Late Summer Reading: Fight or Flight by Izzy Gacusan

A powerful and moving piece of writing.

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Izzy Gacusan’s short story ‘Fight or Flight’ was Highly Commended in the 2016 Marjorie Graber-McInnis Short Story Award. Here it is for your late-summer reading pleasure.

He’d been here before. He was familiar with the peculiarity of this place, but found no solace in this. He awoke just minutes ago, stiff bed sheets poking at him. After a moment’s confusion, his eyes centered and his brain registered. Crowe sat up with harsh velocity and sputtered a swear word before bounding out of the bed. The room was dim, lit only by the screens of the machines that surrounded him. They beeped incessantly, noises screeching into his ears all at once. But worst of all was the smell. It smelt of sterility, a kind of intense cleanliness that stung each time he inhaled. He stood next to the bed assessing the situation, forcing himself to make a decision. Fight or flight? He’d…

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