Four Fictions
Kim Chinquee

If I Was Hungry

His visits were for injuries like a twisted ankle, pills and I was clad in pretty clothing, and after that one time, I'd be on the table, our experiment, and he burned me with his laser, and again, and again.
I put out my arm and we talked of interests. His. A prick. My blood trickled. I was slow. I used to be a tester, a taker, and then I even gave some.
He stood and I liked a man with stubble. He asked about my pigment and I said I needed a burn, and my hand started getting numb then.
The nurse released and gave me tape and I got up to make my next appointment, and he smiled and gave me his hand. I took, shaking it.

She Was Fasting

1. The bulletin talked of dreams, children in a kennel. She got tired from the journals, and nurses spoke of bonuses and kidneys, urine, and some whisky. Liver, something risky. Bulldogs, and a stone. The board looked psychedelic, and she ogled loopily, like on Vicoden and Vivitrol and Valium. A nurse finally took her weight and height and pressure. Pulse. The nurse said "See?" The nurse, she had one like it. She sat some more and read the charts on heart disease and cancer, laryngitis and arthritis. Psychosis, halitosis, sclerosis and fibrosis. Osteopetrosis and osteoperosis. She took off her clothes and flattened herself.

2. He said he had to inject slowly and sat there on his chair, steadying the needle. He asked about the tattoo, giving her the steroid. She talked about old times, old friends, college. He said he could remove it, the tattoo, injecting. The pollen count was high and he said he also was affected. She pulled up her pants and he said removals can be thousands, but they could work on an arrangement. He said he was also the nurse, and he got ready for another. She took the sweater off, saying, are you? He stood there, needle up, ready and little-eyed.

3. I asked my doctor if he had one and we talked about the pigment. He said to me almost. He was a father, a batter, and he played the viola. I could see him with my eyes closed: teeth oh straight and white, that smile kind of crooked. Blue eyes and tiny lashes. Hair. I was on the table with my face down. He kept on, giving, and he asked if I was numb yet.

Her Stomach Was a Monster

She knit mittens, waiting to get tested. She was working on a thumb now. The speakers let out something country, people singing about loss and twanging about horses. When the technician finally called her, she put her tools into her basket, then lifted off her coat and pulled her arm out. The technician, he explained then, saying, "Fasting?" There was a growl, and her stomach was a monster, and she said she used to be one. Poking, prodding, testing. The technician said, "Oh?" and then he said, "How are you?" She smiled and said peachy. The technician tied her arm up, and he poked. "Ah," he said, aiming.

He Saw Inside Her

The man took her history, told the woman to be flat on the table and she had to pull her jeans down. The man gave her a towel to cover herself. The woman looked up and out the window, using the sky as a distraction. The man did some things and the contraption moved above her. The table was flat and she imagined it soaking her. There was pressure. The man got up and touched her hip. The contraption moved again, and she pictured her bones turning into sponges. Then the other hip, and the clouds up and out reminded her of cycles. Her stomach. The man put his hands there. "There," he said, and it was over. You can go now, he said. The man wore blue scrubs. His lips were pink and his teeth were white.