After the examination—the heels in stirrups, knees toward opposing walls, the scoot your bottom down, closer to the edge, that’s it—the doctor smiled.  Everything looks great, she said.  The gloves pulled back from her skin with a snap.  Just great, she added.  She pulled a closed file from its plastic compartment on the door, those bare fingers traced the lines.  She hummed. Then, Stay.  The room was lined in cartoon teddies, and according to a chart on the wall, I had slept with 8,712 people—stick-figured men and women, signs for the bathroom.  Just one more thing, the doctor said as she took a pin-prick of blood from my index, cold hands on mine as the cotton pressed and a heartbeat began its slow, internal throb.  The door closed, and I sat: my waffle-print skirt fluttered as I stood and stretched for a coil of pants and underthings on the floor.  Imagine my surprise when I saw it.  A single chocolate kiss sparkled at the head of the paper-lined table, a small treat for this good girl, for a job well done.

Originally from California's Central Coast, Katrina Prow is a Ph.D student in Creative Writing, Fiction at Texas Tech University.  Her writing has been published online and in print with Literary Orphans, Passages North, and Pearl.  She is currently writing a collection of short fiction about the restaurant industry, a product of many years in the 'biz.