This is a short story I wrote for a creative writing competition in my hostel and was awarded first place for. The topic was the story should end with the sentence "Shit!". Incidentally, first time writing fiction. Total bomb!
It's hard being a doctor in a small town in an obscure county. Specifically when half the town was hit with a strange epidemic of diarrhea. Asking people about their ways and times of disembowelment was not my idea of glamour when I entered Pre-Med at Oregon. Listening to old ladies offer me their opinion as to why their shit was coming out too fast, however, was something entirely different. At least the former didn't make my stomach want to churn itself out. How I ended up here is a mystery; one I always end up trying to figure out over these lonely lunches in my depressing, square office.
I'm an unmarried, middle aged, slightly balding guy, who's had more than his fair share of girlfriends, hookers and porn. But strangely it wasn't the fascination for the naked female that led me from being a top rated M.D aspirant to a small town doctor on an average pay. It was the clothed female; an eight year old one, to be specific.
I saw Angela on one of my hospital tours, my first to be exact. One look and I knew she was the most delicate thing I'd ever seen. Her soft, curly, brown hair fell all around her face and was being tucked behind her ear by a weeping lady I suspected to be her mom. I was instinctively drawn to the child.
"She has leukemia.", her mother said
"How bad is it?"
"The doctors are giving her two days to a week", she said with a sniff.
"it's an irony" she went on, "Angela always talked about becoming a doctor and setting up her own clinic and t-t-to think she'd end up dying in one..", her voice trailed off and pretty soon, she was in hysterics. I, out of practice, signalled a nurse to take care of the woman.
Turning to Angela, I could almost see her dreams in her closed eyes. I patted her on the head and brushed her hair aside, and vaguely thought about life and death the way it'd have been thought about in the movies. Mine was more abstract though. I wasn't able to put it into words the way they do in the movies.
As if on cue, her eyes opened, big, brown, and hopeful. And suddenly I felt the loss of my sister hit me back with a vengeance. Probably because I'd lost her the same way too, to that stranger called leukemia.
Tears stung my eyes.
She was trying to say something. I could hear her struggle to breathe. Slowly,
"...c-c-clinic...Angela's clinic.." she managed to say before those round eyes closed, hiding me from her.
Something about the serene look on her sleeping face kept me there.
Around ten minutes later, she opened her eyes again. They were almost pleading this time.
"you'll..you'll do it f-f-for me won't you..?" She asked me. I fingered through her hair and I think she saw me nod before she drifted off once more. She drifted away.
Before I had time to think through how I got from there to my clinic, "Healing Angels", my phone rang; insistently at that, snapping me out of my reverie. And instinctively, as I remembered the reality of my diarrhea-hit town, I knew what the call would be about. "Shit!"