Fiction | Hektoen International

Jacarandas- a dream

In the year when the Olympic Games were held in Australia, the Jacarandas were in full bloom and their blue blossoms wafted through the air. At the Olympic campus an English boy and an Australian girl fell in love. Every night they would be seen walking through the cool air holding hands. Sometimes they went […]

Butterfly day

Marsal Sanches Bismarck, North Dakota, United States   In some cultures, black butterflies are considered omens of death. He did not believe that a black butterfly was an omen of death. It was just some old superstition he remembered hearing from his Brazilian babysitter many years before, sort of a South American banshee. Someone would […]

She was even in love with you

Stewart Massad St. Louis, Missouri, USA    Cognitive Dissonance: Gratitude in oncology Francis Delisle was coming out of Bard’s TrueValue Hardware with ant bait in a paper bag when he saw Marty Van Etten coming up Main Street. Marty’s wife Anne had died at winter’s end, only forty-seven, from glioblastoma, after surgery in Baltimore, radiation […]

Percy’s last day

Shampa Sinha Tasmania, Australia   McIndoe operating at East Grinstead by Anna Zinkeisen, 1944. Percy missed his regular train that morning, the one that would have given him a comfortable half-hour cushion between his arrival at the station and “knife-to-skin” time at the operating theatre. He felt his anxiety levels rising within him like bile […]

Heroes need medical care too

Liam Farrell Rostrevor, Ireland   God Pan Hercules Polyphemus I was driving along a quiet country road when I saw the first bluebell, its delicate beauty a promise of spring. I stopped to relish the moment, to live in the now. Birdsong, the wind rustling through hedgerows, and the disheveled dryad loveliness left me humbled. […]

Looking glass land

Christy D. Di Frances Boston, Massachusetts, USA   I Statue in the garden of St. John’s Memorial Chapel, Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, MA. It begins the way stories often end: that excruciatingly one-sided conversation with some loved one or another. His grandmother. Finally something seems to awaken her from the obscurity of her world. ‘Do […]

The Resident

Sarah de Forest Chicago, Illinois, USA    The Operation, Christian Schad He is a handsome man, no one can deny it, and he has a pleasant smile. In this terrible place, its inhabitants ravaged by hunger and disease, he always looks as though he just came from the barber, and his men know that slovenliness […]

Joys of Motherhood

Kenneth Joe Helsinki, Finland   As I waited, I remembered my childhood. I seem to drift back into my childhood nowadays. Maybe it is because I am a mother now, so I am forced to draw on my early memories so as to parent my newborn well. My baby was born ten days ago at […]

Anosognosia

Michael Ellman  Chicago, IL, United States   South Pacific, 1950. Joseph Cable (William Tabbert) watches as Bloody Mary (Juanita Hall, top) and Liat (Betta St. John) perform the song “Happy Talk”  “Joseph Cable, at your service! U.S. Marines, World War Two, retired—at ease, Doctor. Let’s be casual, shall we?” My patient is tall and ramrod […]

Ghabeleh Hamleh

Suzi Ehtesham-Zadeh Woodstock, Georgia   The refugee camp at night The pounding in Amana’s temples will not let up and is  beginning to scare her. She has had headaches before, but this is different—it feels like something foreign has invaded her body and is occupying every square inch of it, from the tips of her […]