Samantha stares at an unfamiliar off-white wall and realizes that she is lying on a cold tile floor.


Dr. Lago pats her hand.


“Samantha? Can you hear me?”


Her brain slowly defogs.


“Can you sit up? Have a sip.” The veterinary technologist holds a juice box, likely from her own lunch.


Just behind the technologist, Luciano, Placido and Jose, investigate the floor with noses twitching. Intrigued by the smells of the exam room, they are braver when together.


Luciano is limping, x-rays confirmed a fractured radius and ulna. Samantha had woken up to a crash and found Luciano hiding in a corner, holding up his paw. Hence her 3am visit to a veterinary emergency centre.


The exam room door opens as the receptionist brings in a blanket. Luciano startles, attempts to hide, and slips. Before he can injure himself further, Dr. Lago is there.


Why isn’t Jeff here?


Luciano had always been Jeff’s favourite of the Three Tenors; the singers, and his rabbits. When Jeff had come home with the 8-week-old bunnies, Samantha couldn’t deny his request. They had been his constant companions, cuddling all day when he could no longer leave the bed. Their antics brought Jeff and Samantha much needed laughter.




The shaking started in Samantha’s fingers, as the vet explained the risks of surgery. She was back at the graveside, gasping for breath, paralyzed. If Luciano dies, she will lose the only part of Jeff she has left. Samantha’s breathing became erratic and the world around her faded away.


The next thing Samantha knew, she was crumpled in a heap on the appointment room floor.


Her embarrassment quickly transforms into gratitude. If this team can take such good care of her, she knows they will take care of Jeff’s boys.


Correction. Her boys.

Submitted: February 27, 2023

© Copyright 2023 Margaretta Toribio. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:



Quite an interesting story line. Surprises throughout forcing the reader to fill in the missing, but fairly obvious details. Well done!

Mon, February 27th, 2023 9:48pm

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