Philippa, flash fiction by Tim Law at
Mehmet Turgut Kirkgoz



written by: Tim Law


The brilliance of a sun heralding a brand new day beamed through the theatre skylight as Doctor Bronswich wiped the beads of sweat that gathered across her brow. She was already eleven hours deep into what would have to be the most important operation of her eight year career. On the table was a bruised and battered child, bicycle verses SUV. Doctor Bronswich wiped away a few washed out blonde strands that had slipped free of her hair net and threatened to obscure her view.
“Quick! Charge to 100!” the surgeon demanded as the heart rate flat lined for the third time.

In the passageway just outside the theatre stood a furious Doctor Robbuns, Chief of Surgery. Slender fingers that would have made a pianist jealous were curled into a fist that thumped repeatedly on the viewing window. In his other hand Doctor Robbuns held a clipboard with the operation paperwork, sketchily filled in with a signature at the very bottom. The signature was that of the patient’s mother, one Doctor Bronswich.
“Why was I not alerted earlier!” Doctor Robbuns demanded. “This is CLEARLY a conflict of interest… Doctor Bronswich you are EMOTIONALLY COMPROMISED… You must CEASE what you are doing… IMMEDIATELY…”
Doctor Bronswich ignored her superior and touched the lifeless muscle with the tiny paddles.
“Gloves and gown!” ordered Doctor Robbuns with a roar. “NOW!”
As soon as he was sterile the Chief of Surgery burst into the theatre.
“Philippa!” continued the furious Doctor Robbuns. “Step away from that table immediately or I swear I will make damned sure you NEVER get to operate EVER again…”
“No…” whispered Doctor Bronswich, teeth clenched, hand steady; not once looking up from the heart that refused to flutter.
“Philippa you cannot operate on your own child,” argued Doctor Robbuns. “You know that…”
“Tom, you don’t understand,” growled the Surgeon, paddles poised to shock her daughter’s heart again. “I was the one behind the wheel… I’m the one who killed her…”
“And you want my permission to play God and bring her back to life…” continued Doctor Robbuns, his voice mellowing to kindness, sympathy, all anger evaporated.
“Yes…” Doctor Bronswich pleaded.
Doctor Robbuns pondered his options for the briefest of moments but knew every passing second counted.
“I am sorry Philippa but I cannot allow it…”
“You monster!” spat back Doctor Bronswich as she turned away from her patient with scalpel in hand.
“Security disarm Doctor Bronswich and remove her from the theatre!” commanded Doctor Robbuns. “Charge to 150… I’m taking over…”
Philippa screamed as the pair from hospital security knocked the sharp piece of steel from her then shaking hands. The Surgeon shuddered as she was dragged from the table the same moment the paddles touched the tiny heart, open and bare; the body of her daughter shuddering violently from the shock.
There was a faint beep and Doctor Bronswich and Robbuns both shared a moment of hope. The heart beat again and again, the fight to save a life continued…

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