Denton Writes 2009 Winner – Adult Flash Fiction – Martha Garza


Martha Garza preview


The Finishing

by Martha Garza

“Why do I have to leave? I haven’t finished my treatment yet. I still need one more dose.”

“Ma’am, you can wait in the lobby and we’ll see if we can get to you later. We’ll keep your IV going . . . just in case.”

“Just in case what?”

“In case we can finish you off today.”

Bee keepers? Why are bee keepers here? It’s winter.

            Three hours later . . .

            “Wake up Ma’am. It’s time for us to finish you off.”

            “Did the bee keepers finish their retrieval already?”

            “What bee keepers?”

            “The ones who arrived right after you sent me to wait in the lobby.”

            “Those weren’t bee keepers. They were CHMPs.”


            “Certified Hazardous Material Practitioners.”

            “Haz Mat! Why?”

            “One of the other patients tripped on an IV stand. When the pole fell, one of the bags of chemo spilled.”

            “For that you need Haz Mat?!”

            “Oh, most definitely. We couldn’t risk touching it. It’s too toxic.”

            “Should I be worried?”

            “No. The bag holding your dose is almost empty. Even if it hits the floor it won’t burst. Don’t worry. We have just about finished you off.”







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