The Surgeon’s Secretary

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Digital Drawing. A woman seen from waist up, facing forward, tilted to the right, holding an open book before herself. Her right hand is visible poised over the book loosely holding a fountain pen. She’s wearing a shirt, tie, aviator’s coat, and glasses with round lenses that each completely obscure her eyes and reflect the silhouette of a woman in profile with her face and arms thrown back, her hair and clothing streaming backwards. A rainbow overlay of that same silhouette lies over the image.

“Here, you see?” the surgeon said, as he pointed with his scalpel.  “At the nexus of the heart and the brain?  Between the eyes and the throat, right at the back of the mouth, where the voice is on the verge of emerging?”

The secretary peered past the gleaming scalpel and tilted her head.  There was nothing to see at the moment, other than the expected anatomy inside the mouth.  The corpse that lay on the dissection table had been long vacated.  But the surgeon claimed that he had cut through at just the right time, the fleeting moment right after certain death. 

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The Antechamber

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Waiting.  We’ve been waiting for thirty minutes.  A nuisance, maybe, if I were out in the world on an errand or anticipating someone’s arrival.  But here, in the antechamber, poised on the threshold of the most important thing I will ever do with my life, or the grandest failure of my life, those thirty minutes have stretched into the last thirty years of my life.  It must be worse for the person on the other side of the antechamber door, the patient waiting for us to save his life. Continue reading

The Blacksmith’s Bucket

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The Blacksmith's BucketWhen the world was new, there was much chaos.  Wars between gods.  Wars between gods and those they were charged with guarding and guiding.  The birth of terrible monsters on sea and land and sky.  The birth of creatures who could cross between the realms of the living and the dead, who could haunt the dreams of all creatures who dreamed.

In the midst of it all, there were those who, perhaps in vain, still endeavored to live and love and build in the new world.     Continue reading