A Gray Matter

This was a prompt by Rochelle at Friday Fictioneers. In exactly 100 words, write a story about the selected photograph.

copyright - Indira by way of Scott Vanatter

© Indira Mukherjee / Scott Vanatter

When I blacked out, the last thing I remember seeing was the fire truck.

My head hurts…I feel all wet. What’s this? Blood?

I feel so dizzy, like I’m spinning and floating.

I don’t seem to be able to feel my hands or my legs.

O dear God, there must have been an accident!

I can’t see!

I can’t even cry!

Where’s my family?

Why won’t anyone tell me anything?…..

“I’m sorry for your loss,” said the doctor to the sobbing woman. “Thank you for honoring your husband’s wishes to donate his organs and leave his brain to science.”


Copyright © 2013 Shainbird. All rights reserved.


About Shainbird

"A lonely craftsman putting one word after another."
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43 Responses to A Gray Matter

  1. Penny L Howe says:

    Wow, this is intense. I have to say it held me captive from your first word to your last!

  2. That’s a very gray matter about the gray matter. Hopefully he’s not going to need it where he’s going! Well-done story.

  3. Bastet says:

    Oh my! What a story! Very touching indeed and kind of scary too! Well done Shainbird!

  4. Gabriella says:

    This is a tragic take to the prompt!

  5. Sandra says:

    Horrific. Nicely done.

  6. kz says:

    ok, for a moment i was paralyzed with fear. i don’t think i would ever wanna go through what that man’s been through. well done. 🙂

  7. britlight says:

    A Gray Matter…excellent title. I really enjoyed this piece!

  8. Good use of title, which I always appreciate. Organ donation is a wonderful thing. I wasn’t sure at first whether he was supposed to be still “in there” while the doctor, et al, though he was dead, but upon re-reading and logic, I don’t think so.


  9. EagleAye says:

    Ooh, how horrific to be conscious to hear those words. That’s just chilling. Great take on the prompt!

  10. If he’s still alive, this is kind of creepy. You might turn it into a sci-fi in which some great scientist’s brain is harvested and transplanted, perhaps with the intent of working for Team Evil, and he adjust to life in a new body, figure out how to foil some evil plot for world domination… Could be quirky and edgy and a load of fun. That may not be AT ALL what you were thinking when you wrote this, but that’s where my mind went. Fun stuff.

  11. Shreyank says:

    Scary stuff ! well done

  12. troy P. says:

    This was wonderfully written, and it addressed one of bigger fears. Speaking of, have you ever read “Johnny Got His Gun?” If not, you might enjoy it.

    • Ha! I was beginning to think I was the only person who’d read that book or seen the movie. Intense and tragic.

    • Shainbird says:

      Thank you Troy and thank you even more for the recommendation. I’ve added it to my summer reading list. I’ve always enjoyed Dalton Trumbo’s work in movies but I never thought to look further. I also learned he left his body to science.

  13. wmqcolby says:

    Whoa! What more can I add? Good.

  14. Dear Shainbird,

    You left a lot to the reader’s imagination. Good job.



  15. That’s quite a nightmarish situation to imagine. Reminds me a bit of the Metallica song, “One”.

  16. Joe Owens says:

    Such a real world prompt. This prompt seems to trigger so many real world scenarios.

  17. yerpirate says:

    Very powerful! Well done

  18. Great poem! What a chilling ending … the poor woman just lost her husband, and all the good doctor can do is thank her for donating his organs to science? And here I thought doctors are supposed to have good bedside manners.

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