Exciting news! My short story, Love Sick, is in “Out of The Shadows,” an anthology of women’s writing, which was published this week. The anthology features nine stories by women writers, and has been described as “strong writing by strong women”. Perfect for reading in short sittings over the summer and discovering new authors writing about strong female characters in a variety of settings.
We all met through our membership of ALLi, the Alliance of Independent Authors and are located around the world. After each story you’ll find an author bio so you can read more about each author and find details about how to get hold of more of their work.
Love Sick (Extract)
by Lisa Payne
The name space on my clinical trial notes says: LB0072415. I rather like that, the random letters and numbers that signify ‘me’. “Hello, I’m LB0072415.” It makes me sound like a spy. Further down the notes, I see myself referred to as ‘Patient A’. Does that mean that I am the first? Is there a long line of letters of the alphabet stretched out behind me? I’m reading all this upside-down while the receptionist checks on her screen for when I’m next due in. We’re not meant to see our notes, I’m not sure why, but they’re always kept just out of sight.
The spot on my upper arm throbs a little where they put the injection in. It doesn’t help that they used the crook of my other arm to take the blood tests from, now both arms are out of action. They usually do the tests in the same arm so that only one arm is affected, but they couldn’t get a vein in it today.
“Happens sometimes, when it’s cold outside.” The nurse had said. “Always try and wrap up warm when you’re coming in for these tests. Makes it a bit easier.”
She looked up then for the first time from her busy-ness around the notes, the form filling, the tourniquet around my forearm, the little tray of swabs and injection needles all lined up with my number on them: LB0072415. She smiled kindly at me for a moment, then picked up the first syringe to fill up with my blood, pre-injection.
I looked away outside of the window while she trilled “Just a little scratch!” I don’t know why they always say that, it doesn’t exactly feel like “a little scratch” when the needle pierces the vein and sucks out the blood.
There was nothing much going on outside of the window, it overlooks a brick wall at the back of the facility. I could see my reflection and that of the nurse absorbed in preparing my next injection faintly revealed in the window like figures in a television medical drama.
I guess we will be part of a medical drama after today, but a real-life one, not a fictional TV special. The press release has been issued and the research team have got interviews lined up all day with all the major news channels. I’ve taken the day off work, although I usually do anyway after the treatment – sometimes it can make you feel a bit funny. I’ve worked out that I can get back home just in time for Dr. Klugsherz’s interview on Radio 4 as long as the tubes are running OK.