Technology's promise is so tangible in this tiny, potent tale of endurance.

The full body scan announced cancer in her lower left quadrant. She took the handheld and found the almost imperceptible node deep in her shin. The last one had been in her knee and her thigh before that.

Distractedly, she switched the handheld to extraction and felt the node lift toward her skin until she could squeeze a bit. The blue laser would finish the removal.

She held the gum drop-like cancer to her eye, tempted to taste or preserve it, like a trophy, before the incineration. It reminded her of early teenage acne extractions; she laughed and continued grooming.

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Heather Bourbeau

Heather Bourbeau

Heather Bourbeau’s fiction and poetry have been published in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cleaver, Eleven Eleven, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, The Cardiff Review, and The Stockholm Review of Literature. She is the Chapman University Flash Fiction winner and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, including America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press), and Respect: Poems About Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press). She has worked with various UN agencies, including the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia.

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