jj is the man for keeping this going, even when ingrates like myself forget to help out by sending starter suggestions. but between his perseverance, and other fff-ers who are more helpful than i, we have fff #34, and my promise that i will try to send some starters this week:
It was either a pill or a piece of candy…she pondered it briefly, then realised that perhaps it didn’t really matter – at this point she would happily settle for a placebo effect, once it was a positive one, and she'd read about that, knew it was possible…in her current condition, even a placebo was nothing to sneeze at, literally or figuratively.
she again pondered briefly – this time on what mother said about taking candy from strangers – did that apply to medicine as well? because if not, she had no problem saying that she was completely convinced it was a pill.
all she really wanted was to breathe easily again, and mother’s rules were getting in the way…but mother always said the rules were for her own good, her own protection, so wouldn’t mother want her to take what this stranger offered, if it would help? she just wanted to feel better. wouldn’t mother want the same?
she corralled what breath she could muster to summon mother. it was hard to control her thoughts while she was struggling for air, but she just managed to bring mother mostly into focus.
what should i do, mother?
what do you think you should do, cordelia? do you think he would hurt you?
i don’t know, mother. i don’t know him enough.
how can you not know? has he ever done anything to hurt you before?
mother, i’m sorry, i’ve never seen him before…
cordelia. you must recognise your father.
but mother, i don’t have a father…
of course you do. everybody does. who do you think takes care of you?
you do, mother.
now cordelia, you know i don’t exist anymore, except here, in your head. you must start living in the real world – and your father would never do anything to hurt you.
i don’t know this man.
yes, you do. and don’t think, young lady, that because you summoned me, i have to play along with this silly game. your father’s done nothing but love you and care for you – you can’t deny that.
she expelled the air she’d been holding onto for dear life and let mother pass away.
that wasn’t the response she’d expected.
but as her head cleared slightly now that minimal oxygen flow was reestablished, she looked at the man again, at his outstretched hand offering the tiny white globe, and made a choice – it couldn’t hurt any more than not breathing, and mother seemed sure that this man wasn’t dangerous.
as she sucked on the little ball and its hard white outside dissolved, her mouth was flooded with a bitter taste – it initially came as a relief – only medicine would taste so bad – but when she looked up at the man to thank him, she saw a strange smile anchoring a decidedly unfatherly expression – is that why they’re called strangers? because they look strange?
mother...was her last coherent thought before she passed out.