Marley’s Migraine

Six months ago, I participated in a writing competition called Write Club Athens. In short, Write Club participants are given opposing concepts (in my battle with another writer it was “luck vs. skill”). We each write a 7-minute piece within a couple of weeks that centers on our theme, and we read the pieces aloud in front of an audience. The audience then votes on a winner of each battle. The winner donates his proceeds to the charity of his choice.

I didn’t win my Write Club battle, but I did write a little something that I’m finally ready to share here. My protagonist is, as you’ll see from this first excerpt, a young migraineur. I thought I’d share my story in little installments here on from month to month as a sort of serial story. (Did you know that, long ago, writers such as Dickens published their stories in serial format, writing installment after installment that would get published a little at a time?)

So here’s the first part of my story, which is nameless in fact but here I will call “Marley’s Migraine” for the sake of ease and continuity. Stay tuned: next month I’ll post part two! If each section seems terribly short, that’s because it is: the short story is divided in tiny little installments, so each post I make will be brief—just FYI!

Love, Migraine Girl

Marley’s Migraine: Part 1

Wednesday, 4:18 PM

If it’s luck—bad or otherwise—that brought Marley this stupid illness, then screw luck. “Doctors aren’t sure why people get them,” Dr. Smith, her pediatrician, had told her. “Maybe it’s heredity, maybe it’s just bum luck.”

“Screw luck,” Marley mutters, surprised at how easily this naughty word, one she’s never said aloud before, has escaped her lips. She squeezes her temples with all her might, hoping, just a little, that maybe her head will pop off. She swallows a horse pill of ibuprofen and shuts her eyes, praying for swift sleep.

The headaches began last spring. She has nearly lost count of the tricks she’s developed to cope with the pain, to deal with her mom’s pitiful, daily “How are you feeling?”, her ever-increasing stack of homework, her inability to sleep at normal hours.

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