Emergency ward. Time moves in irregular chunks. Suddenly, across the room, there’s a flurry of movement. A machine blips loudly. People rush—a curtain is drawn. And then the scream. Anguish beyond thinking. A mother’s scream. Then nothing. I imagine and I hope. It’s all I can do. I shudder in the reverberations of the hollow, wordless howl.
I look across at Gabe. He’s as pale as milk. Why couldn’t he have kept his mouth shut? Blood seeps from the bandage around his head. A doctor changing shifts mutters about Saturday night brawlers.
We sit silently in our white purgatory, waiting. I place a kiss on Gabe’s wet forehead. He does not meet my eyes.
2011-Richard Holt / small stories about love (smallstoriesaboutlove.wordpress.com)
A writer from Melbourne, Richard maintains a number of blogs exploring very short fiction and text-based art practices. His stories and poems have been published in both mainstream and alternative journals and collections. He is also a visual artist and was co-founder of both Platform Artists Group and zine store, Sticky. He continues to publish very short fiction and conduct microfiction workshops for practicing writers, students and others. He has created numerous text-based installations and artworks for public spaces, including at Federation Square, Melbourne and in conjunction with the 2017, Newcastle Writers Festival.
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