I enjoy fiction that gives me an insight into lives different to my own, while illuminating a universal aspect of the human condition. In my writing, I hope to do something similar for my readers. I knew I could do the former in my current WIP – although wasn’t sure it would interest others until an extremely useful one-to-one with an experienced industry professional – but doubted my character’s situation was relatable.
My novel is about a woman waiting for a transplant. (For those who have followed my posts bemoaning my recent diagnosis of chronic kidney disease, I must reassure you that I’m nowhere near that stage.) My 99-word story is centred around a different character awaiting a different organ – I chose the liver in the mistaken belief that the only option was a deceased donor, but never mind. I also suspect I’ve muddied the waters by linking the meal she cooks to her disease, but here it is, warts and all.
While I wait I peel and chop an onion. While I wait my baby learns to roll over, learns to crawl. A superstitious streak calls me to cook my grandma’s weekday staple. My daughter learns to walk, to hop, to run.
My girl devours grandma’s peas and mashed potatoes, but she pushes the offal around her plate. I won’t scold her for wasting food – eating pig’s liver won’t fortify hers. She can’t understand why I can’t chase her around the garden. She doesn’t know I’m waiting for a stranger to die and bequeath their healthy human liver to me.