The Bird by Edward Ashton. Narrated by J.S. Arquin. Featuring an afterword recorded by Edward Ashton.
“Spontaneous remission,” the doctor says. “The primary mass in your pancreas is gone. Your PET scan is clear. It happens sometimes.”
Callie stares at the doctor’s mouth, waiting for him to speak again, sure that she’s imagined what she’s just heard.
“No promises,” he says finally. “Sometimes it lasts. Sometimes it doesn’t. We’ll bring you back in eight weeks for another set of scans. If those come back clean, you can start thinking about making long-term plans again.”
Callie’s gaze drifts to the half-open window behind the doctor’s desk. A bird lands on the sill. It looks in at Callie, seems to meet her eye.
“Close your mouth,” it says. “You look like an idiot.”
Edward Ashton lives in Rochester, New York with his adorably mopey dog, his inordinately patient wife, and a steadily diminishing number of daughters, where he studies new cancer therapies by day, and writes about the awful things his research may lead to by night. He is the author of the novels Three Days in April and The End of Ordinary, as well as of several dozen short stories which have appeared in venues ranging from the newsletter of an Italian sausage company to Flash Fiction Online, Analog, and Escape Pod. Find him on Twitter @edashtonwriting and at: http://www.edwardashton.com/
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