The Wait (Part Two)

Dr. Karton assembled the features of his face into what he hoped was a reassuring smile and stepped into the waiting room. He automatically looked to the faded chairs resting against the peeling wall paint. His eyes registered a hint of brown at the bottom of his peripheral vision. Dropping his gaze, the doctor was surprised to see his patient kneeling on the floor.

He rushed over to her and mentally noted her condition: Beads of sweat on forehead, dilated pupils, hyperventilating, hand tremors. A panic attack was the likely culprit so he started to reassure her in a soothing voice. He encouraged her to breathe slowly by counting. After a few minutes, she had calmed enough to be helped into a stiff chair.

Sinking into the chair beside her, Dr. Karton assessed the situation. His patient had just recovered from her panic attack and would soon ask about the results of her lab tests. He picked at a hole in the fabric of the seat while he tried to form an appropriate response to the inevitable question.

He had only decided on starting with Miss Johnson…, when the still trembling woman beside him found her voice. 

So, Doctor, be honest with me…is it bad?

[To Be Continued]

The Wait (Part One)

It would take time. Bry knew that, but it didn’t stop her from tapping her foot or glancing at the time. Most days, she was a patient person and most people would agree with her assessment. Today was not one of those days.

Her forehead creased in ways that it hadn’t in months as her face betrayed her nervousness worse than her shaking knees. She started twirling a brown curl between her fingers just to give them something to do. Nothing is wrong; it just takes time. She repeated the seven words like a mantra until they were the only words in her head.

Nothing is wrong. Bry’s eyes were not focused and shining from the tears that had been welling up over the past few minutes. It just takes time. Her legs finally gave in to the gravity of the situation, and she fell to her knees.

The impact jarred her mind out of the trance and back into the chaos of fear. Is this a heart attack? She wasn’t sure.

She was in the right place for one; the hospital surely knew how to handle the situation, but the waiting room did not have any other people in it. That would be ironic: dying of a heart attack while waiting for lab results. Her dark thoughts were momentarily pushed out of her mind as she tried to remember if she was using the word ironic correctly. In that pause, the door to the waiting room creaked open.

[To Be Continued]

7-Sentence Story: “Architecture”

Once upon a time, on a world remarkably unlike our own, a castle built itself at the top of a hill. And every day, from purple moon to red moon, the castle would lower its drawbridge. Until one day, a sympathetic road decided to go out of its way and create an extension to the castle. Because of this, a visiting chariot became confused and brought its passengers to the castle. Because of this, the passengers decided to enter the castle to ask someone for proper directions. Finally, the castle had successfully ensnared occupants. And ever since that day, the castle’s drawbridge has never been seen lowered.

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[Words: 107]
[About the Exercise]

7-Sentence Story: “To Taste”

Once upon a time, in a land whose name has faded from all memory, two brothers owned a famous restaurant. And every day, people would travel for hours and bask in the smell of foreign spices that danced from the kitchen to precede plates of sculpted flavor. Until one day, a local peasant girl noticed that people who ate at the restaurant vanished within a week of their meal. Because of this, she began to investigate and discovered that no one could remember when the restaurant was built or when the brothers arrived to town. Because of this, the brothers were exposed as two malevolent creatures that mixed potions into the restaurant’s food which, after a few days in the bloodstream, made human flesh taste better. Finally, the local humans exiled the creatures by using an ancient ritual found in the diary of a deceased food critic. And ever since that day, parents in the land stopped their children’s naughty behavior by threatening to take them to dinner at a nice restaurant.

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[Words: 172]
[About the Exercise]

Until Death

Up until four seconds ago, the plate was in one piece–so was their marriage.

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[Words: 15]
[Author’s Note: In several cultures, four is considered an unlucky number because, in their language, “four” and “death” are pronounced similarly.]