Needle and the damage done


The Daily Prompt intrigued me today. Here is what they asked for: Draft a post with three parts, each unrelated to the other, but create a common thread between them by including the same item — an object, a symbol, a place — in each part.

I do love a challenge!!  (and after some technical difficulties and some lost data, we’re back!)


She squirmed before the needle even penetrated the roof of her mouth. The numbing sensation followed soon afterwards and so did the nitrous oxide making the lights of the dental office seem engaging and hypnotic. The doctors glove-rendered hands floated above her head like giant balloons in a parade. She was sure she should be more coherent during a routine check-up, but his words danced on her eardrums never fully penetrating her brain. Or at least that is what she thought. She awoke later with an acrid taste of metal in her mouth and was about to ask if she could rinse. The words wouldn’t come. Her instinct told her not to speak unless she was spoken to. It was that gut feeling that she would eventually comprehend and would ultimately save her life. He carelessly tossed the needle out the office window.


The dream was always the same. She was in her car and could see the police lined up ahead for a random spot check. She was usually more careful with her paraphernalia, but she was high and hadn’t really cared until the moment she saw the flashing lights – the beacon of her eventual doom. She reached for the scattered mess of bags and the cherished needle that was all too prevalent on the front seat. That was where she had first found it that afternoon after leaving her car windows open and that is where it lay now. Frantically she shoved the bags into any hiding spot she could find. As the cars moved forward beads of sweat trickled from her brow.  In her haste to hide the bags, she had taken her attention from the road and hit the car in front of her.  The needle was catapulted from the safety of the passenger seat and now lay in plain view on the floor.  The beam of the officer’s flashlight scanned the car and reflected off the metal that glinted in its light.  The dream became blurry after that.  She awoke feeling unrested and scanned her surroundings.  The iron bars on the door remained still and sturdy, holding her captive for what felt like an eternity.  Perhaps dreams, good or bad, really do come true.


This particular needle had plunged through tapestries for so long, it could probably work itself in and out of the canvas without the help of her gnarled and arthritic fingers.  She surveyed the room and the many framed works she had been creating for so long.  Each collection of carefully woven stitches served to paint a picture of a happy family.  Each of her four children’s birth dates and full given names lined the wall she looked at so lovingly and nine pillows adorned her furniture with the same information about her grandchildren.  She feverishly worked on number ten waiting for the phone call.  The shrill ring of the phone startled her, but the smile crept ceremoniously into the corners of her mouth as she reached for the phone.

“Mom, it’s twins.  A boy and a girl!”

She reached for a new canvas for the unexpected arrival and gently placed it beside the only canvas she had never finished – the one that belonged to the child she lost so long ago to a drug overdose.  Someday she would find the strength to forgive, but she had two new additions to focus on now.  The needle began to work its magic once more.