Appalachian Writers Heritage

Three Girls

feet running

From my sick bed I hear feet running

down the hall, out the door

From my sick bed I hear talking heads

stocks plummet, leaders fail

From my sick bed I hear cooking

pots rattle, spoons chink

two girls

In my sick bed

bones ache, chest suffocates

In my sick bed I see two girls run in, run out

yet, a third girl remains

In my sick bed I try to call out

wait you’ve left one behind

From my sick bed my voice falters

the girl is gone or was she really ever there?


I’ve only had the flu-but I’ve never been this sick in my entire life. In my young adult years I underwent a few surgeries due to health issues-but none of that compares to this bout with the flu.

During one of my fever racked days, I really thought the girls left someone behind when they ran out of the room. She was a little girl-younger than Chitter and Chatter-she had bangs and long straight hair. She sat at the bottom of my bed-just for a instance-just long enough for me to try to call out to the girls to come back for her and at the same time realize she wasn’t really there. I know it was the high fever-I’ve witnessed other folks seeing things during a fever induced hallucination-but until now I’ve never experienced it myself.

The year the girls were born, Pap had a terrible case of the flu. I remember Pap yelling out one night-in his feverish state-he thought he was under the creek bank up on the mountain trying to get warm-and a wolf was trying to get his cozy spot. Crazy what fever can do-have you ever experienced anything like this or maybe someone in your family has?


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  • Reply
    The Tile Lady-Marie
    March 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm

    Yes, you were definitely SICK! WOW! My daughter told me of having flu that bad once. I don’t think I’ve ever been that sick, though. That’s scary, knowing there are flu strains out there that are that bad! Glad you are on the mend!

  • Reply
    March 10, 2009 at 1:09 am

    Once with a temperature of 103, I realized I really could fly and attempted to tell my boyfriend how it would work, if he would! Just! Listen! to me already!.
    He called his mom, and then he took me to the emergency room.
    probably better that way..but all the flying genius was lost to antibiotics…sad.

  • Reply
    March 7, 2009 at 4:08 pm

    glad you are feeling better. i get my flu shot every year. i got the london or hong kong flu in the very early 70s and my lungs have never been the same. by the time i dragged myself to the dr. he wanted to put me in the hospital but i told him , i am way better now. most people think the flu is barfing etc but true influenza is a respirtory infection and can kill millions. i am so very happy you are on the mend, take it easy and slow and be good to yourself. xo susan

  • Reply
    Farm Chick Paula
    March 6, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Bless your heart, Tipper- hope you’re on the mend!

  • Reply
    Carolyn A.
    March 5, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    When I had pneumonia, my fever was so high that Sister S said she heard me say over and over, ‘Put the fire out.’ It was really rough. You look great though and I hope you’re feeling better and better every day. Much love, my friend. xxoo

  • Reply
    March 5, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I hope you are better soon. The flu can be horrible.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 10:15 pm

    Tipper! You’re still sick?! Good grief – I thought you were all mended by now.
    I agree with the others and think that little girl really was there as an angel watching over you. When my little brother was sick with Meningitis when he was just a small baby, my mom was laying on the couch late at night with the sick baby on her chest. She felt someone standing there and looked up to see her Dad who had passed away just a few months earlier. Grandpa reached out, touched Joshua on the forehead and was gone. In a short time his fever broke and he started the slow process of getting better. Angels are out there, and they take many forms.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 8:26 pm

    Tipper, I’ve never had that experience before. Hope you recover soon and take the flu shot next year.

  • Reply
    trisha too
    March 4, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    not from a high fever, but from lack of sleep–oh, the tales i could tell you!
    so glad you’re on the mend–don’t push it. plenty of rest, fluids, you know the drill . . .

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    How awful for you! Hope you get better soon. 🙂
    The last time my son was sick (with the salmonella virus), he saw mammoths and treasure. At one point he thought he was someplace else, he asked me what our woodstove was and wanted to know “how do you get outside?”. He was dreaming wide awake and we liked to never got him woke up!
    When I was little I had the scarlet fever and remember my bedroom moving up and down.
    Scary stuff those high fevers!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 9:55 am

    Bless your heart, I hope you’re getting better! Sounds like that flu really knocked you for a loop!

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 9:15 am

    Tipper, We were gone for a while on little family vacation in an isolated (no phone, computer etc…) area, so sorry I’m a late in wishing you to get better, but I’m so glad you are! What a terrible and amazing experience you had.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 4, 2009 at 8:44 am

    You know Tipper, I bet the little girl was one of the angels you paint so lovingly. She was there to protect you.

  • Reply
    Just Jackie
    March 4, 2009 at 8:16 am

    I’m so glad you are on the mend. I, too, think the little girl left behind was an angel. I had a weird fever induced episode once when I was little. It was in the early 50’s before Mickey Mouse was so well known. I had a high fever and Mickey kept zooming in and out of my line of sight. He’d get real big and then real small. Maybe it was a sign I was to have a love hate relationship with him in later years. (I retired from Disney) LOL Take it easy and don’t over-do it. Spring is just around the corner.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 2:18 am

    you took my hand and led me through your experience of the flu with you. Wow. You have been some sick girl. Hope you recover quickly and fully. Special thanks for your description of your fever hallucination – like a ghost story. Also – thanks for your kind words when we needed them. Ellouise

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 2:02 am

    Oh, I hope you are all better soon. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.

  • Reply
    March 4, 2009 at 12:07 am

    Hoping that you are feeling better quickly. This would be a good time to crawl under some quilts and look at photo albums — one of my favorite things to do when I am sick and unable to cook, clean, or do much more than groan.
    Thinking of you,

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 10:38 pm

    I had the flu last year, Tipper. The creatures who stepped out of the popcorn paint on the ceiling to taunt and torment me were legion. It was nuts. The fever was a real experience. Took weeks to fully rid myself of it.
    I hope you are feeling strong soon.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    A bad bout of flu is a killer. I don’t think I’ve had hallucinations, though. My dad did after a bad infection in which he was the ICU for a couple of weeks–ventilator and all. When he was out and not sedated, he thought he had been kidnapped.

  • Reply
    Dee from Tennessee
    March 3, 2009 at 9:48 pm

    So very thankful that you are on the mend. So thankful.
    Only had the “real” flu once, a million years ago. Kids at our school are so so sick…the flu is raging in our community. Most parents are reporting that the high fevers are lasting about 6 days.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    March 3, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    I also meant to say that I loved your poem. Wonderfully written.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in OR
    March 3, 2009 at 9:26 pm

    Tipper! I’m so glad you’re pulling out of this. What a nightmare. The little girl at the foot of your bed, wow, what a crazy experience!! My first thought is that it was you as a child, sitting there looking at yourself! I’ve never had hallucinations like that, but my poor mom has. I witnessed it, and it’s very disconcerting. She was absolutely certain there was a white cat in her hospital room.
    Many, many blessing to you and your family, and prayers for good health.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    In January when I had my high fever I was in the same state. One night, about 4am, I thought someone was standing by the bed. When I opened my eyes, I saw a woman in old fashioned dress walk out of the bedroom. I’ve suspected for a time there was a presence in this house and I believe she was watching over me. (Yeah, I know. I’m nuts. LOL)
    Anyway, don’t be too sure the little girl wasn’t sitting with you. Illusion or spectre? Food for thought.
    Enjoyed your post and am hoping you are over this flu soon.

  • Reply
    Fishing Guy
    March 3, 2009 at 7:49 pm

    Tipper: I always get a flu shot for this very reason. You really had it bad but I’m glad you are through. You should be up and around and as good as new.
    I enjoyed the story of how you were attached to the girls as they went through your room.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    I am so sorry you are so ill. 🙁 We are going through the flu right now, but it doesn’t seem to be the degree that yours is. The answer to your question is no, not that I know of. That would be scarry.

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    I hope you’re feeling better soon. That flu is nasty stuff, this year more than ever. I haven’t ever had the fever visions but a few months ago, my dad was directing us all to move a load of wood from one spot to another…from his hospital bed. Freaky stuff. (He’s better now, but still ordering us all around.)

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    I’ve had the flu like that….once. And I hope never again. Yes I had hallucinations and the high fever that burned me up and the chills that made my whole body shake. Scary stuff. Rest, get better. blessings, marlene

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm

    Oh, Tipper.. bless your heart. The flu is a serious illness and I am so glad you are pulling out of it. Good to see you blogging again! blessings,Kathleen

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm

    I’m sorry to hear you were so under the weather!
    Fevers are terrible. I’ve never had one that bad though.
    But–anytime I see one of those little white flashes of light (singular ones, not the twinkles) I always say it’s an angel. Or if my ear rings-that’s an angel, too.
    Get well soon!

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    March 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Forgot to mention, Tipper. I loved your poetic expression of a harrowing experience!

  • Reply
    petra michelle
    March 3, 2009 at 3:34 pm

    Have never experienced it myself, Tipper, but have heard others experience what you have! The brain is an extremely sensitive organ to temperatures and meds.
    That combination is enough to reak havoc with it! (((Tipper)))! Stay well!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Nice to see you are making progress! Take it slow! 🙂

  • Reply
    teresa atkinson
    March 3, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    So sorry you are still sick. The kids were in Boone,NC this weekend skiing and they were amazed that we had more snow on the ground when they got home than up there.
    We took our time coming home and enjoyed the trip.
    Hope you feel better soon.

  • Reply
    Amy @ parkcitygirl
    March 3, 2009 at 2:58 pm

    Oh my goodness! I’m glad you’ve come through it – and it would seem that you haven’t passed it along to your family!? Fever’s are scary, thankfully I’ve never experienced any that horrible – or witnessed it. Rest up!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    That’s such a frightening experience. I’ve never had that happen to me, but I’ve had some pretty scary times when my kids had high fevers. When I’m really sick, I always wish my mom could rock me, like when I was small. Wouldn’t that be nice?

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Well, you look good, for being sick, in that picture.
    I don’t remember doing this myself. But both my boys do this when they are fevered. But not my daughter. Strange?!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 2:20 pm

    Sorry you are so messed up from it! I have had a few bad times…once with rheumatic fever and once with mono…in both cases it was other-worldly…and not in a good way!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    March 3, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    Oh my goodness! I’ve had the flu like that once. It was awful. The Deer Hunter, the Song Writer, and I had the flu at the same time. The Deer Hunter must have been about eight years old. We were COMPLETELY incapacitated for two weeks and sick for a month.
    —-Never want anything like that again!
    Welcome back!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    You poor thing! I hope you recover completely and soon! I only once experienced fever hallucinations, when I was little and got terrible sick in the summer. Not much fun.
    You take care!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 12:52 pm

    I hope you are feeling better! This flu bug has been especially nasty this year.
    I can’t say as I’ve seen people or things during my own bouts with fever, but more than one person has told me that I have talked (and walked) in my sleep.
    Sweet Pea said I was talking about major league ball players one night. She also said that I got up one night, walked into the kitchen, and started “hollering for my baby.” (I was maybe 9 or 10 years old at the time.)
    Mr. Zen has said that I have LAUGHED in my sleep, of all things!
    I’d like to think that the little girl you saw was your guardian angel, just checking in on you to see how you’re doing.
    That’s what Sweet Pea said, any time she saw a baby smile in it’s sleep – she said that it was because the angel was whispering in the baby’s ear.
    Keep getting better, Tipper!
    – Leia (TennZen)

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 11:58 am

    So sorry to hear about the flu. It’s rough.
    Glad to see you are getting back to your old self.
    Take care and drink lots of fluids!!!!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 11:56 am

    how awful! it’s good to hear that you are starting to feel better. i suppose that would be a bit scary to have a fever hallucination. i’m sure your girls were a great help to you.. thank God for our children!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2009 at 11:35 am

    I hope you are feeling better. They say the flu is worse this year than in a long time.

  • Reply
    Julie at Elisharose
    March 3, 2009 at 11:25 am

    You poor thing. I’m so glad you are doing better.
    I don’t recall ever experiencing anything quite that dramatic or witnessing anyone else.

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