‘Heart Attack’ by Max Apple


Heart Attack by Max Apple, 1976

The magic trick:

Mixing different insecurities into one

Quick slice of surrealism here. The story appears to be about a man’s health concerns and a fear of aging. The nurse’s role in the scene begins normally enough but soon grows increasingly strange. Quickly, the story has mixed in the man’s sexual fantasies (at least I assume these are fantasies), and the notion of age-related insecurity takes on an entirely new dimension. And that’s quite a trick on Apple’s part.

The selection:

“I need a doctor . . . my arteries.”

She points again to the pamphlet and reads, “Arteries, though similar to, are more important than girls in several ways. Look at this one pink and flexible as a Speidel band. Over there threatens cholesterol, dark as motor oil, thick as birthday cake. Cholesterol is the bully of the body. It picks on blood, good honest blood who bothers no one and goes happily between the races, creeds, and colors.”

As always, join the conversation in the comments section below, on SSMT Facebook or on Twitter @ShortStoryMT.

Subscribe to the Short Story Magic Tricks Monthly Newsletter to get the latest short story news, contests and fun.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s