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The Visit (David 9)

Thanks to Cafe critique for the inspiration and format

But Graaaaaaaaan

Get ready, we have to catch the bus!

But I don’t want to go

Well, you’re going and that’s that!

But why?

Because I said so

But why Gran

The why is not up for question


Again because I said so!

But why did you say so?

Because it’s important


Because it’s important to me

But last time she was acting like a looney

Don’t say that

She was cursing and swearing

I know

She was screaming and crying

I know

She wrecked her room breaking everything

I know

She fought with the nurses

I know

She never even said hello

She is not herself lately

But who is she then?

She is just ill but Jesus will take care of her

She is always ill

I know

Why does Jesus not do anything?

He works in mysterious ways Davey


Don’t question the lords' ways, he knows what he is doing

But she’s not my Mum

She is! Davey how can you say such a thing

Well she’s not Gran, she scares me, I am scared!

But I will be there, you can stand behind me

And you’ll knock her out if you have to

Yes, Davey, I won’t let her hurt you

Ok Gran, ok

A swarm of butterflies invade my stomach
I ring out my hands as if in a mangle
My senses heightened I see everything
Even the wee dog pissing on a seat
And the women with the black eye
Quietly sobbing not wanting to get off
The fifteen-minute bus journey seems
Like it is taking hours as we approach our stop
My gran takes my sweaty hand in hers
The bus wheezes and grinds to a stop
We get off, the bus moves slowly away
To reveal The Southern General Hospital
A dark and dank castle of a building
The sky turns dark, the wind is cold
The world turns into black and white
Like an old Hammer horror movie
And I feel that sense of foreboding
The busser pressed, the door unlocked
We are bid entry to the valley of the damned
Like a circus freak show where all are exhibits
People shouting at themselves, looking elsewhere
Solos dancers, no partners necessary
People crying and laughing at the same time
A woman sits in her chair and wets herself
She is left in a puddle of her own urine
A woman saddles up to me she says “Shhhh!”
She takes my hands and slips something in
She whispers “This is for you. Be careful”
I open my hands four folded pieces of silver foil
My gran says she thinks that it is money
Many noisy visitors make much of a din
The volume turned up, a choral crescendo
It’s frightening, I hold on to tight my Gran
And tightly close my eyes to feel safe
A woman in the next bed repeats “Fuck me!”
I do not understand but my Gran covers my ears
I know it must be something really bad
We wait by her empty bed for ten minutes
Then a male orderly helps her shuffle through
The madness has gone – gentle as a lamb
She is in slow motion mainly staring out of the window
She quietly sings to herself unrecognizable tunes
She turns her head around and stares at me
She opens her arms in hug mode, eyes glazed over
I go to her tentatively, she gives me a warm hug
“Awe, my wee Andy, my precious wee Andy.”
I recoil away Andy was my dead wee brother
She didn’t recognize me, didn’t know my name
The tears flowed as I hugged my Gran
The bus trip home seemed to take longer
We both sat in silence (unusual for Gran)
Despite the sadness, the world was in colour again

She didn’t know me Gran


She thinks I am Andy


Andy is dead!

No lad, he is with Jesus

I don’t believe in Jesus any more

Of course, you do

Jesus should heal my Mum

In time, Davey, he will

I fell asleep my head buried in an embrace
I woke to find Gran sleeping as well

I love you Gran

She slowly opened one eye

I love you to Davey lad

Then promptly went back to sleep
Her snoring made me feel safe
Written by David_Macleod (David Macleod)
Author's Note
A conversation and experience remembered when I was 9 years old
All writing remains the property of the author. Don't use it for any purpose without their permission.
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