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NO BLOOD TODAY by Rickey Rivers, Jr.

Johanna flossed thoroughly. Then she rinsed and smiled wide for the bathroom mirror. Next she brushed, spit, and rinsed. Now she smiled again, big and bright. Her teeth shined and so did her gums. Only her gums and tongue were shades of red. She was happy with that. She had better news for the dentist. No blood today.

Caleb spent a while in the bathroom. He was finished, but contemplating. The treatments were still fresh in his mind. He thought of what his doctor had told him a while back, “Always check your stool.” He stood up, took a deep breath, and wiped himself. A year prior the scene had been different. Now everything there was supposed to be there. Relieved, he smiled. No blood today.

Karen studied herself in the mirror, as she usually did. Her arm was healing, and the makeup did wonders for her nose. But her bottom lip still had the split. From time to time she would bite it just to taste the red. With the pain came memories. The memories lasted no matter how much her body had healed. The lip split made it difficult to forget anyway. In the past, smiling or laughing had caused the split to widen and hurt. Today, when she smiled, the result surprised her. The lip split didn’t cause her any pain. She felt joy at this, her reflection. Today felt different and in some way refreshing. She saw herself and what she was worth for the first time in a long time. To confirm, she bit her lip, no change. No blood today.



Rickey Rivers Jr. was born and raised in Mobile, Alabama. He writes flash fiction, short stories, poetry, dribble, and drabble. He has been previously published in Every Day Fiction, Flashes In The Dark, and Fiction365. He keeps a database of his published stories here: storiesyoumightlike.wordpress.com/ [1]. You may or may not find something you like there, and that’s a promise.



In this flash fiction piece, author Rickey Rivers manages, in only 266 words, to tell three complete stories and provides each with a beginning, middle, and end. Each story is shown, not told, and each involves internal conflict. The level of conflict rises from one to the next, and he links them with a common theme that resonates on multiple levels. Even more interesting is that all three tell a complete story through implication of what came before. We say bravo for a magnificent accomplishment.