Stage Three

WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING: A Soldier’s Devotion by Cheryl Wyatt.

WORK IN PROGRESS: 78,129 words

A few weeks ago, I posted that I had placed in a contest at the St. Davids Christian Writers’ Conference. The category was called FLASH FICTION.  As I’ve never attempted to write flash fiction before, I was both thrilled and honored that my last-minute entry received an award.

I say last-minute, because I literally sat down and wrote it the day before I left for the conference back in June.

Today, I thought I would share that entry with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it. So here it goes….my first flash fiction entry and most certainly not my last. 🙂

Happy Friday everyone!


by Susan Lower

As the curtain rose, Veronica felt the first stab of pain. She sucked in her breath and clung to Mark, waddling off stage.

They went from an evening of dancing to a hospital room in less than an hour.

She squeezed his hand and panted.

He peered down at the doctor poised at the end of Veronica’s bed.

Her face scrunched up and she bit her lip. Waves of creases deepened across her sweaty forehead. Her brows drew together and her eyes locked on his, filled to the brim with excruciating pain.

Mark attempted to smile. “Everything is going to be alright.”

Because it was, wasn’t it? He couldn’t tango alone.

He felt spiraling nausea lodged at the base his throat like a case of bad heart burn. Despite his best effort to smile, his head felt light as a feather. He wasn’t sure who held on more tightly to whom.

They had known this day would come sooner or later.

He watched her grit her teeth, her body tense as she awaited the next squeeze of surging pain. Mark took a deep breath, willing his jittery nerves to calm. A nurse handed him a damp cloth to dab the sweat from her forehead.

She whimpered and trembled, her legs quivering.

She reached out and grasped his hand, like a two-hand vs. one-hand arm wrestle match as pain distorted her delicate features. With his free hand, Mark clung to the metal railing of Veronica’s hospital bed to keep his legs from buckling beneath him.

Scents of bleach and alcohol stung his nose causing his vision to blur. He blinked and a bright light was pushed closer as the doctor leaned forward. Veronica’s eyes grew large, she took big, long breaths in through her nose and out through her mouth.

“That’s it. You can do this,” Mark said as Veronica let out a blood curling scream that startled a nurse walking into the room.

Metal clanked as the nurse’s tray tilted and spilled across the floor. Startled, Mark jumped. He took a deep breath to ward off the sensation that swirled in his head and made him dizzy.

Slowly, he peeked over on the other side of Veronica’s white sheet.

“Just a little bit more!” exclaimed the doctor. Mark’s chest tightened. Any moment, he thought. 

“You’re doing great, Honey.” He assured her.

Veronica scowled and whipped her head in his direction as she let out another scream. Mark cringed and held onto her. She sobbed uncontrollably. Her head tossed from side to side across her pillow, weaving a bird’s nest atop her head.

Mark pried his hand away from the railing and tried to smooth her hair.

“There she is,” announced the doctor and held up the blood stained splinter pinched between his tweezers that he’d pulled from Veronica’s foot.


Daughter of a dairy farmer, this crafty mom has a heart for all things handmade. When she's not writing or crafting, you can find her creating memories with her family.

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Posted in Susan's Muse
3 comments on “Stage Three
  1. Rita Scheidt says:

    Loved it! Keep writing.

  2. momma says:

    as i read each sentence i thought i knew how the ending would be…several times in fact…non of which was correct! good job…great writing…worth an award for sure

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