SHELL by Catherine Russell

The girl ran inside, the rain drops spattering her coat where they missed her bright red umbrella. She retracted the canvas, shaking off the excess, before placing it in the stand near the door. Approaching the tiny window, she signed her name and took her seat.

Within minutes, she was called and shown to her room, a lone cubicle of bare white walls. Soon only a thin sheet of paper shielded her from the cool vinyl bed of the exam table. Upon the doctor’s appearance, she bared her body and soul, her tears falling like the rain outside the window.

The probing instruments and cold steel exposed her, transported her to a different place, a different time. The thin shell of her life shattered with the memory.

The exam over, she covered herself with cotton garments, dried her face, and walked outside.

As she walked, the sun played upon her flushed face and swollen eyes. A passing motorist noticed and thought her the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen.


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Filed under Catherine Russell

8 responses to “SHELL by Catherine Russell

  1. Pingback: Ganymeder » Blog Archive » Friday Flash: Shell

  2. A lot more going on here, just below the obvious. Nicely set up and I love that last line.

  3. We spend much of our time building that shell around us. It’s made up of words, clothing, and ideas. But, when that shell is peeled back, we’re all naked, lonely apes… At least that’s what I think you’re getting at. Love it! Thanks for sharing.

  4. A good one, Catherine! Sensitive, gentle, it shows our fragility and rawness … Thanks!

  5. Suffering transmutes to beauty…
    An age-old theme in art, and it’s done so well here, in this tiny little gem of a story.

  6. So tender and alive, raw, powerful. Wow.

  7. Pingback: Week #45 – Broken shells | 52|250 A Year of Flash

  8. Deanna Schrayer

    Catherine, you’ve outdone yourself here, getting straight into the heart of her emotions and revealing them ever-so-subtly, but adequately. Great work!

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