Not On My Watch – Friday Fictioneers

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Photo Prompt by https://castelsarrasin.wordpress.com/

Not On My Watch
By Tracey Delaplain

PADDLES! CHARGE TO 300! CLEAR!
They all tell the same story when you bring them back.
“No fear, just peace.” Today was no different.

I heard her voice, “Come with me Doc, it’s just across the bridge.” I took a step with equal parts trepidation and curiosity, into the decaying meadow, a whiff of stagnation on the breeze. The light beyond beckoned, a respite from the bleakness. I yearned to go, to savor the peace.

CLEAR!

The light was gone, my heart seized and shattered into a million pieces. The voice was replaced by my surgeon’s frightened command, “Not on my watch. Damn you. Not on my watch”.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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40 Comments Add yours

  1. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Mrs. Delaplain,

    (I love your name.) You have knack for this, you know. There is a ring go authenticity to your writing and the feeling that you know whereof you speak. Consider me an avid reader.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Apparently the advice, to write what you know, is correct. I have been writing about ordinary events in the life of a physician but I never fail to recognize how extraordinary they are to others. Mahalo Doug.

      Like

  2. Dear Doc,

    Thank you for taking me with you from peace back to the ER. I could hear, see, taste and smell in a hundred words. In less than two months you’ve risen to my favorite writers list. You have a gift, Tracey. I’m glad you’re sharing it with us.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I love that all your senses were engaged. I am learning from others every week and I realize that the authors that engage my senses are my favorites. Your work is always in my favorites. Thank you, Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sandra says:

    Nicely done. Realistic portrayal of the medical side (as I should hope), and I keep my fingers crossed about the other bit. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sandra, I don’t know where these dying patients go but their stories are predictable across cultures. My Dad didn’t believe in an afterlife and was not well read but he died and came back to tell his tale. His story had all of the elements reported by others who have died. Someone to lead you, going towards the light and utter peace. He also explained to me what it feels like to be jolted back from that peaceful place. He passed away 3 years ago (30 years after his first death) and I took comfort in the fact that he wasn’t afraid to die.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. karen rawson says:

    Loved this piece. I was looking forward to it and wasn’t disappointed. The goosebump award goes to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goosebumps. That’s high praise with all the murder and violence in this weeks flash fiction. Thank you Karen.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Very clever (and interesting). This addresses those questions about the afterlife we all have from time to time. Peace, I like.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, peace. That was a central theme but since I came back from the dead so to speak, the reader could have missed that element. I’m glad you took peace away with you Patrick.

      Like

  6. โ€œNo fear, just peace.โ€ …that’s comforting.
    Thank you for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dawn,
      Peace is a universal component of the stories told by patients who have returned from a near death experience. I take comfort in that. I don’t relish the cardiac shock though. Yikes.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Lovely writing and idea. I was a bit confused about ‘Doc’ in the middle which suggested the voice was talking to the doctor wielding the paddles…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was going for confusion. Because I could have been holding the paddles on any given day. I often wonder how it would feel to follow a dying patient into the afterlife so I could experience it with them as a doctor. I have a short story rolling around in my head exploring that further. I also know with certainty that I will die some day as a patient. Thank you Claire (Famous Author of “Our Endless Numbered Days”) Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Absolutely wonderful story.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. plaridel says:

    beautiful. as steve jobs’ last words said, ‘oh wow. oh wow. oh wow.’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Did he really say that? I want to go out with a WoW.

      Like

  10. I really enjoyed it, very engaging. There is a line in Gladiator, the movie, something like this: I will see you again…but not yet…not yet…your story reminded me of that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Snow, (May I call you that?)
      I really like that line. I doubt that any physician has ever said, “Not on my watch” out loud but I know I feel personally responsible for every surgical outcome on my watch.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You can call me Snow. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Like

  11. What a great description of a few moments in time. I’m happy she came back to this world though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Caerlynn,
      I’m glad she came back too since “she” was me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

  12. I must agree with the previous comments… this is so skillfully done, like I was a fly on the wall in the ER… I did not even see the bridge in the pic, but yes it does make sense together with the frosty meadow.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m glad you liked it, Bjorn. It’s so interesting to see what every see in the photo prompts. I never noticed the stump until I read other’s essays. I saw the light and the bridge and immediately thought about crossing over into the afterlife.

    Like

  14. Oh wow! What a twist! I did not see that coming (neither did she apparently!!)

    Well told!

    Like

    1. Yes Rachel, she was quite shocked. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Thanks for commenting,
      Tracey

      Like

  15. hafong says:

    Your words bring back the memory of a patient who coded in the whirlpool tub. The resident wanted to paddle him there. We knew better and wouldn’t! Still gives me the shivers. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Lily

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Margaret says:

    Fascinating story, and it sounds like you’ve had some fascinating experiences, too. What a privilege that is! To witness such things and hear the stories. Wow.

    Like

    1. Margaret,
      Being a witness to patients’ lives has been my greatest privilege. I never take that for granted.
      Thank you, Tracey

      Like

  17. erinleary says:

    Powerful story from one who knows! Great take on the prompt.

    Like

    1. Thanks Erin. All I could see in the photo was a bridge into the afterlife. Who knew that a photo was such a strong motivator to write? This flash fiction writing has been a fascinating journey for me. I’m so glad I found Rochelle’s blog and FF?
      Tracey

      Like

  18. storydivamg says:

    Tracey,
    What a skillfully told story! I have often wondered if the efforts we take in saving lives are truly the best thing for the ones we rescue. I like the way you tell both sides of the story (in 100 words, no less!) without actually taking sides. Your trust of the reader makes a good story even better.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail

    Like

    1. What a thoughtful comment Marie Gail – “trust of your reader”. You made my day. I will keep trusting my readers.
      Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  19. rogershipp says:

    The intensity of the topic of your story outwith ever revealing the topic of your story. I loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. draliman says:

    I sometimes wonder if the people who have (temporarily) passed on would have rather been left alone. Very nice piece!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My father was very angry when his cardiac surgeon brought him back from the dead. He went on to live another 40 years which was just enough time to raise me into middle age. Sometimes patients don’t know what’s best for them in a crisis. Does that shock you? ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Be well, Tracey

      Liked by 1 person

  21. It’s almost sad that the patient was brought back. He/she seemed more than willing to go. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m pretty glad she came back.

      Like

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