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MARY and Martha

by T. R. Frazier A concrete Jesus stands among the holly bushes by the main entrance of Saint Anthony’s Care Home, one hand extended in an eternal blessing. Before His sightless eyes, I fidget and curse while the glitchy bioscanner verifies my retinal profile and temperature. I’m late, and I can’t afford to be late. Despite the bone-aching cold of the February day, my sweat glands are already overcoming my cheap antiperspirant, staining the pits of my maroon scrubs. From the scanner’s speaker comes the matronly voice of Saint Anthony’s virtual manager: “Martha Davidson, nursing assistant, scheduled seven a.m to seven p.m.” “Finally,” I hiss, and the entrance door hisses back. I attempt a smooth trot across the dingy industrial carpeting, but there’s really no such thing. Coffee speckles my shirt—unwashed after yesterday’s twelve-hour shift, but there isn’t enough caffeine in this world to make up for a five-a.m. alarm and six shifts in as many days. I hate this job, almost as mu

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