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Bed Blocker

by Nancy Johnson

The words fly down the hospital corridor like precision missiles homing in on Maggie, their fleeing target, piercing her on impact.

“Keep her away. She’s abusing me!”

Maggie presses palms against ears as she escapes her accuser, the screeching woman in the corner room.

Indifference is everywhere—in lab coats, with stethoscopes, or arms laden with flowers, moving with unflinching eyes, looking ahead or downcast, but never back in the direction of the desperate cries—the wails just white noise in their daily routines. Only one person, another patient, looks with any concern towards the screams.

This isn’t the mother Maggie […]

Bed Blocker2023-01-13T12:53:39-05:00

The Broken Village

by Catherine Austen

“It’s your fan belt,” the mechanic says. He has dirty hands and clean hair, a lopsided smile and good teeth. He charmed the older sister, Odelia, when he leaned over the engine and raised his pale green eyes. Young and cute—so cute he doesn’t have to be tall or rich. Odelia squeezed among the tools and grime, clearing a place for her pleated skirt. Now she sits on the counter swinging her feet, watching his T-shirt mold to his muscled back.

He straightens up and asks if she wants a soda to go with her soda-sipping […]

The Broken Village2022-12-15T14:14:30-05:00
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