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Flash Fiction

Plovember 17: When the Monsters Inside Your Head are Real


Image result for monsters in my head are real

Photo courtesy: Pinterest

I held the parts in my palms, kneeding gently and then with a bit more pressure.

In certain circumstances, such actions might have been sensual. However …

The monsters in my head were raving and despite my best efforts to ignore them, they were winning my attention. I’d stopped one of my gym mates to ask a health question because she is a healthcare provider I trust.

Side note: I don’t trust many healthcare providers. Now, back to the show.

She directed me to a couple of resources and told me that I she would stalk me to make sure I followed through. Because it could be a matter of life or death. I believe her.

I left the gym and hold the weight of her words in my hands, but they look just like the curves of my steering wheel. I check my phone for directions and drive there, my mind filled with monster murmurings: two members of my family, one very close relative, are dealing or have dealt with the life-or-death thing I needed to face. That I hadn’t faced for about four years or so. That I should have been facing each year. That I needed to face now that it had crept so close to me.

I arrived at the indicated establishment and was greeted by a woman who was almost too pleasant for such an early hour of the day. I was grateful because had she been a hag or harpie, I would have dashed back out the door, genuflecting with apologies and dragging my fear behind me like a giant lead weight. Yet, there she was, all smiles and kindnesses. I could have been put on a list for that very day since there were no openings; the list was for people waiting for a cancellation, for which there ws no guarantee. Such waiting would have been worse and I requested an actual appointment. She handed me the card and I realized I had been holding my breath. I exhaled and went back to my car.

Once at home, I scoured the internet for clues. I held the parts in my palms, kneeding gently and then with a bit more pressure.

Could I tell if I had ‘it’?


That’s the word.

Time seemed to slow down as soon as the young woman had put the card in my hand. A week — seven whole days and a number of hours until I went back to be examined. I’d never shown signs before, but neither had my family members. I was afraid. I don’t want to get that phone call after, telling me I need to come to discuss my results. I want a clean bill of health. I want to hold the parts in my palms, kneeding gently and then with a bit more pressure and I want it to be sensual.

Because cancer.

In 2007, my Christopher was diagnosed with prostate cancer. He had surgery and was cancer-free from that day forward. Two blood relatives have recently been diagnosed; one had surgery and is being monitored to ensure it’s not anywere else and the other, because of age, is pondering what next steps should be taken. Because cancer has come so close, the monsters in my overactive brain are telling me that I might get that phone call, telling me I need to discuss my results. I am waiting for the day of the exam, which is still




Yes, inexorably …




  1. Lyn November 17, 2016 3:40 pm

    Is this for real, dear one? I’m praying for the appointment and for the results. Rest in HIS love. Do you remember that verse that says, “Be still and know that I am God?” Well, in the original Hebrew, the actually meaning is: “When you give it to me, keep your hands off it.” <3

    • AR Neal November 17, 2016 5:29 pm

      So true, Lyn. It’s been crazy. The incidents of negativity and hate across the country, in high schools and beyond, are so sad.

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