The Heart Monitor Beeps by Daniel Wallock

The heart monitor beeped. The air was as thick as the blood that had crusted over the white sheets next to his chest. Yesterday was the last day he would breathe or that’s what he thought. He thought that his life would be gone. To him, all perception faded as the nurse counted down those horrible numbers.

He had debated suicide and even attempted it before the surgery, but this was the closest he had come to dying.

The bed would never be a home. The bed held his tattered flesh and rippled blood. The doctors told him he had lost a dangerous amount of blood. His parents stood horrified remarking that he was whiter than a ghost.

It seems that all was distant. He was distant.

The needles only spend a few days penetrating the flesh in his arms. Meanwhile, the moments of the hospital stuck with him forever. They were still images and moving feelings. He will never forget when the chest tubes were yanked from his body. The tubes creased and jolted each organ as they swiveled inside of him.

All is beautiful in tragedy. Beaming down on his back, the sun brought him light. Sitting in the wheelchair, the California breeze brushed his face. The blue sky, clear air, and the sweet noise of the young birds. Tears slipped down his face. His fingers shook and his eyes blinked, capturing not just an image, but a feeling. He was free.


Daniel Wallock’s writing has appeared in Burningword Literary Journal and The Bolt Magazine. He’s received four writing awards including a Gold Key for nonfiction, the highest regional honor, from Scholastic’s Art and Writing Awards. Daniel is the founder of This Very Breath Journal which publishes flash nonfiction and fiction. Find out more at


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