Writers have co-opted an old expression for their own use:
That which does not kill us, gives us something to write about.
Right now I’m in the process of editing Calyn’s darkest moment. As I work through it, I’m keeping in mind a couple of experiences that I had. The first was being bitten by a husky on my paper route. I was pretty experienced with dogs at that time. I knew when to leave a paper undelivered. This dog watched me calmly as I moved slowly up the walk. It didn’t lower its head or growl. Slowly, carefully, I slide the paper through the railing. The dog stood up and walked slowly down the steps to meet me. Then suddenly it lunged forward, bit my forearm three times, and then went to sit back down.
While I was grateful that it decided against continuing to bite me, it was pretty unnerving to see that dog calmly looking down on me from the top step. I backed away slowly and then tried to continue my route. I felt wobbly, but not too bad for the next two houses. At the third house, I sank down on the doorstep. From what I’d learned in Mr. Zoeller’s fifth grade first aid class, I was pretty confident that I was going into shock. I rang the doorbell of the house. No one was home, so I sat their for awhile. I was pretty confident that I wasn’t going to make it the three or four blocks back to my house any time soon. I remembered one of the houses further back on my route had the front door open to let in a breeze through the screen door.
I managed to walk back there and scare the heck out of the older lady who lived there. Fortunately, her daughter was there. I remember the rather odd sensation of one part of me listening to the other part of me explain what had happened.
This part of my story isn’t necessarily about a girl getting bit by something, but it definitely how people react when going into shock and the utter frustration of not necessarily being in charge of your own body.