Flash fiction: “More than a Kidney”

I wrote this story fast. So fast. Written in the morning before work using an iPad, using the tools of free association (advocated in a book about the art of writing by Ray Bradbury), and high on caffeine.


The cards had been dealt, so this was it—I’m about to lose my kidney.

I knew it had been a bad idea to gamble my vital organs, but what is a man to do when there’s no food or government security anymore.

Six billion people dead in an atomic fireworks show spanning the globe. This was the 2nd age of the world and I was hoping to see the third.

A candle flickered on the table. This is last light I’ll probably see, I think. One kidney left and a man can’t live without any. Flip the cards already. Classic Texas hold ’em makes the time fly, but tonight I’m swimming in syrup.

Sam sits on my left with slapped-on snarl on his face, like he’d eaten too many chili peppers. Dogman stares at his cards with a look of surrender, but I know he’s hiding something. He’s got a belly; tells me he eats well. Finally, there’s Nick, who looks like a small bird, his nose pointy like the side of a tall church. I can see the sweat droplets under the brim of his baseball cap and it’s only the month of April, chilly as snickers.

“Come on, “ Sam complained. “Shuffle and deal!”

“Any more bets?” the dealer asks me.

My kidney’s already in there and he’s asking me if I want to raise my bet. I look at my cards. I’m a dead man for sure, why not go for broke?

I push all my bottle caps — my brain, my heart, my testicles – into the center of the table.

Then I respond, “My life.”


If you enjoyed this story, let me know in the comments. I have many more in the hard drive that I can edit and post!


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