For the Love of Puff

(You’ve heard me talk extensively about the classes I am taking through Coursera. Well, here is the result of 4 weeks of talking about plot, and development. I have 3 more classes to complete, and I will be able to get a Certificate in Creative Writing!) 


“Hey, Kennedy.” The in-house phlebotomist Kim greets me. She already had the vials out and labeled, but there is an extra.  “Come on in.” She beckons me into the room and closes the door. “Did she tell you what we’re testing for today?” She asks.

“Nope.” I sit down in the usual chair and stretch my arm out. Because I anticipated the possibility of blood work, I am wearing a short sleeve blouse.  “Why are there five vials? You usually only take four.” I ask her as she pulls out what we call the dragonfly needle, alcohol swabs, and a small length of the paper tape.

“There was a recent outbreak reported in the area. Now everyone is required to get checked for safety’s sake.”

“Oh.” The virus is something I’ve only seen on the news. And was on the opposite side of the country. I didn’t know much about it other than that. “I’m not concerned,” I tell Kim as she finishes tying on the tourniquet and begins poking around my arm, searching for a good vein. As usual, I look away.

She finds a vein and in less than 2 minutes, all of the vials are full. She slides the needle out before taping some gauze to the puncture. “I hope the rest of your day is good, and less painful than that was.” She says to me as I  again gather my stuff.

I  smile and head out of the office. Now I can meet my best friend Shandy at our favorite bar and grill and pretend the whole visit hadn’t happened.


“Okay, what has got you so anxious that you have to check your phone every five seconds, girl?”

I shove my phone back into my purse and look up at my best friend. Shandy is staring at me with an expectant look. “Nothing.”

Shandy shakes her head. “You haven’t been listening to a word I’ve said since we sat down.”

I sigh. “I’m sorry. The doctor’s visit didn’t exactly go as planned. I had to take another blood test.” I signal for our waitress.  “We’ll have a round of sangria please, and the tossed Italian salad,” I say as she comes over.

“Sure thing.” She wanders off to put in our order.

“And you think checking your lab app every five seconds is going to give you results any faster? I’ve got just the thing to take your mind off of that!” Shandy reached in her purse. “I managed to get us the last two pit tickets for the Puff concert this weekend!”

I stare at her, then the envelope she’d produced. “Tickets? But…they were sold out…! I was in line at midnight, remember?”

Shandy smirked, holding out the envelope. “Look for yourself. And, no, I didn’t use a scalper.”

I examine the tickets. I don’t see anything that raises a red flag. They are legit. I smile. “These must’ve cost you a fortune. I’ll get you at least half as soon as I can.”

Shandy waves my statement away, taking a drag from her vape pen. “Remember, I owed you for your birthday. You’ve been trying to see these guys for years now. And with Rodney leaving the band…”

I  nod and put the tickets back in the envelope. I slide them over. “I’m paying for lunch,” I say. “No ifs, ands, or buts.”  

“If you say so,” Shandy says as our waitress brings our salads and sangria over.

We are just wrapping up when my phone beeped. I have to dig a little before I get to it. It’s an alert from my Journey Labs app. I stand at the same time Shandy does. “I’ll text you later.” After paying for our lunch at the counter, I headed for my car.

Once I’m buckled in, I check my phone again and pull up the Journey app. I navigate to the test results tab and read them twice to make sure that I have read properly. There it was in black and white. I had the Virus. Shit.

“Yeah, I’ve filled that prescription before,” Josh said. My brother, the pharmacist, hands the script back to me. “You’ve gotta take it.”  

“Yeah…” I say. “I’m just not sure I like the side effects. The Puff concert…”

“We can video the concert,” Josh says. “I think you living is a bit more important. I can’t lose my best friend.”

“You don’t get it. Rodney is…”

“I know. But even he would tell you this is more important. I can go in your place, and record the whole thing.” He gestures to his pile of recording equipment. “Need to put your Christmas present to use somehow.”

Before I can, Shandy wanders in from the living room. “I’d rather my best gal pal be around for my birthday next month. Take the damn  pill.”

I roll my eyes.  “Alright, alright. I’ll take it.”


Sleeping for two days is the worst part of my recovery after severe dry mouth when I am awake. I opt to stay at Josh’s since my own house has to be sanitized to rid it of any germs that are lingering.

Thankfully, my brother and Shandy don’t make a  big deal the night of the concert. The most I hear about it is the next morning when Josh tells me that my choice of idols was legit and that he understands now why I like Puff so much.

We watch the concert video as soon as I am able to stay up for more than 2 minutes at a time. The quality is more professional than I expect, and that makes me and Josh both happy. He is gracious enough to make both me and Shandy a copy.


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July 11, 2018

wow I am impressed….

July 11, 2018

@jaythesmartone Thank you so much! I am really having a great time with all of these courses.  Now I’m on week 3 of my second course.

July 11, 2018

Interesting piece. Constructive criticism: it jumps awkwardly from being in the car getting her lab results to her brother.



July 11, 2018

@ericabear That’s because the results were implied by the following scene. 🙂 Something I learned to do in class.

July 11, 2018

@zie  Not the transition from agreeing to take the pill to two days later. I meant she’s just gotten in her car and gotten the results. Then we are thrust to her brother handing her pills back. There’s no marking to indicate a scene jump. Kennedy was in the car after dinner with a friend. It’s jarring to me as a reader to suddenly have her brother there. There needs to be an action beat or something. Maybe she drives off. Maybe the next part starts of telling us where she is. Even just an extra line to indicate a scene change. (You used # to indicate scene changes otherwise. ) It’s missing something. Otherwise I’d say you got this pretty well composed.

July 11, 2018

Is this the class

August 5, 2018

@ericabear Yes.