Issue 8 Fiction
“A notice period!” Reggie shouted to an empty room. “Are you kidding me?”
He was alone in his den, reading through the final bills from the Sunset Village Retirement Complex. A stack of condolence cards lay unread on the side of his desk.
Happy Birthday, Dr. Napier
Without remorse, Melvin’s alarm announced the arrival of seven a.m. Seven would have been sleeping–in three years ago. Three years ago, he’d lived in Maumelle, a 20 to 30-minute drive to his practice in downtown Little Rock, depending on traffic. But now, living in a loft directly over his clinic, seven arrived earlier each day. The seven & sevens he’d knocked back at McKeen’s last night weren’t making it any rosier. He flopped an arm to the other half of the bed without opening his eyes.
Meaning Beyond Medicine or Death?
His hair is long and thick, shining, and curly. But at school, some kids tease him, “You look like a girl! What about braids?”
At first Rick thought: who cares, tough guys have long hair with tails or buns. But after a bad night, he tells his parents, “I want a change. I’ll have my hair cut.”
He opened his eyes and found himself strapped to a gurney, in a swaying vehicle, a siren screaming. A masked person, probably a woman, stared down at him, pressed a stethoscope to his chest, and took his vitals. A plastic mask covered his mouth and nose. He pawed at it; his arm trailed a clear tube that dripped fluid into a vein.
“He’s back,” the woman said.