Pale Blue Eyes


Last time on Soul To Body:

Jake’s guitar calloused thumb and middle finger rubbed tiny specks of dingy yellow sleep from the corners of his eyes. He blinked, then tried to focus through the blur of a restless night in the hospital. Camille sat on her feet and rocked in rhythm with their eighteen-month-old daughter’s breaths.

“Our baby looks so sick.”

Jake agreed with Camille but didn’t respond. She needed his strength. He extended his left hand and Camille held it against her tear soaked cheek. The viral meningitis worked its way through Violet’s tiny body.

“Jake, we have to do a better job of taking care of Vi and ourselves. Promise me we’ll do that, okay?”

Afraid to say anything that wouldn’t lead to crying, he rubbed his hand against Camille face so she could kiss his knuckles. Augusta entered the room and Camille stood up to hug her sister. A gasp came from the bed.

“Dad? You alright? Gus, press the nurse button thingy!”

Jake woke in a spin. Pain thumped in his concussed head. Flanking the bed were a sixteen-year-old Violet to his right and his sister-in-law, August, to the left. As Jake tried to speak, pain punched through his bandaged torso.

“Vi, baby, you okay? Mommy and I are right here.”

With blank expressions that matched their blue demeanor, Violet and Ausgusta craned their necks for medical help. Jake touched Violet’s hand and realized it was him in the hospital.

“Violet, I’m sorry I wasn’t at home taking care of you.”

Augusta crossed her arms and glared at Jake.

“Yeah, you were on the phone while you were driving back from your date.”

Jake closed his eyes, tried to ignore the aches, and wondered how to talk about Mallory with them. Violet squeezed her father’s hand.

“Gus! Not now!”

A tall, serious raven-haired nurse strode into the room and pushed Augusta away from Jake’s left side. He concentrated on Violet and Augusta’s pale blue eyes. They were identical to Camille’s.

*****blogger’s note*****

This is a new story episode of Soul To Body, a short story about a grieving father and his teenage daughter. You can find the rest of the story, so far, here: It is also my 333 word response to the Trifecta Writing Challenge of the third definition of “Blue” – 

Today’s song is something I sing my my 4 blue-eyed women at home. They have little clue as to who Lou Reed and Velvet Underground are, despite my best efforts. Here’s Pale Blue Eyes. Great song.


31 thoughts on “Pale Blue Eyes

  1. One of my favorite songs of all time. Velvet Underground is brilliant and you can’t top the original, but REM rocks it. They do leave out my favorite verse, though.

    “It was good what we did yesterday.
    And I’d do it once again.
    The fact that you are married,
    Only proves, you’re my best friend.
    But it’s truly, truly a sin.”


    Sigh. You keep reminding me of all the writing projects I have in the garden, yet can’t focus on any of them long enough to water the seeds…..

  2. TheKirCorner

    What a gorgeous song. I love flashbacks in a story, the little clues they leave us to what is happening now. Yours was done just so, to give us the reasons for his guilt ( I am just glad he’s ok) but not belabor it. Once your memories take over, it’s hard stopping that flow of them.

    As a sidenote, I had menigitis when I was 18 months old..and I’ve always wondered how my parents took it, my mom being a nurse and my dad being under the ocean as a commercial deep sea diver at the time, off Block Island.
    So many stories, right?

    does this mean he’ll stop seeing Mallory now?

    • probably not, it just means he needs to be careful, I think.

      I like your real life backstory. my 8-year-old had a viral infection at the same age. we were afraid it was meninngitis.

  3. This was a grand way to offer up some back story, and blend the past with the present. I’m glad that Violet stood up for her father. I love the way your characters in this story are full of heart, and you are able to share them with us on pages.

    More please 🙂

  4. The two hospital experiences are a good pairing. I like that Gus is ticked at Jake too, and Violet coming to his defense. I’m waiting on fireworks if/when Mallory shows up. Will be epic!

  5. trifectawriting

    Thanks for linking up with Trifecta this week. I love me some old Lou Reed.

    There’s so much going on in this post–a lot of emotion. I love the tangle of hospital visits and relationships. Cleverly crafted.

    One thing–there are a few typos in the piece. Some capitalized letters where they shouldn’t be. You have “AS” instead of “As.” And, at one point, you missed the word “to.” “and wondered how talk about Mallory with them”. Just in case you want to change them for your continuing story.

    Hope to see you back soon!

  6. grrr…wordpress ate my comment.

    Okay, here we go again: I hope Jake realizes what is important after this incident. Family needs to come first. The family needs to heal a little before he goes off and gets another relationship.

    Small critique: it’s a little tricky to tell who is speaking at times. Specifically at the end with the “Gus! Not Now!”. It could be Violet, it could be Jake. You need a bit of clarification.

  7. Two women who care about him, both with matching blue eyes, one seething, one comforting. Violet’s caring and comforting comes through loud and clear here., Gus has a lot to learn from this girl.

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