Storytelling Contest

******* is a 50-year-old *******-speaking WOMAN, Present in the EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT. Immigrant from El Salvador.
With one hand pressed over the gash above my left eye in an effort to provide some hemostasis, I hurriedly walked into the nearest clinic that was open on an early Sunday morning.

They tell us we have options innumerable

An unseen multiple choice test, and even

Better - we do the grading. We set the rubric.

But some choices are traps and each time

“When does the Clinic open?” I hear amongst the bustle as I walk down the crowded aisles of beds at the Multi-Service Center South with my pen, notepad, and stethoscope.

Editor's note: Ninad Bhat's "Patience" took second place in the Synapse Storytelling Contest creative writing, poetry category.

The room is encased in silence

Threads of conversation untwined for a moment

“I did a dose response curve using bleach. To my great delight, it worked perfectly! It was the most potent of all my test compounds.” — Alex Smart, PSPG graduate student. Drug development has been in a crisis, with the field of oncology being hit hard.

My first day on rotations was your last day on earth.

This morning when you woke up, did you think it might be the last time?

I hope you had a nice breakfast.

Sunday morning in Monterey Bay, no tail tip on the horizon so far. The conversation was about transgenic zebra fishes lines breeding strategy when… Splasshhh ... too fast to see clearly what happened but definitely it wasn’t a zebra fish.

We walked a few blocks from where we parked across a busy Van Ness littered with construction fences and orange cones. The river of traffic stopped temporarily to let us pass as cars waited anxiously to continue their journey in the city’s asphalt streams.

Editor's note: Sikai Song's "The First Time" is the first place winner of the Synapse Storytelling Contest's personal essay category.

I was petrified my first time, my heart stuck in my throat.