Volume 1 Issue 32

Flesh Tomb
Karen Petersen

I can blink at you, yes or no.

One finger is strong enough to press the call button, and I use it as much as I can so that the pretty young nurse with the beautiful ass will come in. I always enjoy it as she walks out; it’s the high point of my claustrophobic day. I think she knows I’m watching her because she puts a certain swing into her hips that any man can recognize. She is a total saint as far as I’m concerned.

My nights are the worst. I relive my accident over and over as I am drifting off to sleep. The rain, the sudden sharp bend in the road, the skid, and my frantic braking.

Then the horrible noise of the crash.

I woke up here, in a giant glass cube, hooked up to lots of tubes. I feel no pain. Physically I feel nothing at all. All I have is the world inside my head and then there is the small outside world my eyes see: a door, a nurse’s station, and a red exit sign.

How I long for that exit.

Why did they save me? For what?? For this!!!

I will try to squeeze a tear out when the pretty nurse is next to me so that she can understand just how unhappy I am. She will see the tear and ask me questions and come to understand that I want to die.

I will try this.

I pressed the call button and she came in. I looked at her, trying with my gaze to let her into my soul. Please see ME I begged her with my eyes.

But she was looking me over clinically and examining all the machines. She didn’t see me at all.

I pressed the button again.

This time she looked directly at me. “Are you ok?” she asked

I blinked twice for “No.”

The tear slid out of the corner of my eye.

She saw it and wiped it away with a tissue.
“I will get you some eye drops,” she said briskly and turned to walk out.

I pressed the call button and blinked. “No, no, no!” as the door shut behind her but she had already gone on her way.

Stupid bitch.


KAREN PETERSEN has traveled the world extensively, publishing both nationally and internationally in a variety of publications. Most recently, she was published in The Manzano Mountain Review in the USA, The Bosphorus Review in Istanbul, Antiphon in the UK and A New Ulster in Northern Ireland. New work will be appearing later this year in the Saranac Review in the USA and Idiom 23 in Australia.

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