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The Splinter

By , Havertown, PA
It was the summer of 2006. Hot, humid, buggy: your typical summer. Every so often, my grandparents would invite my entire extended family out to a house in the Pocono Mountains. It was more like a barn than anything. Everything made of wood, random farm tools nailed to the walls, even the occasional bat or bird. When it got too hot or too dark to go outside, my cousins and I would play ping pong to pass the time. My brother losses again to one of my cousins, the reigning champion. My turn. Every time I go to return a serve, I miss and I hear that familiar bouncing sound the ball makes like clockwork. It's as if the ball is laughing at me, you could hear it. I make my way underneath the table to retrieve the ball and as I slide my bare feet along the worn wooden floor, I feel my toe catch on something. Thinking nothing of it, I just kept of sliding my foot. Big mistake. I look to see what the holdup was only to see a small pool of blood, slowly getting bigger and bigger. My brain took a minute to make the connection. Foot, splinter, cut, blood, pain. I think I cried more that night than I had in my entire life combined. This thing HURT. Hearing my cries, my mother came running, yelling at my brother (I was usually the victim of his antics) thinking he had caused me this indescribable pain. When my mother looked to me she screamed and tried to pick me up to get me to the bathroom. What she failed to realize that doing this only worsened the pain, twisting and turning the chunk of wood in my foot like a stick churning butter.

Somehow, my mother got me off the floor and helped me limp to the bathroom where she proped my leg up on the edge of the bathtub. Three of my uncles came running in behind us, asking what could be done. I felt like I was in a war zone. A team of people standing over me, trying to fix me up and get me out alive. After a lot of pulling, '1, 2, 3's, and a decent amount of blood loss, my uncle removed the splinter like King Arthur pulling the sword from the stone. He dropped it in his hand and showed it to me. One and a half inches of blood soaked pine splinter.





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