Unplugged #FridayFictioneers

Photo credit: Connie Gayer Unplugged by Tracey Delaplain, MD The cold bitter coffee had lost its comforting appeal hours ago. I swallowed the dregs anyway and swirled the remains absently. Was it possible to read coffee grounds like tea leaves?

When We Are Just Doctors

I write about health and wellness, life and death, and human suffering through fiction and narrative medicine but this post is profoundly personal and was painful to share. My family has suffered many losses in the last few years. Both of my parents and my oldest sister have passed away in the last three years….

A Party for Annie

A Party for Annie “Annie wants a birthday party with balloons. Six year olds like pink cake and ballerinas,” Jill instructed, her voice trailing off in a drug induced slumber. Owen peered over the bed rail at his crumpled wife and he dialed his sister’s cell phone. Answering on the first ring Cheryl’s speech was…

Faith Shaken

Photo credit @Rochelle Wisoff-Fields Faith Shaken Kneeling in deference to the rituals of her youth, “Holy Mary Mother of God,” she prayed, stumbling over the words, searching for a faith that had long eluded her, “surely You, must understand?” The ceiling fan in the hospital chapel rattled in an off-balance cadence; tilting on its axis,…

Skeletons in the Closet

(Copyright Douglas MacIlroy) Skeletons in the Closet Genre: Narrative Medicine Kat acknowledged her newest nanny with her best, I’m ok face, certain that it would be reported to her very important parents; never present themselves to notice. She chewed and chewed and then spit into her napkin; a distraction, a sleight of hand and the…

It’s Harvest Season – Friday Fictioneers

It’s Harvest Season Maria felt the first few drips of fluid at dawn, waves of unbearable pain followed. Her picking hands were slowed, her back hunched. The gathering light gone, she finally collapsed at dusk.

Alone With My IV – Flash Fiction

Alone With My IV drip drip drip each drip of chemo makes me want to hurl each drip brings me closer closer to what? life death somewhere in between what happened to Quinn? last week we dripped together now he’s gone something about too many white cells or too few white cells killing the wrong…

A Frozen Section – Flash Frozen Fiction

Flash Frozen Fiction for Friday Fictioneers Genre: Historical Medical Narrative (Yes, I did just make that up.) 100 words A Frozen Section “Did you study the video I forwarded to you? It’s all in the wrist,” my friend the oncologist joked, as I angled the biopsy needle into my traitorous breast. “I know how to…

Died With His Boots On

Flash Fiction 100 words Genre: Mental Health Narrative Died With His Boots On The choking acrid smoke always came first, leaving her gasping for breath a decade later. The clanging of the fire bell would startle her but it was the screams of the trapped horses that brought on the panic attack. The shrink had…

Kind Lady Doctor Lives Here

Kind Lady Doctor Lives Here I gently touched the angry scar where his larynx used to be. He motioned for a blank piece of paper and his companion handed him a nub of chalk. Confused, I watched my patient draw a friendly cat and a cross. Puzzled, I raised a brow at his disheveled companion.

My Fountain of Youth – Friday Fictioneers

My Fountain of Youth “Red pill, blue pill, little yellow capsule,” she sorted out loud, bifocals askew. “The red’s for vim. The blue’s for vigor. The yellow is for good measure.” she quipped as she reached for her kale smoothie handing him the costly treasure with a gnarled hand she barely recognized. “How can you…