Ker-thump. Ker-thump. Ker-thump…
The mouth of the valve strained with every gushing heartbeat as blood cells crowded, one on top of the other, each trying to be the first to squeeze through the newly tightened space. The lethargic aortic cusp no longer opened wide like a hungry fish mouth, murmuring, ready to let everything in, unable to pump anything out. Yet, the sutures strained to maintain the new prosthetic valve’s position, slightly rocking back and forth.
This was the daily rhythm of this place.
Meanwhile, lines pulled tight like sutures around Mrs. Johnson’s mouth, denoting her own heart’s strain in the waiting room. She had long exhausted herself from pacing hours before, the only voices there to comfort her being those inside her murmuring head. She rocked quietly in the ripped Naugahyde chair that hadn’t been designed for (nor was any longer capable of) receiving such blatant torture. But all she considered was whether her husband’s heart was designed for the torture his body was presently undergoing – his chest cavity cracked open, clamps holding it spread eagle style, while a sterile machine sucked the life out of him…and then back in…beat after gurgling beat.
A family nearby gurgled over a baby, over food, over one another. Mrs. Johnson’s heart ached.
“Code Blue,” came the announcement — much too serene for its meaning – over the hospital intercom system, causing Mrs. Johnson’s heart to gurgle and miss a beat. She squeezed her blue eyes tight and rocked harder, a whimper escaping her mind as she heard the chair’s pleather rip. Minutes felt like days with each crack of another knuckle.
A half-hour more passed before a tired white coat entered the waiting area, looking around in dismay. Mrs. Johnson teetered on the cusp of her settled space.
A family nearby slowly stood, wrapping one another in their tears as they watched his face fall and his head shake.
Ker-thump. Mrs. Johnson had to reprimand herself that this was no time for celebration.
Another week, another Trifecta challenge…(but I mean that in the very best way! I’ve come to look forward to these prompts, but moreso to enjoying this writing community). I thought we could take a trip into the cardiac surgical suite this week with the prompt that was offered:
MOUTH (and, no, not as in “The Mouth of the South”). As in, its 3rd definition:
- Your response must be between 33 and 333 words.
- You must use the 3rd definition of the given word in your post.
- The word itself needs to be included in your response.
- You may not use a variation of the word; it needs to be exactly as stated above.
- Only one entry per writer.
- Trifecta is open to everyone. Please join us.