Natasha Raulerson

Chuck Wendig’s Creative Non-Fiction Challenge

So the awesome Chuck is having everyone tell a story from their life. I thought, “Hey, why the hell not?” It’s been a while since I’ve posted with my own words on my blog. I’ve been mostly doing cover reveals and the like. Besides, this should be fun. It’s pretty short, but hope you have fun reading it.

***

Jenn reached into the bag beside her chair and pulled out an empty syringe. It had a larger gage needle, meant to fit in the feeding tube that stuck out of her scar addled belly. She’d had her first surgery just after she was born. I didn’t know her then. We were the same age at nineteen and I was in love with her brother—a man I later married and still adore to this day.

A cool breeze cut through the South Florida humidity as we sat around the patio table, everyone wearing bathing suits, bullshitting, and drinking the variety of booze that had been spread out on the table. The conversation didn’t matter, wasn’t important—at least I can’t remember it so I don’t think it was—or maybe it was just Jenn reaching for the tequila that stole the show.

Not that she didn’t drink. Before the Cystic Fibrosis had become really bad, she’d have fun when she could, but at 90 some-odd pounds, with not only a feeding tube in her stomach, but a port in her chest, liquor wasn’t exactly conducive to her state of being. Even so, she still took a shot here and there, and what were we going to say? Don’t do that? Don’t enjoy the time you have? Don’t take the edge off from constant breathing treatments, hospital visits, and coughing fits that nearly drowned her?

No, the table didn’t go silent because she opted to have a shot.

Jenn took the syringe and stuck the needle in the bottle of tequila, sucking out a good amount of the dark liquid. She lifted her shirt, stuck the needle into her stomach tube, and pressed down the plunger, injecting the liquor directly into her stomach.

My brother’s jaw dropped, and all our friends had various states of what-the-fuckery. I’m not sure of my reaction, but I don’t think any of us could quite believe she’d just done that.

She noticed everyone staring at her and shrugged. “What? It’s the same effect without the nasty ass taste.”

The entire table erupted into laughter. She had a point. We settled back into talking, a buzz letting Jenn relax. The rest of the night we ate, drank, and swam to beat the pressing summer night heat that can only be found in the south.

Jenn’s only complaint was later when she burped and it tasted like stale tequila.

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