Room to Breathe

#FlashFictionFeb day five 02/05/2021 (268 words)

“I really am sorry this happened to you, man. I’ll miss you a lot, but you have to admit it’s getting kind of crowded in here,” said Lefty.

“Really? Is that what you’re concerned about? Space? Wow. Ok.” Starboard was genuinely hurt. They’d grown up together. Lefty was never a friend, but they’d been a pair for 29 years. Starboard thought they’d be together forever.

“C’mon. Don’t leave mad,” said Lefty, “I know you’re scared but I can’t do anything about it. It happened to you, not me, and now you’ve got to go. Your departure will save me. I appreciate that, man. I really do.” Lefty felt like he should at least say ‘thank you,’ but he couldn’t get rid of Starboard quick enough. The longer he stayed the more he inadvertently tainted their life-long home.

“You’re welcome,” said Starboard. If he had had eyes they would have teared up with emotion.

At that moment Lefty and Starboard saw something neither of them had ever witnessed.


“There it is, the swollen bugger!” the surgeon cried. He clamped the varicocele viciously with one hand while popping Starboard up through the patient’s exposed tunic with the other. He deftly incised the spermatic cord, freeing Starboard from nerve endings and removing him from the snug scrotum he’d shared with Lefty his whole life.

“Looks like you got that one just in time, doctor,” said the attending nurse as she weighed and charted abnormalities in the right testicle he had just removed.

“I believe we did. Well done, nurse. Send it to pathology.”

Published by


As a former transportation industry writer, I learned that a regular paycheck is nice, but writing about something you're no longer interested in is miserable. Apparently, I like writing more than money - so I'm back to freelancing at 52. It's not as altruistic as it sounds, I'm also cranky and difficult and refuse to fit in anymore, making steady employment pesky and potentially dangerous to my psyche.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s