person who would come for her and not judge her. Much.

Startled by a sudden jolt, Teri looked down at her hand where the sensation started, to see Nicholas stroking her fingers.

“It’s your turn.”

She studied the child as she allowed him to lead her behind the divider.

His mother was fastening her jacket while the nurse gave her aftercare and injection site instructions.

Nicholas stopped at the small exam table and motioned for Teri to sit.

She considered him again. He was a compassionate young boy who could sense unease in others, one of those old souls people spoke of. Teri chastised herself for thinking Nicholas was anything else.

“C’mon, Nic, we have to go. Tell the nice lady goodbye.”

His mom held out his jacket for him, but before walking away, he gripped Teri’s again.

“It’s gonna be okay.”

“Thank you so much, Nicholas. It was nice meeting you.”

He ran to his mom and slid into his coat.

Teri removed hers while the nurse changed gloves and readied a new tray.

Teri’s brow knitted in confusion. She was rolling up her sleeve as a nurse prepared a flu injection a few feet away.

For her.

And she wasn’t freaking out.

The anxiety and nausea which plagued her only moments ago were gone.

No perspiration trickled down her back.

How had she conquered a lifelong fear in a few minutes? And why today of all days?

The nurse sat the tray on the table next to Teri.

She still wasn’t happy about the shot but she was no longer crippled with fear or filled with dread.

Teri watched the nurse open the alcohol swab and wipe a spot on her arm.


She looked up to see Nicholas peeking around the divider.

“Wowie Zowie!” He waved his hand through the air, then ran off.

“You’re all set.”

Teri jerked her head back to see the nurse removing her gloves. She looked at her arm and her eyes widened to see a band-aid in place.

“That’s it? You’re done? I never even felt the poke.”

“These new flu shot needles are smaller with a finer point. They make less of an impact on the skin… and patient’s nerves.”

The two women chuckled. Teri hurried to get her coat back on, only half-listening to the nurse’s instructions.

She had to catch Nicholas.

Thanking the nurse, Teri headed for the front of the store. As she passed the flu shot line, she froze. Teri opened her change purse and took out two twenty-dollar bills and folded them in half. The couple who’d bickered over the cost of the shot were now near the front of the line. Teri grabbed the surprised woman’s hand, placed the bills in her palm and folded her fingers over them.

“I hope you both have a nice day.”

Smiling, she turned and rushed toward the exit in search of a special five-year-old.

Her heart fell as she stood in front of the store and looked out across the parking lot.

Nicholas and his mom were nowhere in sight.

What just happened? I’ve never gotten a shot in my life without putting up a fight or getting sick, and today, I didn’t even feel it.

Resigned, she headed to her car, replaying the last hour in her mind. Teri thought she was in the wrong row until she saw the bumper of her Altima sticking out just past a large, windowless, commercial van.

Her smiled returned as she passed the van. Between the van and her car sat a Nissan Xterra. The woman sat in the driver’s seat talking on her cell. Teri looked inside the car as she opened her own door, to see the child fastened in a mini car-seat.

She heard their engine start and waved to get his attention.

He glanced in her direction and smiled, returning her wave as his mom pulled out of the parking space. Holding Teri’s gaze, Nicholas waved the same hand through the air… and his eyes glowed.

They drove off, leaving the dazed woman standing there, her own hand held up in a frozen wave.

Teri dropped her hand, looked around to see if anyone witnessed what just happened, then got in her car.

Sitting behind the wheel, Teri Wilson tried to make sense of her situation.

A lifelong fear… gone.

An adorable little boy… with glowing eyes.

No one else appeared to notice.

And no one would ever believe her story.

She started her car and left the parking lot.

Remembering the child’s words, Teri decided being believed wasn’t important.

Because she believed.



©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Song Lyric Sunday | “Neither One of Us” – Gladys Knight & the Pips

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “fear.” 

It’s my first time repeating a song in the challenge. I posted this one back at the end of  January  as a “goodbye” song, but even as I considered other songs for fear, this Grammy-winning hit wouldn’t go away.
Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)  by Gladys Knight & the Pips released on December 26, 1972 on Motown’s Soul Records and  became one of their biggest hit singles to date and was also the last single the group released prior to them leaving Motown for Buddah Records in February 1973.
On March 17, 1973, the song reached number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart, staying there for four consecutive weeks. Due to the song’s strong crossover appeal, it eventually peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100, with Vicki Lawrence’s The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia (another Song Lyric Sunday feature) blocking it from number one. However, it went number one on the U.S. Record World and Cashbox charts. It also crossed over to the adult contemporary chart, peaking at number 15. Worldwide, it was also successful, peaking at number 9 in France, number 11 in Canada and number 31 in the UK.
Can you say H-I-T?
The video is from a Soul Train appearance and the Pips are just so, so smooth!


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Neither One of Us

by Gladys Knight & the Pips

Written by

#52weeks52stories “John & Stella – A Limerick”


Weird week. Hard to concentrate. Too many personal things to deal with, especially with the mister’s and my mom’s health.

Didn’t want to give this week a pass though, so this is my brain under stress. 😀


#52weeks52stories: Week 32

Word prompt: triplet

Word count – 125

Reading time – 30 sec


There once was a man named John

Who was always working a con

On the day he met Stella

John became her fella

And the two began life on the run.


They grifted in Boise

They scammed in Poughkeepsie

With the law on their trail

John and Stella decided to bail

And spent four days in Reno getting tipsy.


The duo hid in a cabin in Truckee

And John just knew he’d get lucky

But they weren’t very cautious

Now Stella is nauseous

Looks like these two are having a baby.


Nine months later the triplets came

John knew he had to up his game

So he taught them the ropes

Raised them not to be dopes

And they’re still bringing fame to his name.



©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved

Song Lyric Sunday | “Mercedes Benz” – Janis Joplin

Song Lyric Sunday banner

Song Lyric Sunday was created by Helen Vahdati from This Thing Called Life One Word at a Time. For complete rules or to join in the fun, click here.

The theme for Song Lyric Sunday this week is “drive/driving.” 

Still going my own way with this week’s theme to post this Janis Joplin classic which has been a part of pop culture for almost five decades.
Mercedes Benz was written by Joplin and the poets Michael McClure and Bob Neuwirth at Vahsen’s, a Port Chester, New York bar, on August 8, 1970 during an impromptu poetry jam.  The lyrics were inspired by the first line of a song written by McClure, “Come on, God, and buy me a Mercedes Benz.”  Janis would sing the song for the first time at a concert later that same night.
The song is about the search for happiness by the pursuit of worldly goods. It’s a classic hippie rejection of the consumerism that was already a big part of American society.
Recorded in one take two months later, Mercedes Benz  would also be Joplin’s last recorded song.  She died three days later on October 4, 1970 of a heroin overdose. Janis was just twenty-seven-years old.
The song has been covered dozens of times by artists and groups around the world including Elton John, Taj Mahal, and Pink, and used in countless movies and advertising campaigns. Many may be unfamiliar with Joplin and her music but most have heard this song at least once since its release.


See my Song Lyric Sunday selection on Nesie’s Place.


Disclaimer: I have no copyrights to the song and/or video and/or hyperlinks to songs and/or videos and/or gifs above. No copyright infringement intended.

Mercedes Benz

by Janis Joplin

Written by

I’d like to do a song
Of great social and political import
It goes like this

[Verse 1]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

[Verse 2]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV
Dialing For Dollars is trying to find me
I wait for delivery each day until three
So oh Lord, won’t you buy me a color TV

[Verse 3]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town
I’m counting on you, Lord, please don’t let me down
Prove that you love me and buy the next round
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a night on the town

[Verse 1]
Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz
My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends
Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends
So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz

Compiled from SongFacts.com,  Genius Lyrics, YouTube, Wikipedia, and Google.

“I absolutely loved this novel.” Amazon Reviewer

Best Int 5 stars


Severely injured in an accident that forever changed her life, 10-year-old Olivia becomes another faceless, under-served child in foster care. With no time to mourn or grieve, the young girl is easy prey for uncaring social workers and ambivalent foster families.

Olivia quickly learns to hold her tongue and mask her emotions. Even when exposed to neglect, bullying, and assault, no one seems to care. Holding fast to the teachings of her late father, Olivia ages out of the system broken, but no longer a victim.

Now a successful child advocate attorney, Olivia is a passionate voice for children. However, a routine case assignment by the court plunges Olivia back into the trauma of her childhood. If she doesn’t face her demons, a child will be sent into foster care, and Olivia will lose the only chance at love she’s ever had…or wanted.

Foster care for her young client is not an option. But Olivia’s emotional scars run even deeper than she realized. Reconciling with her past means Olivia must confront the one woman she blames for her battered soul.

A woman who has no idea who Olivia is.


Amazon US http://bit.ly/BestInt

Amazon UK http://bit.ly/BestIntUK

Amazon CA http://bit.ly/BestIntCA

Amazon AU http://bit.ly/BestIntAU

Goodreads  http://bit.ly/BestIntGR


#52weeks52stories “Whose Right is it Anyway?”

Whose Right is it Anyway banner


#52weeks52stories: Week 31

Word prompt: saw

Word count – 2581

Reading time – 4 min, 10 sec


The paramedics burst through the bay doors rushing the gurney down the hall while firing off details to the ER team.

“Male, white, 59 years-of-age. He was using a rotary saw with a frayed cord in his garage. The saw overheated, the frayed wires arced and shocked him. His son said he tried to drop the saw as he was falling but he didn’t let go in time. His left arm is almost completely severed at the elbow. His eyes are open but he’s unresponsive. His wife, Carol, is on the way and,” he tilted his head toward a young man entering behind them, “that’s his son, Will, twenty-two. Watch out for the attitude.”

Shouts from ER staff filled the area as the wounded man was pushed into the trauma area and transferred to the treatment table.

“BP’s 70 over 40, thready pulse.”

“Breathing is rapid and shallow. Respiratory is on the way.”

“Sir? Sir? Can you hear me, sir? What is the patient’s name?”

“Dan Henderson.”

“Mr. Henderson? Can you hear me? Do you know the date?”

“Get him typed.”

“Lab is on the way.”

“IV’s are placed.”

Trauma doctor Tim Koskins tried to assess the wound without removing too much of the pressure dressing. “Do we have a history?”

The paramedic held up his clipboard. “No hypertension, diabetes, asthma or known allergies. That’s all we got.”

“Thanks. Start a norepinephrine push and page Dr. Cole, stat.”

“What are you doing to my father?”

Without raising his head, Dr. Koskins spoke to the nurse at his side. “Would you mind? Please?”

RN Rayanne Downes stepped away from the table. “I’m on it.”

She approached the frowning young man.

“It’s Will, right? I’m Rayanne and we’re trying to assess and stabilize your dad to get him into surgery. They may be able to save his arm, but the clock is ticking. Let me show you where you can wait -”

“I’m not leaving my dad.”

“Will, sometimes it’s easier on family -”

I’m not leaving my dad.” He glanced over her shoulder. “What’s he doing?”

Rayanne turned around to see vascular surgeon Aric Cole had arrived and was examining Dan Henderson’s arm. She turned back to Will.

“Dr. Cole will lead the team who reattaches your father’s arm.”


“Excuse me?”

“No. He’s not touching my dad. Tell him to step away.”

“Will, what is the prob -”

“No blacks, none. Or Mexicans or Muslims. And only Asians from Japan or China… none of those shit-hole countries.”

Rayanne Downes had dealt with hundreds of people who refused treatment for a variety of reasons during her twenty-four years in nursing. However, this arrogant young man was going on her short list of most outrageous.

She backed away, unable to mask the contempt in her eyes.

Rayanne walked over to the doctors and murmured something the rest of the staff couldn’t hear. However, they all knew it wasn’t good when both men stopped examining Dan Henderson to stare at his son.

Aric Cole and Tim Koskins exchanged smirks before Aric left the table and washed his hands in the corner basin.

Tim worked to control the rage building inside his head, knowing to lash out at the young man would only make the situation worse.

Instead, he gave instructions to Rayanne for Mr. Henderson, then approached the man’s son.

Will Henderson smirked as he puffed out his chest.

“I suppose you’re gonna give me a lecture on tolerance and loving my neighbor now, right?”

“No. I wanted you to know that other than the injury he sustained, your father appears healthy, which works in his favor.”

“So, what’s the problem?”

“The type of injury is the problem. He’s in danger of not only losing his arm but his life. His blood pressure is too low, his pulse and heartbeat too fast. He’s in shock and has lost a lot of blood and -”

“Yeah, he’s in bad shape. So, why aren’t you over there helping him?”

“Because the doctor you don’t want to treat your father is his best chance to come through this alive and with his arm intact.”

Will Henderson scoffed. “You doctors all stick together, good or bad. I don’t want some affirmative action scholarship darkie anywhere near my dad. So, you get him stable and into surgery – “

“I’m not a surgeon.”

“This is a hospital! I’m sure there are surgeons all over – “

Koskins’ patience ran out. He turned with clenched fists and walked away from the belligerent fool before he decked him.

“Hey. Hey!”

Not trusting himself enough to get close to the kid again, the doctor looked over his shoulder.

Will pointed at a nurse next to his dad hanging units of blood from the IV pole.

“What’s she doing?”

“Your father has lost a lot of blood. Lauren is preparing a transfusion for him.”

“She needs to step away too, and where did that blood come from?”

Tim glanced over at Lauren, but the pretty young African-American RN was already walking away from the table.

“Lauren, wait. Please.”

She stopped near the door and exhaled roughly. She folded her arms across her chest and leaned against the wall, her angry glare focused on Will Henderson.

Dr. Koskins addressed Rayanne. “Is Mr. Henderson responsive yet.”

“No, doctor. He’s still foggy and confused.”

“How’s his BP?”

“Not much improvement, doctor.”

“Increase the norepinephrine.” He turned to Will. “Your father needs blood… now.”

“You still haven’t told me where it comes from.”

The doctor threw his arms out at his sides. “The hospital blood bank.”

“No, I mean are you sure you’re giving him blood from his own kind?”

“His own kind?”

“You know. White.”

The trauma staff froze and stared at Will Henderson, incredulous.

Tim Koskins shook with rage. Not looking at any particular staff member, he spoke through gritted teeth.

“Get someone from admin in here. Now.” He took a step toward the defiant man.

“Blood is stored by type, not ethnicity.”

Will threw up his own arms, amazed. “And that’s the problem. That’s why our people are getting so many strange illnesses. You mix our blood with theirs.

Tim was done. “We don’t work in ours and theirs here. Our job is to help everyone anyway we can. If you’re refusing the transfusion, you have to sign a form. But know you’re jeopardizing your father’s life.”

Before Will could respond, the doors behind him opened and the medical receptionist entered, an attractive but harried middle-age woman close at her heels.

“Doctor, the patient’s wife is here.”

Seeing her son first, Carol Henderson stopped and grabbed him.

“William, what’s going on? What happened?” She noticed Tim Koskins and rushed toward him. “Doctor? Are you working on my husband? How is he? What happened?”

Tim reached out and gripped her arm to steady her. “Yes, ma’am. I’m Dr. Koskins. We’re trying to stabilize Mr. Henderson and slow the bleeding.”


“I don’t have all the facts, Mrs. Henderson, but your husband has a partially severed arm.”

Carol drew back in horror, covering her mouth with her hands. She looked past the doctor to her husband lying on the treatment table.

“W-What -”

The doctor gripped her arm again with a firmer hold. “Mrs. Henderson, time is very important right now. May I speak with you in private, please?”

He led her to a small consultation room. Will tried to follow.

“I need to speak with you alone, ma’am.”

Will tried to protest. “Hey, wait a minute. This is my family – “

“Now is not the time, William. For God’s sake, just wait.”

No one missed the glare the distressed woman threw at her son before entering the room.

Time stood still as the ER team continued to work on Dan Henderson while casting looks of worry at the closed consultation room door and looks of contempt at the chastened young man still smarting from his mother’s reprimand.

Four minutes later, the door opened. Tim Koskins took one of Carol’s hands into both of his.

“Thank you, Mrs. Henderson. Wait right here. There are forms for you to sign, and I’ll have a patient advocate come and sit with you.”

Overwhelmed and eyes brimming with tears, Carol Henderson nodded once.

Koskins turned to his team, issuing a flurry of orders.

“Page Dr. Cole back to Trauma. Alert surgery the patient will be there as soon as he’s stable.” He glanced over at Lauren still leaning against the wall.” The transfusion’s not going to start itself.”

He hadn’t finished his sentence before she was at Dan Henderson’s side looking for a vein in his uninjured arm.

Carol watched the team move around her husband, every movement with determined purpose.

She only caught glimpses of Dan’s face, but she didn’t miss the large blood-soaked bandage on his arm.

Or the small puddle of blood on the floor.

She watched a nurse lean over and say something to Dan, but he didn’t respond. The nurse tried again, and Carol saw Dan’s lips move but she didn’t hear anything.

Clutching her bag in one hand and her chest with the other, Carol stepped closer to the table.

Dan was speaking, but it was gibberish and made no sense.

The tears she’d held back fell as her heart broke for the man she’d spent more than half her fifty-two-years with.

Tim Koskins raised his head and saw the poor woman falling apart.

“Folks hang on just a second.”

He reached out his hand, motioning for Carol to come closer.

She stepped around Lauren securing the needle in place with a Tegaderm. Standing at her husband’s head, Carol was grateful to be near him.

The doctor encouraged her. “It’s okay. Go ahead. Talk to him.”

Gripping his shoulder, Carol leaned close to his right ear.

“Danny? I’m here, honey. You’re going to be okay, sweetie. These good people are giving you their best.”

Dan Henderson took a large gulp of air.

Tim Koskins motioned for her to continue.

“They’re taking you to surgery, sweetie and you’ll be back to your old self in no time, and then I want that four-star lunch you promised me.”

Soft chuckles from the staff stopped seconds after they began when Dan Henderson turned his head for the first time since arriving for treatment.

Carol leaned over farther so he could see her face. Her tears flowed faster seeing tears in his eyes.

“You’re going to be fine, baby. And you’re wearing a suit to lunch.” She kissed his cheek and the staff was in awe of the recognition and love in their patient’s eyes.

Rayanne swiped a tear from her face. “There are some things modern medicine will never be able to do.”

Carol squeezed Dan’s shoulder again. “I’ll be here when you get back.” She stepped away from her husband’s side just as Aric Cole rushed back into trauma.

“Surgery is prepping, ortho and anesthesia are ready. We’ll stop at radiology on the way for a couple of scans and x-rays. How is the star of the show?”

“BP and pulse are improving, doctor.”

“That’s what I like to hear.”

Koskins and Cole stood off to the side talking for several minutes. Tim tilted his head and Aric’s gaze followed to Carol Henderson. He smiled, then looked toward the unit doors. Will Henderson was still there, but his stature had diminished. His shoulders were slumped and his hands were shoved deep into pockets.

Aric approached Carol. “Mrs. Henderson, I’m Dr. Cole. I’ll be leading your husband’s surgical team.”

“Dr. Koskins told me you’re tops in the city and you started in Afghanistan. I know my Danny’s in good hands.”

Aric Cole looked over at Koskins then leaned closer to his patient’s wife. “I’m putting him in charge of my PR team.”

Carol smiled. “Dr. Cole, about earlier, about you treating my husband – “

“Ma’am, it’s forgotten. Your husband’s health and full-recovery is the focus and always will be. The procedure will be long, but we’ll keep you updated. I’ve called in a special patient advocate to stay with you. Daria Melrose. We worked together in the middle-east and she’ll take care of you and can answer some of your questions.”

“Y-You did that… and arranged all those things I heard you mention even after my son – “

He cut her off. “Mrs. Henderson, the procedure is the most important part, but it’s not the only part. We have to have everything in place to give your husband, or any patient, the best opportunity for a full recovery. And we have to take care of family because you’re the first level of support.”

“Thank you, doctor.”

“You’re welcome. We’ll talk again soon.”

He returned to the charts and monitors surrounding Dan Henderson. His vitals were improving.

A young nurse appeared with a clipboard and an electronic tablet for Carol’s signature in several places.

After signing, Carol glanced at her son. He still looked like a sullen child upset over not getting his way. Gone was the shy, introverted child who had trouble making friends. So desperate for acceptance, Will latched on to the first group which welcomed him—an alt-right group of hate-mongering racists who weren’t above using violence to deliver their warped messages. Carol was disgusted but she walked over to him.

“Mom, you don’t understand.”

“What, William? What don’t I understand? That you were taking advantage of a situation and exerting your authority over something you know your father wouldn’t want? Is that what I don’t understand?”

“You and dad won’t take the time to listen. If you did, you’d understand it’s past time we took a stand and stop letting these liberals walk all over us – “

“Stop it.”

“No, mom, Mr. Milner said – “

“Stop it, William.”

“But mom, Mr. Milner said -”

“Shut up! Mr. Milner said this, Mr. Milner said that… I’m sick of it. Your dad and I raised you and told you the right things, and this hateful jackass erased it all from your head in less than a year.”

“Mom, you’ve missed the big picture – “

Carol’s soul shattered. He was lost to her.

“William, the big picture is you had no right to overrule your father’s rights. He was unable to speak for himself and it was your duty as his son to act on his behalf, not your own twisted agenda.”

He tried to respond, but she continued.

“All that garbage propaganda you spout talking about rights miss one key point—your rights are no more important or come before anyone else’s. I-I…  could have l-lost my husband today because of your selfishness. What has – “

“Mrs. Henderson, I’ll show you to the surgery lounge. Daria Melrose is there waiting for you.”

Carol smiled at the receptionist. “Thank you, I’ll be right there.”

“It’s going to take some time for me to find forgiveness in my heart for you, William, and I can’t be around you right now.”

She reached up, took his face in both her hands and pulled him close, kissing his forehead.

“I love you. But I miss the bright-eyed, compassionate kid I raised with the easy smile. You? I don’t know who you are, so easily swayed by words and believing in whatever you’re told. But if that is the case, please believe me when I tell you-you’re an idiot.”

Carol Henderson walked away, leaving her only child standing there in confused disbelief… and alone.



©2018 Felicia Denise, All Rights Reserved