The paper cranes are folded from receipts for doctors, buses and climate magazines, from my five year old’s drawings of our family, prescriptions for her meds, sweet wrappers and cigarette packets, and hang now to be counted, over her hospital bed, one more for every day since she didn’t die.
Rosaleen Lynch, an Irish community worker and writer in the East End of London, pursues stories whether conversational, literary or performed and believes in the power of words to make the world a better place.
It is always evening in my room. One wall has a painting, the winter cove, water now grey blue, cliffs dominant. Black ideograms; strong cursive brush strokes; the characters telling a story I don’t need to understand.
I go there as they lock down my radiotherapy mask again.
Helen is an experimental Artist and Writer based in South Wales, U.K.
A bedside bouquet blooms fresh, red and yellow, only for you.
Ignore the square machines humming under sterile plastic sheeting. Consider every brilliant petal a perfumed watchman, the spirit of those that yearn to hold you and bolster your withering hope.
The flowers plead, “Fight! You’re needed here with us.”
Andrew Bridgeman wrote this story. See more at andrewbridgeman.com.
At the hospital, I find mum. She looks concerned, like I’m not dressed warm enough. I hold her hand, thank her for all she was and kiss her cold frown. On the wall there’s a whiteboard with her name scrawled on it and a section titled Patient’s Needs. It’s blank.
Giles Montgomery writes ads for a living and fiction for joy. Find him on Twitter at @gilesmon.
Grandpa’s pain stops with his heart. Amid brilliant white light and the fury of a whirlwind, he is lifted and flies rejoicing to God.
He wakes joyously. “Lord, I’m saved!”
His angel smiles. “Only just. It’s a miracle you got to hospital in time. We had to send a helicopter.”
Viv Burgess says her inspiration has been absent without leave, and she is not a-mused.
Telephone poles and streetlights streak past as I stare up from my bed on the car seat. Dad is driving fast. Mom has her hand on me, patting.
We stop; they fling the door open, haul me onto a gurney. The hospital doors whoosh open as they wheel me in.
Laurie is a retirement wannabe who enjoys petting dogs and admonishing children.
i feel better now they give me pills and not hook me to the clicky box.
Im going to a differnt place so i must be getting better.
almost evryone looks happy around me. i will miss them.
even the mean nite nurse sed hes glad im going to hosspess.
Kevin Ivan Smith is helping move a laboratory by day and recovering from it by night.
I’ve taken a sudden interest in my unread copy of Emily Dickenson’s Complete Poems. Part Four: Time and Eternity, specifically.
Reading is uncomfortable. The beeping of machines; the itchy bedding; the chemical-scented air. Yet I still turn the pages, IV in my arm, knowing that eternity is awaiting me, too.
Jane Danforth is a high school senior who would rather be writing fiction than college essays.
I despise the word “burden.” It is such a depressing word. “A beast of burden,” “a burden to bear,” “laden with one’s burden.” It makes me cringe.
And now, ironically, I have become the very thing I despise.
From my hospital bed, I wonder how I can unburden my family.
Sadie McCurry wrote this story.
Worse than ants, worse than soured milk. Worse than forgotten forks.
The drone of the helicopter ambulance roared in their bellies the closer it came. It set down in the field, sending the banner that read CELEBRATING 50 YEARS soaring over their heads.
It was clear the party was over.
Ashley Hutson has been published in Hedge Apple Magazine and was a finalist in this year’s Lascaux 250 Flash Fiction contest. She lives in Sharpsburg, MD.