While waiting you try to survive

The girl died three minutes to midnight close to her dreams. With her cheek pressed against the back-alley-gravel she’d been gazing into the glitz while slipping ever so gently into the warm bosom of an overdose-haze.

Labeled Jane Doe #47, needle-marked, bruised with hair dyed in blue she looked like them all. The coroner pulled up the sheet, showing only her head.

The couple stared through the glass shaking their heads. They pretended to hope but the coroner knew they would be back for #48.

The coroner left them alone and glanced at her phone. Still no message from Tina.

As often i tried to put myself into the darkest part of the picture. The sun look cheerful today, and tomorrow we have a holiday in Sweden.

Friday fictioneers is a community of bloggers who write hundred word stories to the same image every week, it’s curated by Rochelle, librarian, author and keeper of keys, she sets the standard and we follow.

May 9, 2018

37 responses to “While waiting you try to survive

  1. Dear Björn,

    it sounds like the coroner has a personal connection to the couple, too. At any rate, tragic story that is true for too many. Well done.



  2. It makes you wonder how often coroners hate their job… and the link between her and the couple, each searching for one girl… so sad.

  3. It would be horrible to know that it was only a matter of time until one of your children died of an overdose. There are far too many grandparents raising their grandchildren because something like that happened.

  4. Oh goodness.. what an awful feeling to not know. I have a friend whose nephew went missing from Atlanta in March. No word, no nothing.. they family is crazy with worry. 😦

  5. Bjorn, this is beautifully written. On the second read through, what really struck me was the loyalty and persistence of the parents. That they loved their daughter and stood by her to the very end of a torturous route. I also love the first line.
    My children are 14 and 12 and they have their ups and downs and I worry about them. My son had a particularly hard patch last year and we worked very hard to think of how to help him out. However, it is a long term process and the things we had been doing for awhile came together and we also got some pups and fostered two more pups who left just before Christmas. Everybody needs someone to believe in them and hold the faith when they lose faith in themselves and life itself. That one of the things I try to do through blogging is encourage others and give them hope.
    Hope you have a great time in Sweden.
    Best wishes,

  6. Had to read a second time. Didn’t get the couple ‘pretending’ to hope. They’re searching for their missing daughter, but will be back to look for her at the coroner’s. And then one fears for Tina too! It’s a dangerous world out there, or anywhere really.

  7. Quite an impactful story, Bjorn. Love the way you have portrayed the parents’ dismay on finding that the dead girl was not their Tina. It’s as though that they have resigned themselves to her fate and are merely waiting for some closure. Brilliantly written.

  8. Lovely writing, Bjorn. A very sad story, but so much of life is sad. I visualised Jane Doe #47 in the alley opposite the nightclub where my girl was dancing so joyfully…
    You’ve constructed this really well.

  9. A serious issue in this story. How absolutely terrible for the parents. You create an accurate reflection of the fact that, whatever the outcome, whether the deceased person is their daughter or not,it’s all hell on eartn for them..

  10. The first line is a killer line (no pun). This story is so good, it makes the heart hurt just imagining the pain of parents who look for lost children. And the coroner seems to have reason to worry, too.

  11. So sad for the parents who have no closure. Almost wishing that the dead girl was theirs so they could move on, but also glad it is not, renewing their hope. And the coroner seems to have a missing girl in her life too. Beautifully written. The first line is heartbreaking – the potential of the girl gone too soon.

  12. I have often wondered how coroners and morticians can maintain a healthy view of personal life and relationships with the evil they see around them on a daily basis. (Probably could add policemen to the list as well.) As a teacher, we were able to see rewards on occasion. What rewards does a coroner get to see? A welcoming funeral made as pleasant as possible? Well done!

  13. Heroin OD’s are a daily thing in our area. I’m sure our coroner has seen far too many, and far too many parents are having to identify their kids this way. So very sad. I love your ending, the coroner looking for a message on her phone. Leads one into believing the body on the slab is her friend Tina. Very well played out here.

  14. You definitely went to the darkest place with this. The girl dying, her face in the grit, is so visceral, and then the anguish of the parents looking for her daughter, is so strong. The throw away line about Tina gives us more into the coroner too. This is such a huge tale with so many elements, and could benefit from expansion.

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