KYSO Flash
Knock-Your-Socks-Off Art and Literature
Issue 2: Winter 2015
Flash Play: 535 words

Final Appointment

by Christopher Woods

Cast: A young fireman, and an older doctor

Scene: An examination room in a doctor’s office. A young man sits on the examining table. The doctor enters.

DOCTOR: Hello, Joey.

JOEY: Hi, doc.

DOCTOR: The captain called and told me you were coming. He told me how worried you were. He’s worried too.

JOEY: I couldn’t sleep last night. What’s going to happen to me?

DOCTOR: Your blood tests are positive.

JOEY: You’re sure?

DOCTOR: I’m sure. I’m sorry.

(A pause)

JOEY: And I thought it was just a fire. A house fire.

DOCTOR: It was.

JOEY: But doc, I had no idea...

(Doctor puts his hand on Joey’s shoulder.)

DOCTOR: I know.

JOEY: No idea.

DOCTOR: I know. I know.

(A pause)

DOCTOR: I’ve known you a long time, haven’t I, Joey?

JOEY: I guess so. You delivered me.

DOCTOR: Haven’t I seen you through some rough times?

JOEY: You have.

DOCTOR: This time’s no different.

JOEY: But...


JOEY: The little girl was already dead.

DOCTOR: You couldn’t know everything. You were trying to save her.

JOEY: My lips on hers. The house on fire. Her lips were cold. Blue. But I thought...I could save her. She was only four years old. Just four. (Begins to cry)

DOCTOR: You did the right thing. But no matter what you did, you couldn’t bring her back.

JOEY: I keep feeling my lips. (Touches his lips.) I can still feel that cold.

DOCTOR: Some things stay with us.

JOEY: Guess so.

DOCTOR: Could you see the girl’s parents?

JOEY: Too much smoke. The little girl was the first one I came to.

DOCTOR: You’re a fireman, Joey. You followed your training.

JOEY: I never figured she was one of...


JOEY: Right.

DOCTOR: It was the whole family. The little girl was the first to catch it. The first to go.

JOEY: The parents knew?

DOCTOR: They knew she was gone. And they knew they would be dead soon. So they started a fire. Maybe they thought they could stop it there, in their house, with the fire.

JOEY: But how could I know that?

DOCTOR: You couldn’t. We can’t always know everything.

JOEY: It’s spreading, though, isn’t it?

(Doctor nods.)

JOEY: Have you seen much of it?

(Doctor nods.)

JOEY: All over town?

DOCTOR: It’s quick. Very quick. But at least this way there’s less suffering.

JOEY: Aren’t you afraid?

DOCTOR: People have been dying ever since there have been people.

JOEY: But are you afraid of me?

(Doctor shakes his head, moves closer, puts his arms around Joey.)

DOCTOR: Not in the least. You see, it’s too late for me, too. You and me, we’re going together, Joey.

(Lights begin to dim.)

JOEY: I don’t want to die alone. Please don’t leave me alone.

(Doctor sits next to Joey on the examining table.)

DOCTOR: Don’t worry, Joey. I won’t.


Christopher Woods
Issue 2, Winter 2015

is a writer, teacher, and photographer who lives in Houston (where he conducts private writing workshops) and Chappell Hill, Texas. His published works include a novel, The Dream Patch; a prose collection, Under a Riverbed Sky; and a book of stage monologues for actors, Heart Speak. His fiction has appeared in a number of publications including Stone Voices, The Southern Review, Columbia, New England Review, New Orleans Review, and Glimmer Train.

His photographs have appeared in many journals, with photo essays published in Glasgow Review, Public Republic, Deep South, Shadowgraph, and Narrative magazine, among others. His photographs can be seen in his gallery:

More on the Web: By, About, and Beyond

Portfolio, 987-word flash fiction in Devilfish Review (Volume 1, Issue 1, 2012)

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