April 13, 2015 Comments Off on The Nose By JD DeHart
They say the nose knows, but that is just a not-too-clever play on words in my case. The last memory I have as a full person is the feeling of the steering wheel slipping out of my hands, that moment when touch ceased and then the spinning sound of metal and magic.
I no longer pay attention to sounds.
I was either a banker or was looking for work, I am no longer sure. I remember stuffing money into envelopes. Perhaps I was a very organized criminal.
All I know is that, upon waking, the smells were too intense to manage. I could smell the kindly nurse and her floral perfume, the bathroom down the hall that needed to be cleaned (badly), and the gelatin being stirred in the cafeteria.
I am slowly learning to manage my senses.
When the raspy voice in the bed next to me asked his doctor how long he had, I sniffed out his very life and told him, with accuracy, “About two more hours.” Everyone smelled stunned when it turned out to be true.
The day I finally get out of here, it is not going to be easy. I am no longer a set of eyes or hands, just a nose. Does any love noses? How does a nose become a productive member of society? I may not even be able to walk around.
Perhaps I can become a consultant in a cosmetics store (if the odors are not too overwhelming), or a fortune-teller, sniffing out the longevity of my clientele. I would make a great chef, as I now have refined tastes by virtue of my olfactory system.
Perhaps I will fold up and go away with the rest of what used to be this body, an appendage without a home and, worse yet, with no one to wipe me when I get runny.
© 2014 JD DeHart
JD DeHart is a writer and a teacher. His work has appeared in The Journal of Microliterature and Bewildering Stories, and is soon to appear in Flash Fiction Magazine.
June 19, 2014 Comments Off on Arterial Ward by JD DeHart
There is all manner of guesswork in our late-night activities. When they bring the bleeders in, we have to act fast, and sometimes send them on to the loony bin.
I imagine it is not really a bin. More like a holding cell.
We run into all sorts of madness here. A doctor orders ten cc’s of some chemical, and we find, days later, he was not a doctor. We look for the glove, but it has disappeared, and the patients are walking funny.
Sometimes, when someone gets sick, their whole family shows up as if it is graduation day. We try to make them feel like they are getting well, but we really do not know. We order x-rays. Families like it when we order x-rays.
One man, I think his name is Ricardo, splashes onto the wall. We clamp him and then knit him a vest to wear off his wounds. Someone brings in leeches, and we say no, that is outdated. We continue on this way until morning and then deny it all.
© 2014 JD DeHart