Brain Waves

by Audrey Wick

flash fiction submissions

Her back pressed flat against the surgery table. Cocooned into position, a hive of activity swarmed around her, led by the neurosurgeon.

This wasn’t her first surgery with him. But it was her first time seeing him in glasses. What did that signify about his ability to see details? She closed her eyes and told herself not to worry about his Clark Kent frames. She lay still, giving herself to the hands of medical personnel that she hoped were skilled enough to successfully complete the task.

“Breath in.” The surgeon instructed in a hypnotic voice. “Hold it.” She did as she was told, petrified to perform any less than what was required of her.

“Don’t move.”

“Don’t swallow.”

“Don’t exhale.”

A warm liquid coursed through her femoral artery, from the top of her leg, through her torso, across the right side of her head, and into her brain. Technology captured images of her aneurysm, contained by platinum coils which had saved her life six months earlier.

“Good.” The surgeon was satisfied. “Now breathe.” She blew out hot air before readying to complete the process three more times.

Each time was important.

Each time was dangerous.

On the last two passes, flashes of bright, jagged lights painted the inside of her eyelids. A brilliant pattern of neuropathways lit themselves to her in unexplainable messaging. She had seen her own brain. And when the neurosurgeon announced the procedure’s ultimate success, she couldn’t speak for shock at the gift she had been given.

About Audrey Wick

Audrey Wick is a full-time professor of English at Blinn College in Texas. There, she is a writing teacher who writes, with four traditionally published novels from Tule Publishing. Audrey’s writing has also appeared in college textbooks published by Cengage Learning and W. W. Norton as well as in The Houston Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, The Orlando Sentinel, and various literary journals. She believe the secret to happiness includes lifelong learning and good stories. But travel and coffee help. She has journeyed to over twenty countries—and sipped coffee at every one. Readers can connect with her at her writing website of, and on Twitter and Instagram @WickWrites.

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