Palliative Care by Clive Tern

“Can you describe the pain, Luke?” Dr. Alice Shoshone asked.

“Like I’m being eaten from inside, Doc.” Luke writhed. Only twenty-three, he pumped gas at his family’s store.

And was the eighteenth patient with symptoms in ten days, in a town of three-thousand. Alice rubbed her arm, where the vaccination area was still inflamed.

“I won’t lie, it’s serious. A specialist is here.” She nodded to someone in full bio-hazard gear, and stepped to the far end of the cubicle. The solid thunk of the silenced pistol assured her Luke couldn’t infect any more of their neighbors.

Clive is writer of poetry and short stories living in Cornwall, UK. His main role is family carer, where various health issues make for a full time position. He occasionally blogs about how hard writing is at