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Tangible Sunshine (standard:other, 1999 words)
Author: Hopeless RomeoAdded: Dec 08 2000Views/Reads: 2268/1364Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
It's closest to drama, but not quite. In a story spanning just over a month, a dying, infant child struggles to captivate a ray of sunshine, while parents, inwardly struggling with their daughter's rapidly approaching end, look on in pain. 4 pages or so

Tangible Sunshine 

Children: the future and frailty, the joy and the headaches of human
society as we know it.  They present themselves with complete 
earnestness, never lying, always telling the truth.  These vulnerable 
creatures are completely dependent upon their parents, and also tend to 
be rather demanding of these beings who brought them into this world.  
Yet, despite their high maintenance, they can often be easy to please.  
Smaller children are often fascinated by the simple yet beautiful 
attributes of this terrestrial sphere which human civilization calls 
home.  Among these attributes of our earth are rainbows, clouds, and 
sunshine.  Visible sunshine, beams of light cast forth from the 
celestial sun which brings us heat and penetrates the darkness which 
would otherwise plague our world. 

The room was unusually hot to Ryan and Melissa Henderson, who sat hand
in hand, adjacent to each other, on one side of a small, gray, 
rectangular table.  The room was all white, without any windows.  A 
gray lamp hung from the middle of the ceiling, casting a lurid glow 
upon the table that had apparently been carefully centered in the room. 
 The chairs were gray fold-out chairs, the atmosphere was uncomfortable 
and tense, and the young couple sat silently together, waiting, with 
great anticipation.  A doctor walked in, clad all in white save his 
shiny black shoes which clicked loudly on the floor as he entered, 
penetrating the painful silence.  He bore upon his face a solemn 
countenance, and his body language reflected similar emotions.  This 
was recognized instantly by the couple, now rendered terrified with 
anticipation and fear as they waited for the man to speak.  The man 
walked slowly to the side of the table opposite the young couple and 
took his seat.   All these actions were performed with the same surly 
manner with which he entered.  He intertwined the fingers of his two 
hands to form a single fist, and did his best to meet the anxious gazes 
of the couple who's hearts he was about to break.  After moistening his 
lips slowly, and looking at the couple to speak, he uttered two simple 
words, related with a level and emotionless tone that was customary and 
somewhat required of medical figures in situations such as this one. 

"It's leukemia," he said, immediately diverting his glare from that of
the couple opposite him once he managed the words.  Mr. and Mrs. 
Henderson were hit hard with this revelation.  The latter burst into 
tears which she tried in vain to control, while the former maintained 
his composure.  But despite the differences in their external reaction, 
this new information, conveyed in two simple words, struck deep into 
the heart of both members of the pair, and registered as the worst 
thing either of them had ever learned. 

After allowing quite some time to think and grieve--although much more
would certainly be done in the near future--Ryan Henderson spoke. 

"This can be treated, right? I mean...she'll recover?" Suddenly a
glimmer of hope was cast upon the couple as both looked at the doctor 
wide-eyed, praying for a response in the affirmative.  But the doctor 
managed to extinguish this faint glimmer when his countenance remained 
as solemn as before, and he was hardly quick to respond.  Finally the 
doctor made to speak what his body language and facial expression had 
rendered the inevitable. 

"It looks like we caught it too late," muttered the doctor in a barely
audible yet still level and emotionless tone.  "We'll see what we can 
do, but she probably doesn't have much longer; a month, two at the 
most."  There was now simply nothing left to say.  The doctor stood, 
and walked to the doorway. 

"What are we supposed to do?" Melissa said between sobs, to no one in
particular, doing nothing more than echoing into the void the inquiry 
which had gripped her mind. The doctor pivoted to face the couple when 
he heard this. 

"The best thing to do now, is just make her comfortable," the doctor
said, and left the room.  He stood outside of the room, leaning back 
against the wall, listening with pain to the sobs of the couple he had 
just left.  He grabbed his forehead, which suddenly hurt badly.  He'd 
never get used to that. 

*                    *                    * 

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