Flash Fiction: Body and Heart

Work has been stressing me out, so I felt like writing about healing.


Body and Heart

by Heidi C. Vlach

In her fifteen years of massage therapy, Carly had met some remarkable patients. This lion, though, was something else.

Animals are animals, people always told her. Can’t change their nature. Can’t control their urges. Let down your guard and you’re as good as dead. Yet, this lion was on his third session of laying still and letting Carly sink her fingers into his musky, sand-coloured fur, down into the stress-bound muscle underneath until it released and went smooth.

Thank you, the lion told her afterward, as was his custom. He shook out his mane and yawned; Carly was mesmerized by those ivory fangs until they vanished back into his mouth, and then she caught herself and smiled.
It was her job to help, she replied. Was he sleeping better?
Much better, yes.
Good. He still had that therapist appointment?
Tomorrow morning.
And how about that terrible foot wound?
Rumbling a laugh, the lion lifted his forepaw to once again show Carly the bandage strip — still there between his massive toes, the smiling cartoon mice still afixed even though the thorn puncture must have been thoroughly healed by now.
He hadn’t thought one little thorn could change his life, the lion said. He had never considered seeking help, from mice or humans or anything else. But he was glad all this happened.

As a medical professional, Carly could say the same.


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