Barbara Lock, MD, is a writer, editor, teacher, and emergency physician.
In "The Story of Girls," a newly pregnant journalist travels on assignment to interview a witch.
Maiju meets her husband on the shore of their rocky isle to inspect his catch; he has pulled but three fishes and they are flabby, sickly-looking things, dull of eye and crawling with sea lice.
Paramedics find the body of a Cook in a single room also occupied by a Waiter, a Delivery Man, and a father. The paramedics push on the Cook’s heart, but the brain does not restart.
Michael gazed at indiscriminate litter in the wide sideyard: motorcycles, shards of plywood, children’s red toys faded beige. Such a shame letting old motorcycles go to scrap, he thought.
“I just think it might be a way to solve the problem of your failing body, you know?” Brandon says.
“Correction,” Celia says. “That solves the problem of whose body you are going to use when mine fails. There’s a difference.”
Olga’s arms would flow over the body, folding, tucking, making ready for the first grave; removing catheters, intravenous lines, making the flesh look respectable for the pathologist, medical examiner, undertaker. The mask’s strap was fatigued, is all, having been baked in the oven next to fish. It shouldn’t have surprised her.(📷 @peraltaprjct)
This surreal piece of medical fiction, which earned honorable mention in the Saturday Evening Post's Great American Fiction Contest 2020, was Barbara Lock's first published fiction.
"It's like he has a mouthful of roaches that are clamoring to crawl out and he has to press his lips together to keep them inside," says my friend.
"Can you be more explicit?" I ask my friend. "I'm tired of having to guess what you mean all the time."
(starts on page 68)
Domesticated Man smokes hope where dark woolen clouds prowl
until a bristle brush rubs black against her hips, triggers notch
metal gears, pulls cheeks, opens bellows open, closed.
Sometimes I jump from one time and place to another with insufficient preparation. Indeed, this is the rule. The key to enjoying yourself in this situation is to avoid judgment. I can’t be all things to all people, I tell myself. There is a sadness that never goes away.
Seven short prose pieces reminiscent of parables in both form and tone.The pieces begin on page 163. Peripheries is published annually by Harvard Divinity School’s Center for the Study of World Religions
"Insect Music," which concerns itself with COVID, fear, compassion, and love, gives the reader a front row seat to pandemic history. Many thanks to The Forge for nominating this essay for the Pushcart.
""What is fear, and how does it relate to knowledge? Was I afraid because of what I knew, or what I didn’t know?"
This CNF, which contains a literal body count, is not for the faint of heart.