Every Wednesday, on Writing Under Pressure, you’ll find a post based on Today’s Word (from Wordsmith.org). Past essays, poems, or flash fiction pieces can be found under Wednesday’s Word on the sidebar to the right.
esker. noun. A long, narrow ridge of gravel and sand deposited by a stream flowing in or under a retreating glacier.
The visual I needed appeared in the quote that followed the definition:
‘My Grade 11 geography teacher likened an esker to the mess left by a drunk simultaneously walking backward and throwing up.’ — John Barber.
Now there’s a powerful image.
Following the image, I brainstormed this morning and these words came to mind: refuse, scars, and collateral damage.
The Creeping Vine
Franny pulled the hospital sheet back and looked down at her arm. The wound had soaked through the bandage and formed an elongated letter S. She would have to call the nurse.
Her mother slept in the chair next to the window with her feet propped up on the bed. Franny twisted her head around to see the clock that hung on the wall behind her, but she couldn’t decipher the difference between the big hand and the little hand. Maybe it was the medication they’d given her last night.
She could turn on the TV, she thought, but decided against it. She didn’t want to wake her mother.
She wasn’t ready for the questions.
Always, her mother bombarded her with questions as soon as she saw Franny was awake and alert. Each time, Franny did her best to respond, but her answers were never quite good enough.
“I don’t know why I did it.”
“I only meant to take one or two of your pills. I guess I lost count.”
Her mother needed Franny to explain, she always said, but even Franny didn’t understand. Her depression came on slowly and then pulled her down hard, like the creeping vine that snuck in under the neighbor’s fence last summer and took hold of the rose bush she’d helped her mother plant. The vine look harmless at first and stayed close to the ground. Then, one day Franny found her mother panicked over the bush.