Fiction | Hektoen International

Anosognosia

Michael Ellman  Chicago, IL (Fall 2017)   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 (Fall 2017)   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 […]

Fog

Nicholas Feinberg New York City, New York (Spring 2017)   London in the Fog by Lesser Ury Outside their window, the sky is dark and the streets are empty.  Fog slides off the lake and turns the pavement slick and black.  The wet air is a blanket that quiets the city.  Silence fills the space […]

Fish story

Tim Chapman  Chicago, Illinois, United States (Fall 2012)   You can get to know a person pretty well when you’re helping them wipe their ass. My name is Ernie Fischetti. I was named after “Mr. Cub,” Ernie Banks. I used to hate Charlie’s best friend was a guy they called “Mookie.” He always brought in […]

When children die

Susan Woldenberg Butler Canberra, Australia (Fall 2010) Publication Acknowledgement: This fictional short story was published in Secrets from the Black Bag (Royal College of General Practitioners Publications; London, December, 2005).  Angus Easton died surrounded by loved ones who had done everything possible to ease his suffering. Angus was obviously the apple of his family’s eye, […]

Those eyes

Susan Woldenberg Butler Canberra, Australia (Winter 2011)   Publication Acknowledgement: This fictional short story was published in Secrets from the Black Bag (Royal College of General Practitioners Publications; London, December, 2005). I’ve always involved myself in the lives of my patients and their families. Familiarity with context helps me to provide better treatment and nourishes […]

Blind faith

Susan Woldenberg Butler Canberra, Australia (Spring 2011)   This fictional short story was published in Secrets from the Black Bag (Royal College of General Practitioners Publications; London, December, 2005). Some patients will do anything we tell them. Others obey their spouses blindly. Ambrose O’Sullivan did as his wife directed. It killed her. “Divina won’t be […]

A song for me

Steve Sobel St. Albans, Vermont, United States (Fall 2011)   Taylor Swift by WEZL Sometimes the obvious is revealed to us as a life-altering revelation that shifts the tectonic plates of our world. Such was the case when I sat in a stuffy, cramped bedroom listening to Taylor Swift singing “Love story” on the radio. […]

Hunters

Nam Nguyen Palo Alto, California, United States (Summer 2013) I led her well into the center of the Russian Market, holding her hand behind me so that I could navigate the two of us around curious eyes. I was careful to stay in the dark, aware that the market had not yet been entirely vacated. […]

A perfect day

Mike Ellman Chicago, Illinois, United States (Spring 2012)   Hematology rounds start with chalkboard presentations. After posting the admission date, the laboratory results, the hospital course, and our recommendations, we hunch over microscopes to view the blood smears and bone marrow aspirations before marching en masse to the patients’ rooms. As the senior resident in […]