Ryan Quinn Flanagan

Never Shit Your Own Pants 

Heidi came running down the hall  
and said that Frank had done it again. 

Amy was charge nurse, 
responsible for the entire building 

And all the residents at the Guildwick 
Home for the Elderly. 

Sam was sent with Heidi to deal with Frank. 
He did the same thing at least three times a week. 

Went into others residents’ rooms
and stole their pants before shitting in them 
and walking around the ward. 

The smell was horrible. 
Even for seasoned nurses and staff. 

Ok Frank, pants off!, 
said Sam. 

Heidi stood back to avoid the splatter. 

Don returned from lunch break and laughed. 
Ah Franky, I see there was an accident!

Frank said nothing. 
An acquired brain injury had left him  
largely mute. 

Sam double gloved and ran off to dispose 
of the pants. 

Leaving Heidi and Don to clean Frank off 
and get him ready for bed. 

Whose pants do you think they were this time? 
asked Heidi. 

Who knows, 
laughed Don. 

Frank kept cupping water in his hands 
and splashing it against the wall. 

His wife had died six years ago. 
Frank had no one now. 
Just a power of attorney who lived 
in a different city and couldn’t care in the least. 

It’s pretty smart if you think about it, 
Don said. 

What is? 
asked Heidi. 

Never shit your own pants, 
Don said. 
Look in Don’s closet. 
He has at least twenty pairs of pants, 
but never shits in any of those. 

Heidi looked over to the large brown wardrobe 
across the room and laughed. 

So you think Frank is some kinda genius of something? 
Heidi laughed. 

Crazy, not stupid!, 
Don said. 

I think you’re going to steal other people’s pants 
when your time comes, 
Heidi nudged Don jokingly. 

I’ll have my own gig, 
announced Don. 
Shit really isn’t my thing. 

Are pants? 
joked Heidi. 

Just then, 
Sam returned to check and see 
how things were going with Frank 
who kept grabbing at the towel 
as Don dried him off. 

I need you to go check on Natalie, 
Sam told Heidi. 
She’s up and screaming bloody murder again. 

Heidi ran off to check on Natalie. 
Amy was at the nurse’s station. 
Having already begun the paperwork  
on Frank’s latest incident.

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