“Courage” by S. Faxon
He had wanted to be a centaur for Halloween. Instead, he was dressed in a white hospital gown with tubes sticking out of his arms. It wasn’t so bad this time around, Adam thought to himself. He could see out a window from his bed and wasn’t stuck around the other side of the boring ol’ curtain like last time.
Twilight was approaching and soon every kid in town would be scouring front porches, hollering “trick or treat” while he would be stuck in bed. The other lions and soldiers, dinosaurs and knights would busy themselves sorting out chocolates from peppermints, sours from those dreadful pennies, and toffees from the rest of the pile. Little Adam would not be able to partake in sorting his candy into a little mountain range this year, but that was alright. The pretty nurse who was always smiling had told him that this would be it. The last of the treatments. He had endured enough tricks for one little boy and from now on, he would be finding nothing but treats.
“Adam,” the nurse had said as she began his treatment, “After tonight, you could be a centaur, a king, an astronaut, anything you dream because you’ve already fought a dragon and lived to tell the tale.”
She told him that he would leave the hospital with the best treat of all – the courage that he had found within what most grown-ups had yet to find within themselves.
This story was one of two of S. Faxon’s short stories selected to be published in the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild 2019 Anthology, The Guilded Pen, 8th Edition.