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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 14: August 2022
Cheribun: 179 words
By Daryl Scroggins

A Confluence of Distractions


Cindy frowns at me when I apologize, again, for all of the waiting rooms. Other patients there, at oncology check-in, wait with resigned expressions for Clipboard to appear at the treatment room door, loudly calling out a name. They seem nonplussed by our occasional laughter. We must be the only ones present who think it odd that the ceiling-mounted TV is tuned to Divorce Court.

An old man finds the hospital

lobby. Pauses. Spots
the elevator over in the next

county. He points an index finger
at button level, and holding his aim,
begins his journey.

. . .

. . .

As I’m being rolled down a hallway on a bed, I must release Cindy’s hand when I’m bumped through double doors. I’m worried more for her than for myself. I would not do well if things were reversed, and I had such a long wait ahead before hearing word from a tired-looking doctor.

She tries to read

in waiting areas named after
flowers. Moves from tulip

to hyacinth, then
rushes to find
a non-botanical place.

Daryl Scroggins
Issue 14, August 2022

has taught creative writing and literature at The University of Texas at Dallas, The University of North Texas, and the Writer’s Garret, in Dallas. He now lives in Marfa, Texas. He is the author of This Is Not the Way We Came In, a collection of flash fiction and a flash novel (Ravenna Press), Winter Investments: Stories (Trilobite Press), and Prairie Shapes: A Flash Novel (winner of the 2004 Robert J. DeMott Prose Contest). His poems, short stories, and creative nonfictions have appeared in magazines and anthologies across the country, including Blink Ink, Cutbank, Eastern Iowa Review, New Flash Fiction Review, Star 82 Review, and Third Wednesday, among others.

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Spring, microfiction by Daryl Scroggins in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 12, March 2022)

Writer Boy, microfiction by Scroggins in MacQueen’s Quinterly (Issue 4, July 2020); nominated by MacQ for Best Microfiction 2021

Face of the Deep, ekphrastic prose poem in MacQ (Issue 3, May 2020)

Field Trips, flash fiction in KYSO Flash (Issue 12, Summer 2019)

New to School, microfiction in Eclectica (Jan/Feb 2018)

Two Fictions: “Almost Baptized” and “Against the Current” in New Flash Fiction Review (Issue 10, January 2018)

Eight Stories: A Mini-Chapbook at Web del Sol

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