The way Allan told it—and he liked to tell it—they had Peter’s unusual last name and a management directive to thank for being together. The hospital had been retraining old nurses to fill a shortfall. Some preferred the formality of earlier days. Their name badges—just the first name—became an issue. So management acquiesced. That’s how Peter had himself rebadged, throwing away the plain old Peter badge he’d worn since he’d started as a student nurse. He walked into the ward, athletic and confident and introduced himself with a grin. ‘You’re new,’ he said, pointing to the shiny new badge. ‘I’m Nurse Jane. I need to take your pulse.’

(this is an edited version of the story published on this day, 2010. See about small stories about love)


2 thoughts on “Pulse

  1. Richard, I’ve only read the edited version but I love it! I keep thinking, as I read your various Others, how you could trim them further down. Ikebana fiction is the idea; put that image into words, perhaps. This is definitely one such arrangement, and I love it! Haven’t read the longer version and don’t need to. Carver springs to mind. Maybe Carson too. Have a look at what she did with her translations of Sappho. Maryanne x (PS If I’m giving too much feedback, otherwise known as enthusiastic engagement, put me back in my box. I can take it. )

  2. All commentary gratefully accepted, Maryanne. It is amazing how thin a story can be and still be a compelling story. I appreciate your engagement with these pieces and I like your take on the form. So keep ’em coming.

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