Prompted by TipsyLit, “Through a Child’s Eyes”

“Sandy, can you come and sit with us? We want to tell you something important.” Jenna took a deep breath and waited.
“Yeah, Mom.” Sandy ran from her bedroom.
Tiger was there in his bed. He looked smaller than he used to.
“What’s up?”
“It’s Tiger,” her mom began, partly hoping that Sandy already knew what she was going to say.
Sandy wrinkled her nose as she went closer to where Tiger was laying between her parents on the couch with towels under his bed. “Tiger,” she stroked the top of his head between his ears. That was his sweet spot. Tiger purred and sounded a tiny “Mew.”
“Tiger’s really sick,” she heard her dad say. “You know that, right?”
“Yeah, he went to the vet a lot. He took medicine. Didn’t the medicine work?” She dropped her head and her voice now. Something was really wrong.
“No honey,” her mom said softly. “There’s no more medicine that can help Tiger now. It’s time for him to go to kitty heaven. We’re going to have to say our goodbyes to Tiger.”
Her eyes filled with tears, her nose started to run. She shook her head. “No, Mommy, no.” She turned to her dad and hid her face in his shoulder.
“Shhh, it’s going to be okay, Sandy.” Her dad held her body to his, like he was trying to shield her.
Sandy couldn’t think of her life without Tiger. He had always been there with her. She had noticed that he didn’t play as much now, but she thought he was still okay.
“Where is he going to go now? Will he live with someone else?” She felt that she was being punished. Tiger was being taken away from her.
“No, honey. He’s going to kitty heaven.” Her mom sounded helpless.
“You mean he’s going to be with the angels now? Like Tanya’s hamster Caramel?”
A little understanding? Her dad said, “Yes, he’ll be in heaven with Caramel.”
“But he’ll hunt Caramel, won’t he? Like he hunted the mice that got into the garage?” She rubbed her face against her dad’s shirt, feeling confused and sad. She peeked at Tiger again. He really did look sick. Had he been that sick when she left for school today? She couldn’t even remember if she noticed him today. Fresh tears spilled when she thought about how she hadn’t said anything to him.
“We think that in heaven he’ll get to do all the things he likes to do. Everyone gets along there,” her mom answered.
Sandy looked into her mother’s eyes. “How will he get there?”
“Dr. Segal will help him.” Her dad answered, wondering what other questions Sandy would ask.
Sandy saw her mom open her arms. She snuggled into her mother’s soft shirt, sniffing loudly. She enjoyed the feeling of her mom’s arms closing around her and rocking her gently. The moment caught up with Sandy. She fell asleep in her mother’s arms like she had when she was little.

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12 thoughts on “Prompted by TipsyLit, “Through a Child’s Eyes”

      1. It was a stretch to find that child’s voice for me too. I guess it’s a world we both need to visit a bit more often 🙂

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      2. Sandy is a character in a contemporary romance I’m writing. I already wrote that the Lawson’s lost Tiger. It looks like they could be bigger characters because I explored Sandy and liked what I saw.

        Explore away! That’s what excited me about Prompted. I want to think and write in new ways and share feedback with my fellow writers.

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  1. Feel your pain in keeping the word number. I have a question, did you try to stay within that parameter when you wrote it, or did you write and cut back?

    Tough subject, good approach.

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      1. The uncut version. This may appear in the book, so please do share suggestions if you are so inclined.

        Jenna and Tom decided to have Sandy say goodbye to Tiger at home and then go and spend the night at her best friend’s birthday slumber party as planned. They would take Tiger into Dr. Segal’s office and be there with him until the end. Now they had the harder task of breaking the news to her.
        “Sandy, can you come and sit with us for a little while? We want to tell you something important.” Jenna took a deep breath and waited for their 8-year-old to come into the living room.
        “Yeah, Mom.” They could hear that Sandy was running from her bedroom.
        Tiger was there with them, in his bed. He used to be almost too big for it, but now he had much too much room.
        Sandy skidded into the room, cheeks flushed from the warm summer day. “What’s up?”
        “It’s Tiger,” her mom began, partly hoping that Sandy already knew what she was going to say so she wouldn’t have to say it to her. She wanted to be able to comfort her and not have to say the words out loud.
        Sandy wrinkled her nose as she went closer to where Tiger was laying between her parents on the couch with towels under his bed. The towels were damp and yellow. “Tiger,” she reached her young hand out and stroked the top of his head between his ears. That was his sweet spot. Tiger purred and sounded a tiny “mew.”
        “Tiger’s really sick,” she heard her dad say. “You know that, right?”
        “Yeah, he went to the vet a lot. He had to take medicine. Didn’t the medicine work?” She dropped her head and her voice now. Everyone was feeling so sad. Something was really wrong.
        “No honey,” her mom said softly. “There’s no more medicine that can help Tiger now. It’s time for him to go to kitty heaven. We’re going to have to say our goodbyes to Tiger.”
        Sandy’s eyes filled with tears and her nose started to run. She shook her head. “No. No, Mommy, no.” She ran to her dad and hid her face in his shoulder.
        “Shhh, it’s going to be all right now, Sandy. Tiger isn’t going to be hurting anymore.” Her dad held her little body to his, like he was trying to shield her from the sadness they all felt.
        Sandy couldn’t think of her life without Tiger. He had always been there with her. She had noticed that he didn’t play as much now, and that he was losing weight, but she thought he was still okay.
        Tiger closed his eyes, too tired to hold them open for Sandy anymore.
        “Where is he going to go now? Will he live with someone else?’
        Her tone told them both that she felt that she was being punished. That Tiger was being taken away from her.
        “No, honey. He’s going to kitty heaven.” Her mom’s words sounded helpless.
        “You mean he’s going to be with the angels now? Like Tanya’s hamster Caramel?”
        Tom felt a moment of relief. She understood, at least a little. “Yes, he’ll be in heaven with Caramel.”
        “But he’ll hunt Caramel, won’t he? Like he hunted the mice that got into the garage?” She rubbed her face against her dad’s shirt, feeling confused and sad. She peeked at Tiger again. He really did look sick. Had he been that sick when she left for school today? She couldn’t even remember if she noticed him this morning. Fresh tears spilled out of her eyes when she thought about how she hadn’t said good morning or anything to him at all.
        “We think that in heaven he’ll get to do all the things he likes to do, and so will Caramel. Everyone gets along there,” her mom answered.
        Sandy’s big brown eyes looked into her mother’s. “How will he get there?”
        “Dr. Segal will help him so that he won’t be in pain or sick anymore. He’ll go to heaven right away.” Tom answered, wondering what other questions Sandy would come up with.
        Sandy saw her mom open her arms and offer her a hug. She snuggled into her mother’s soft shirt, sniffing loudly. She enjoyed the feeling of her mom’s arms closing around her and rocking her gently. The day caught up with Sandy. She fell asleep in her mother’s arms like she had when she was little.

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      2. I like the uncut better, much better. Cutting it hurt the flow, for me.

        I don’t think this scene needs to be cut down. I understand it was for the prompt, this was a hard scene to cut down.

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      3. Cuts are tough for me. I put those words there for a reason, lol. I generally write 60,000 word novels, and I’m aiming now at 100,000. Writing fewer words is good experience. Telling a story in 500 words is a great skill for me to acquire. I like Christine Feehan and J.D. Robb’s novellas for inspiration on how a writer who is a great novelist can also write amazing short stories.

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