Saturday 26 June 2021

'Our Lady of Perpetual Help' by Jan Elman Stout

  1. He asked for her left ring finger. A small ask in the grand scheme, really. She’d still have the right. And did she really need it? I’m left-handed, she said, pleased she’d spoken up. But wouldn’t she appreciate the challenge? Had he underestimated her? 

  2. As long as he had her finger, he might as well take her whole hand. If she loved him she’d give it to him. If she loved him with all her heart she’d give it to him and be pleased she had. But I need it. He shook his head; she was overreacting.

  3. He wanted her right arm. He needed it. How much of it do you require? After all he’d done for her. So ungrateful. Now when she gave it to him it would no longer feel like a gift.

  4. His uncontrolled diabetes led to kidney failure and he had to be put on dialysis. If she gave him a kidney they could spend more time together. I’d like to think about it. Really? It’s not as if she can’t live without one. Why, he’d give her one of his if the tables were turned.

  5. And still his diabetes was out of control. He developed floaters and blurred vision before losing his sight. He knew she’d give him an eye. If I give you an eye that’ll be the end of it. He pouted. He closed his rheumy eyes. He turned over and faced the wall. She  was always so dramatic.

  6. His body continued failing. His enlarged heart worked as hard as it could but couldn’t keep up. He had trouble breathing and was fatigued. He peed constantly. His legs, ankles, and feet swelled as big as balloons. He needed her heart; he wasn’t asking for the world.


  1. I am a doctor, so wow! I have patients with organ transplants…women from domestic abuse…narcissistic PD…it’s all her. You hit this out of the park Jan!

  2. Stunning story by a mater of flash stories about women, Jan Stout.

  3. Love how the demands build and build. Great work, Jan.


Congratulations to our 2023 Pushcart Prize Nominees!

We are delighted to nominate the following FlashFlood stories to the 2023 Pushcart Prize: ' The Doll House ' by Nathan Alling Long &...