Outside the hospital, real Americans rushed her carrying signs that read HANDS OFF OUR HEALTH CARE and DEATH TO DEATH PANELS. They plodded after her, white as snow and heavy as glazed donuts, bellies jiggling, shouting, "Miss, miss, don't let the government take over your job!"
She stopped and said, "This is a state hospital."
The protesters screamed, "They'll dock your pay!"
"They'll let foreigners take over the ER!"
"They'll kick the hard-working Americans out of beds!"
The nurse said, "What's new?"
Friends, Republicans, Countrymen, I dare you to finish this prompt.
I just submitted a different version to NPR's Three Minute Story Contest -- satire of a different sort. James Woods of The New Yorker will be judging. We'll see how I do. I know this much: writing a good story with a given first line -- The nurse left work at five o'clock -- and given only 600 words -- required me to marshal some creativity. A great exercise.