Escaping the Pain


The blue eyes flashed, but not with fear.

With anger.

In a second, they were only a blue blur and a memory.

Had he really just bolted?

In another second I had recovered myself enough to give chase.

Through the clinic.

He ran through X-ray, leaving a gowned, nearly naked woman shrieking. He ran through darkened storerooms. Through hallways. He even threw stacks of boxes down in my path, trying to slow me down.

Then he ran into the men’s bathroom, figuring it was the one place the lady doc could not follow.


I knocked to give warning, waiting a few seconds for any indecency from innocent bystanders to get addressed and then entered.

The bathroom appeared empty.

There were no feet peeking out beneath the stalls.

I tried each door, peering into the stall. At the last one I found him, perched atop the toilet. We eyed each other, neither one ready to accept defeat.

“Look, man. You just gotta get the shot. It will hurt but just for a sec and then you can have a sucker. Don’t make me look bad, ok?”

I held out my hand. He reluctantly placed his seven year old hand in mine, realizing he was cornered at last, and I held tight as we walked back to the exam room where mom and the nurse with the needle were waiting….


45 thoughts on “Escaping the Pain

  1. WOW! Very intriguing, clever and cute too! Where is The Best Short Story award… Thank you Clifford! On behalf of me, myself and I, we award thee with magical sprinkles! Crafty! Poor, little guy… LOL! You just made my day :O)


  2. Love that it’s true, love that you built the tension, teased us with “what if’s”, love the sweet ending. So now, submit it. Please, it’s good! Narrative magazine, or Glimmer Train, maybe The Sun.


  3. My daughter is deathly terrified of needles. When she had encephalitis this summer it was awful, for obvious reasons, but then lots of tests and procedures that involved pokes…


      • Thank you. There was much kicking and screaming. That poor lab tech…. She had so many problems the one day. Then we were moved to a regular floor and she came in not knowing it was us. She turned around and saw it was Emma, I wish I could have gotten a picture of her face! Taylor did much better thankfully. That is a road I never care to go down again.


  4. how sweet:) it made me remind my chilhood lol. even i used to run as fast as i could to avoid the sting of the needle. it scared me to death. but finally i was caught . made sit on the chair with cotton band tied around so i couldn’t move hahahaa. ( to be honest I’m still scared of the needle )


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