Stories tagged illness

A Rat Enters

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It sees the way they stumble to the bedroom after brushing their teeth.


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“Hmmm. Even the most simple things,” she says. “You cannot even make a sandwich without a mess!” Let me make it clear: I am not infirm; I am a man of leisure, having retired from academia, but I have never been much of a housekeeper. Hence, Fe


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Fingers of angry red welts crossed his face and neck.

Grace Note

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At James’ funeral, Edward recalled the Brooklyn night in James’ Chevy.


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As I fed Puff, I thought about the nightmare Lily shared with me that morning. She dreamed Puff had a hole in his throat and all his blood squirted out until he got as small and skinny as a deflated baloon.

Mister Fix-It

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Lined up like ghosts on the front lawn, the second-hand porcelain fixtures had embarrassed her.

(4) Caution

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“You shouldn’t have gone inside,” he said, after she told him what had happened. “I know that’s what you’re used to doing here, with people we know. But he’s not from around here. Don’t go back over there, okay?”

The Weak Force

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So I walk behind Sandra’s desk and I put my radioactive tum-tum right up to her beaded dreadlocks and I tell her about the nuclear energy that is flowing through her right now. She laughs and screams at me the way I am sure her daughter does when someone

The Stick

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When you finally got blood from the hard stick You spotted the backflash of red And said Thank God. The woman’s legs and arms Were everywhere, and you were in the middle Holding her down with one hand while wielding A butterfly in the other. You stuc

The Conversion

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She became suited to herself only. She no longer tried in any way to fit, she fought the molds they created and kept moving in her own direction. Often forward, sometimes a bit backward, and she rightly scaled her own Mt. Olympus and there she sat with he


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the demons in my head

He is dying

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His only sibling had passed a few years back and his mother was the only one left of a gaggle of 7 brothers and sisters and their spouses. The turning of the generations, from birth to grave, was always a bit like the tilling of the ancestral soil. A new


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Everybody knew the McDonald’s at the Waterfront was selling theraflu stamp bags, and I guess I’d heard how bad it was for you—they’d had reports of dumbasses ODing on channel 2, 4, and 11—but it was a lot stronger than regular heroin and a lot cheaper...

Everything becomes serious...

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but difficult like uncertainty