My Health History by Nan Wigington

The first doctor was disappointed. He found only furniture – a broken mirror in the cecum, a rotten egg on the rectum’s wall, and a chair, one leg missing. A bit slovenly, the doctor said, but not cancerous. I put my left shoe on my right ear and danced east, not west out of the recovery room.

The next doctor found a painting, a pearl in the carpet, a book by Freud in the Sigmoid, and an apple in the appendix. So many questions. Was the painting Dutch? Was the pearl real, the Freud bearded, the apple plastic? It all had to be sent to the lab. I spelled fetanyl sideways, midazolam forward, but not backward. I put my cowboy hat on my head, laced my green emerald slippers, and made a run for it. They heard me go, yee-haw, clack, clack, clack, but didn’t chase.

The last doctor found the family. There were six of them, two generations. The grandma and grandpa were discovered in the Stront Hotel (ascending colon). He was hiding in the elevator. Whick, wack went the physician’s knife. Grandma, I’m told, jumped to her death. Mom and dad were found on their ranch in the cecum. Dad tried to get away on his horse. Mom ran after him into the sunset. No contest for the last doctor. Snick, snack.

That left the three children. The youngest two were blind, pitied, and sent to the orphanage. The oldest, a surly girl of seventeen, was arrested by the police. She had questions to answer. Who else was hiding in my diverticula? What sea of polyps threatened my back door?

I’m still in the recovery room. The girl is with the police.


Nan Wigington lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Her story “Return from the Woods” won The Ekphrastic Review‘s 2020 Christmas story contest. Her flash fiction has appeared in Pure Slush’s Lust 7 Deadly Sins Vol.1, Pithead Chapel, Best Small Fictions 2019, and Five on the Fifth.