NPR's All Things Considered has this contest where you can submit a short story that can be read in 3 minutes or less. They are judged and the best ones are put up on the site. I think they are up to round 9. Anyway, I'm not a writer and I will not be submitting mine but thought I might still try my hand, push my bounderies, so to speak, and put them down here. So from round 2 (bolded is what you had to use) here is my 3 minute fiction:
The nurse left work at 5 o’clock dreading the moment when she must exit through the throng of reporters surrounding the doors inquiring about her patient.
All she could think about was why they felt it was their duty to follow and hound her with questions she could or would not answer. She had not taken this job to be a celebrity or even to have her 15 minutes of fame. She wanted to be a nurse so that she would matter, so she could take care of people, ease their suffering.
Can’t they just leave her alone? No, they are the most insistent of people, grasping for the least bit of gossip or juicy news that can be publicized throughout the country and most probably the world. She shook her head thinking about the young man ensconced in the bed on the third floor. He was much like her, all he wanted to do was make people happy with his talent. But then, maybe he enjoyed this kind of adulation. She would have to ask, she supposed.
Shunning the crowd as she pushes her way through, she finally makes it to the safety of her vehicle. But as she looked up to put the key in the lock she notices a sad, gangly young man leaning up against her car.
“What is it you want?” she sighs exhaustedly.
“Please, ma’am, how is he doing? You see, he is my brother. He has been trying to keep the family out of his limelight, but if I tried to make my way up there…. You can see what would happen.”
Giving him a little hope but no real information, she asked him to meet her at the 5 and Dime around the corner during her break the next day. This would give her some time to think.
As morning dawned, she made her way through the reporters once again. Stopping at various rooms to check up on her other patients, she finally ended up at The Room. Taking a breath, she walked in, sat down and started a conversation. She explained about meeting the young man the day before, asked about the relationship, and, of course, how he was doing. Getting a satisfactory answer she then began preparing for her meeting later that morning.
Time flew as she kept herself busy and before long she began her trek to the 5 and Dime. As she approached she could see the young man sitting at the soda counter with a cup of coffee in hand waiting for her. He stood as she got there and she handed him a bag, telling him to go change. When he returned from the restroom, he looked just like your ordinary, everyday orderly that no one would take a second look at.
With a smile of a job well-done, it was time to make their way back to the hospital with heart-pounding anticipation as to whether they would make it through. And oh, yes, they did, with a pat on one another’s back they made their way up the third floor. Then seeing the look on her patient’s face as he gazed at his brother, made her realize that it was all worth it. Both would be fine in the times to come.
But throughout her life, she would always wonder just what it was the gangly young man saw in her that made him trust her?