Tag Archives: flash fiction

Chad

FF215 CEayr

copyright CEAyr

“So, who else should be in the club?”

“What about Chad?” I suggested.

Marcus choked.

“Chad?” he shouted. “Chad Shermanburger? Investigated-by-the-FBI Chad? Started-a-forest-fire-testing-his-homemade-rocket-fuel Chad? Brought-a-baby-cougar-to-school Chad? Sold-his-own-version-of-the-Nobel-Prize-online-sparking-outcry Chad? You want Chad freaking Shermanburgar, who somehow sneaked aboard Air Force Two and met the vice president to join the Adventurers’ Club?”

I gulped. “Not at all. I meant Chad . . . Parsons.”

“Oh. Okay.”

Looking back, I should have stuck to my guns. Chad Parsons was boring.


Bear Meets Absorbed Nurse

bear hall

Credit to Gomerblog for the unauthorized use of this Photoshopped picture

 

The doors of the hospital slid apart with a cheery ding as the bear walked in, a small cub lying unconscious on its back. The emergency room waiting room went quiet as only the sudden appearance of a bear can cause. A quick-thinking woman with a head injury tried to call 911 but instead called 822. A teenager with a broken arm tried to turn on the video camera on his phone. The clatter of the phone falling to the linoleum tiles and a strangled scream of pain were the only sounds besides the bear’s heavy tread as it approached the reception desk.

The nurse on duty was as harried as the new patient was hairy. Two of her co-workers had called in sick and another one had gone on a five-minute smoke break twenty minutes ago. She sensed the approach of someone at the window as she worked away frantically at the computer.

“Here, fill this out,” she said, pushing a clipboard of papers at the bear.

The bear searched its memory, but the closest thing in its experience to a clipboard were the flat rocks under which ants and beetles and other delicious insects lived. It nosed the clipboard up a few inches experimentally, but the underside was clean.

“Do you have insurance?” the nurse asked as she kept typing, sensing that the presence at the window had not moved. “I’ll need to see your insurance card. Do you have a copay?”

The bear gave a tentative growl.

“Good. We’ll need payment up front.”

It was probably just as well that the bear was unaware of how much it did not know about the healthcare system. All it knew was that its cub had eaten some bad berries and was very sick. It had seen one of the humans eat those same berries the year before and after a while a vehicle with a colorful cross on the side had come and gotten him. So the bear had put the cub on its back and started walking until it saw a building with that same cross on it. For all it knew, this was the Go-When-You-Eat-Bad-Berries place.

The nurse kept typing, trying to get through the backlog of notes on the last dozen patients. They just kept pouring in. She gritted her teeth as she saw out of the corner of her eye that whoever was at the window still had not taken the clipboard. The last thing she needed was a high maintenance patient she’d have to handhold through the ten-page intake form.

It was at that moment that Dr. Elizabeth Gauss walked into the emergency room. She took in the scene in a glance: the frozen expressions of the waiting room patients, the bear standing patiently at the reception desk window, the cub lying motionless on its back, the nurse typing madly at the computer.

This was new, but Dr. Gauss worked the night shift in an emergency room, so it was not the most surprising thing she had ever seen. She walked over to the bear, who turned expectantly. Seeing the cub’s half-open eyes and the color of its protruding tongue, she guessed what had happened. She motioned for the bear to follow her and it did, with the innocence of a toddler trying to make a withdrawal from Fort Knox.

Dr. Gauss got the bears settled in the extra-large examination room and came back to the reception desk. “Jane,” she said. She repeated it three times before the nurse looked up.

“What did you think of that last person who came in?” Dr. Gauss asked.

Jane looked at the blank forms on the clipboard and gave a noise of disgust. “He didn’t fill out the paperwork. Probably wasn’t more than a sore throat anyway. He sounded like he had a growl.”

“Just put him down as John Doe,” Dr. Gauss said. “Actually, no, not that. Say John Ursine.” She looked kindly at Jane, noticing how tired her eyes looked and just how frazzled she was. “Why don’t you go take a break for half an hour.” She handed the nurse a twenty-dollar bill. “Get a snack and coffee, on me. Don’t worry,” she added at Jane’s protests, “you need a break. I’ll get someone to cover.”

“And Jane,” she said as the nurse gratefully accepted the money and started to walk away. “Don’t go into Examination Room 3.”


Team Sisyphus

FF214 Linda Kreger

copyright Linda Kreger

“Come on, team!” Larry bellowed. “There’s no “I” in Sisyphean!”

“There’s a ‘y’ though,” I said, ignoring the fact that there obviously was an “i”. “As in, why should we try?”

“I’ve got a good feeling about today,” he said, just like every day.

We sighed and started shoving the rock. “That’s it!” Larry screamed as we approached the top. “You’re almost there. Three more feet!”

Ryan slipped. The rock crashed back down.

“Good effort, team,” Larry said. “Let’s break for lunch and try again this afternoon. Just stay positive. At least we’re out here getting exercise, unlike Team Prometheus.”

 

 

The Mythological Punishment Olympics is a pretty depressing spectacle. Here are some of the teams in contention:

Team Sisyphus

Team Prometheus

Team Ixion

Team Erysichthon

Team Tantalus

Team Danaïdes


Arraignment

FF213 Dale Rogerson

copyright Dale Rogerson

“How do you plead?”

“Not guilty, your Honor.”

“You were caught stealing 200 feet of wiring from a house.”

“I’m an electrician. I went there to install it, but I have this unusual problem. I sometimes get caught in a reverse time wave. I’m seeing a physicist about it.”

“You were caught trying to steal $150,000 from a bank fifteen years ago.”

“I was there to deposit it. Inheritance from a rich uncle.”

“Sure. The trial is set two weeks from today, no bail. If you’re telling the truth, you’ll walk out of the jail long before then, I’m sure.”


Atlas Snoozed

Jimmy rushed to the airport from his night shift at the I-20 overpass. He took the architecture entrance, trying not to step on any early morning commuters in his haste.

“About friggin’ time,” Tommy muttered, the third shift A15 pillar on Concourse D. They carefully switched places. Pillaring wasn’t exciting, but it was steady work for those cursed to be 100 feet tall.

Jimmy awoke to tiny screams. He was on his knees, the roof sagging above him. He’d smashed the Gate 24 United counter. Again.

He ordered a ventimila* from Starbucks. This was going to be a long day.

 

*ventimila: 20,000 ounces (about 156 gallons)


Division of Labor

There are three of us stuck in this cabin, locked up together until spring comes.

Raymond’s fat and lazy. Heaven help us, it’s his job to cook and keep the fire going. Liam is small, hard, and lazy. He cleans and does the laundry when I can convince him to go collect snow to melt for wash water.

My job is to keep the whole operation going and give the others a whack when they need it. They should thank Providence I lost my way in that blizzard and happened to stumble on their cabin. Otherwise, nothing would get done.

 

 


Colorful Grandmama

FF210 Ceayr

copyright Ceayr

Grandmama was as colorful as her house, but instead of flowers adorning her steps, she had pictures covering her arms and neck. Maybe other places too. She’d been in the circus, she said.

Five years after she died, I came across a book of criminal tattoos. As I read the meanings of the designs I’d grown up seeing on my grandmama’s skin, I realized I never really knew her.

“You knew her,” my mother said when I confronted her. “You knew the person she remade from the ruins of that former life. It is easier to change spirit than skin.”

 

 


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