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At the end of the school year, I challenged some of my 8th graders to help me with some columns over the summer. They gave me the first and last lines of a potential fictional short story. My task was to take those lines and write the middle. I was given seven ideas from the kids, so that’s the plan for the foreseeable future! This week’s lines were provided by Alexi Kitzer.

When I stuck knives in the toaster and an outlet at the same time, it was a shocking experience. Ha, ha, funny, right? Like you’ve never heard that lame joke before.

And why would I do such a thing you might ask? Well, I had a big glob of peanut butter on a knife when my toaster popped up but left the bread inside. I grabbed another knife to attempt to pry my oversized bread out of the toaster. While trying that, I held the knife with peanut butter as far away as possible; I wouldn’t want to have an accident you know. However, just as the bread was emerging, my other arm, unbeknownst to me, moved toward the outlet nearby and the rest is history.

Luckily my roommate was home and heard the sizzle. “Brina!” shrieked Erin. I couldn’t really respond, what with spasming on the floor with a knife in each hand and peanut butter flung about the kitchen. Erin quickly surveyed the situation and relied on her knowledge of first aid to grab a blanket and keep me from getting chilled, one of the ways to respond to electrical shock.

I was breathing normally, but I had some burn marks on each of my hands and my hair was standing on end. Not like you see in the cartoons, but it was still a style I wouldn’t want to wear in public if I could avoid it. However, I couldn’t avoid it now since Erin insisted on taking me in to Urgent Care to make sure everything was kosher.

According to the doctor, everything was not kosher though. I started getting dizzy on the way in the door to the clinic and the nausea soon followed. I was set to undergo some tests to check my heart and brain for any abnormalities. I tried to make a joke about my brain being abnormal anyway for a 22-year old, but Erin just looked at me with an arched eyebrow. Okay, I suppose I should take this seriously.

My heart tests came back fine, but there was a blip on my CT scan and the doctor decided to keep me overnight for observation. Erin called my parents, and they drove the two hours to come and stay by my side until I could leave the hospital. Erin’s a great roommate, but I knew she had a big test coming up for her physics class the next day and I wanted her to have a chance to study.

Mom and Dad were no barrel of fun. Mom fretted over me and Dad just flipped through the channels on the television. I was relieved when the doctor arrived the next morning to go through my charts and send me off for another scan. Luckily, that turned up normal, and the doctor wrote off the blip to my body’s reaction to the shock. I had to come back in a month for another check unless some of my symptoms returned.

I still wasn’t feeling 100%, but the nausea had left and my hair had settled down. Mom and Dad stayed the rest of the day before driving back home that evening, with assurances from me and Erin that one of us would call them if I regressed.

Physically, I felt better every day, but I was limited to unitasking; I couldn’t even check Twitter and watch Grey’s Anatomy at the same time without my head starting to hurt. I didn’t think much of it because I was focused on the upcoming summer concert series down at Neptune’s Park. Life as a student at Regent University in Virginia Beach was difficult, but Erin and I had grown to love the time off in the summer and attending the awesome concerts provided next to the Atlantic Ocean. Plus, they were free, which is always a key word to a college student!

The centerpiece of the park was a 34-foot tall statue of the Roman god Neptune, lord of the sea. I had always liked mythology, and my studies in archaeology led me to mix that enjoyment with some of the research I had done on artifacts recovered in Europe. My hope was to be able to afford a trip with the school next year to go to a dig site.

We got to the park for the first concert and had a good time. My head hurt, but I figured it was the loud music. I got a really sharp headache as the show ended, and as we headed back to the parking lot, something switched in my brain. The shock must have caught up to me again. Much to Erin’s dismay, I started to climb the statue of Neptune.

I could hear mutters of people theorizing I’d had too much to drink, but that wasn’t true. I’d stuck to soda all night, but something felt right about this. Erin was frantically trying to find someone to help her get me down safely, but I had no desire to do that. I would become part of mythology and commune with Neptune! I would gain valuable knowledge to aid me in my archaeology degree!

I would get hauled back to the hospital in the back of a squad car.  But those were the things I shouted to amused passersby followed by, “That’s why I’m living on Neptune!”

 

Word of the Week: This week’s word is unitasking, which means only doing one thing at a time, as in, “Unitasking and staying focused on his math homework proved to be a daunting task with all the social media sites waiting for his attention.” Impress your friends and confuse your enemies!

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