Peer Review by Teaston (United States)

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Needling Memories

By: neo7v


FREE WRITING

    A little girl of fourteen is given a small, plastic case to hold on to and told with firm words, “Don’t lose this, Alice.” The plastic casing covers what the doctor calls an EpiPen, the medicine hidden behind slightly opaque plastic and a bright yellow cap. The sides glide past her hand as she grasps it close to her chest, fingers catching on the thin strips of roughened texture that make the casing easier to hold. The EpiPen has a needle on the end, sheathed by a neon orange tip. Peering closely at the sides, Alice sees that the instructions are written there neatly in black ink. They tell the user to safely remove the syringe from the casing and firmly push the needle-sided tip against one’s outer thigh until a click indicates that the medicine has been distributed.
    Staring down at the needle, Alice wonders why she needs to keep this with her at all times. Then the memories of Disney and what happened flood her mind.
    The incident was just after Thanksgiving at the end of 2014. Her family had once again gone to Disney World for vacation; it was their favorite go-to spot, especially during the autumn months. This time, however, had been a surprise trip that left Alice and her older brother, Jay, ecstatic.
    The trip began well enough; her family had gotten onto the plane with little to no trouble and checked into their hotel on time. Alice was practically springing off the walls in excitement and could barely wait to explore the parks for the seventh time. It wasn’t until the third day that this surprise trip began to lose its magical touch.
    Animal Kingdom wasn’t Alice’s favorite park at Disney (that spot was reserved specifically for Magic Kingdom in her mind), but she did love the Mount Everest attraction found there. The swoops, turns, and drops excited her adventurous self and left her wanting to ride again and again.
    Unfortunately, riding the popular roller coaster all day was not something Alice could do; only her dad and brother would ride it with her that many times and they, along with the rest of her family, wanted to go watch the Festival of the Lion King. Alice supposed she also wanted to. It wouldn’t be fun to ride Mount Everest without her family there, so she went willingly with them to wait in line.
    The early afternoon light shined brightly down on Alice as she waited for the line to move. Jay stood behind her, keeping up an easy conversation with their dad and grandpa. She could have joined the conversation, but something about just watching the people around her seemed much more satisfying than talking about which sports teams were playing and who tackled who in football.
    A tiny prick of pain radiated down her left hand, coming from the tip of one her fingers. Surprised, Alice glanced down, noticing an angry red dot and a sliver of a stinger jutting out. She quickly pulled the stinger out and went back to gazing at the line of people, unbothered by the pain that had slowly started to diminish.
    Fifteen minutes later, a woozy, disorienting feeling had her swaying for a second before collapsing backwards against her brother. Thinking she was faking the fall, Jay stepped away from her, and she fell to the ground.
    When Alice came to, she saw her dad standing over her. Her mother had left to find a cast member for help, and her brother looked at least a little guilty for letting her fall. Alice wasn’t sure what exactly had happened, but she had a feeling that little red dot on the tip of her finger was responsible.
    The rest of the day went by in a blur of ‘are you okay’s and ‘do you need to rest’s, but in just a few hours, she was ready to spring back into the fun of Disney. The rest of the trip settled into a calm, but still exciting, routine, undeterred by what the family had begun to jokingly call the ‘Festival of the Lion King Incident’.
    The fainting scare barely crossed Alice’s mind after they’d left Disney World until the end of the year. November eventually turned into December, bringing with it that fateful doctor’s appointment where she was told to keep an EpiPen on her at all times. Following the doctor’s directions, Alice kept the medicine with her in a small purse to take everywhere she went.
    Whenever she leaves the house, the purse goes with her, strap secured across her shoulders and EpiPen tucked safely inside. Every once in a while, Alice thinks about leaving it at home; going to the movies with friends or to the grocery store with her mom and bringing the medicine along seems unfair.
    Alice, now sixteen years old, looks at the EpiPen on the table then carefully picks it up and puts it in her purse. While keeping it on her can be a bit of a pain sometimes, Alice knows she would rather carry it around than experience what it’s like to faint again. Fainting once is more than enough to fuel her writing, and it didn’t hurt that the EpiPen makes for one heck of a tale.


Peer Review

I like how this narrative is written like a fictional piece in 3rd person, and then, in the end, turned out to be a true story.


How are you now, after everything that happened, are you okay?


Reviewer Comments

I like the title, the end is really cool. Okay, not cool, but interesting. The topic, in general, is interesting. It's also written well.