Flannery O'Connor's Tea Party

by J. Bradley

“He's the one who took five tries to find your vein during your last blood draw, right?” This question spilled from the row of twenty EKG machines that now made up the hospital building's larynx, located in the middle of what looked like it was once the lobby, after cocking the beak of its awning toward Carl. The hospital made sure all of the patients were moved from the Pepsi Co. Burn Ward before using it as a right arm, thousands of catheters wrapping into digits and a palm, the new index finger, pointing at Carl, the night nurse. His lower half was trapped beneath the hospital's right toe, one of the white stone tables from the outdoor break area.

“What did you do, Leo? What did you do to make this happen?” Carl yelled.

“Shut up.” The hospital said. “Your incompetency is a pre-existing condition therefore you will be terminated.” The catheter fingers reach into the right arm. Each finger had defibrillator pads, fully powered. The pads were placed on Carl's temples, chest, stomach. “First, your life will flash. Next, you will be an effigy for the American healthcare system.”












The crowd followed a woman wearing a dirty, tattered bone colored Victorian dress, holding a black lantern. They stopped in front of an abandoned hospital building: “Over here we have Hippocrates Healthcare Systems. Fifty years ago, the hospital somehow came alive and attacked what it thought to be incompetent staff members. It took three holy men from three different faiths that combined their beliefs and might to exorcise the demons.”

“Bullshit,” a man in a wheelchair yelled, rolling through the crowd to get in front of the leader of the ghost tour. “It went away because we voted Republican on November 2 in the year of aught ten, against the tyranny of our government. Socialism, that was the demon exorcised from that hospital.” The man in a wheelchair's chest exploded.


The coroner noticed the look of concentration of Leo's face as he autopsied the body to find out the migration pattern of Leo's liver cancer. Carl walked into the morgue.

“What are you doing here, Carl?”

“I want to look at the motherfucker who fucked me up so much with those paddles, I had to get a pacemaker.” After Carl spat in Leo's face, the coroner pulled Carl away from the body.