July/Aug 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 4 |

Caduceus

I watch Eckert wash blood from the hair of his forearms. He pushes a sudsy sponge down toward his wrist, pressing hard. Pink water runs through his fist. Soap bubbles go floating. He frowns under his neat, white mustache. Pulling the pad of each finger back with his thumb, he rinses out his nail beds, the ridges of callus along his palms. He turns to me. “So, how do you think that went, Pup?” “I don’t know,” I say. “Maybe a bit more than I was ready for.” I am soaked in blood. Syrupy and cold. Eckert only got it on his arms. “Well, I think you did good. For your first night, I think you did very good.” He smiles warmly, returns to washing. Brisk strokes of the sponge across his knuckles. I shift on my feet. My tennis shoes squish like they’re full of mud. “I don’t feel like I did anything.” “You didn’t faint,” Lampman says from across the garage. He’s going to be at the wheel all night tonight, so it’s his job to restock the ambulance. Usu

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Perry Lopez’s fiction has appeared in West Branch, Slice, Southampton Review, and elsewhere.

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I watch Eckert wash blood from the hair of his forearms. He pushes a sudsy sponge down toward his wrist, pressing hard. Pink water runs through his fist. Soap bubbles […]

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I watch Eckert wash blood from the hair of his forearms. He pushes a sudsy sponge down toward his wrist, pressing hard. Pink water runs through his fist. Soap bubbles […]

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