Some thingsPosted by DavidCDawson Thu, September 08, 2016 20:49:29
So the task from my
writers’ group was five hundred words on accident and emergency. That was
three days ago. Now here I am, half past six on a Sunday morning, driving to
the John Radcliffe Hospital with Nick fading fast in the passenger seat. Is
that irony? Or God having a laugh? Well there is no God so it must be Mother
Nature taking the piss. Ooh, there’s controversial. Father God or Mother
Nature? Who’s the worst supreme being? Which one gave my partner the pneumonia,
which is now sapping the life out of him?
the colour of fire ashes and coughs like an asthmatic. He just sits there, with
his head resting on the door pillar of the car. He’s not even
flinching at my terrible gear changes. He must be sick.
So, I can do Thame to
the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford in under eighteen minutes. It’s
official. And illegal. Officially illegal. If I’d been pulled
over I had a good excuse sitting next to me, hacking up phlegm to prove the
need for speed.
Thank God for the
National Health Service. Or rather, thank you Nye Bevan for the National Health
Service. And thank you to the one point three million people who work in it.
Thank you Google for that fact. And thank you to the amazing people who are
here on duty in accident and emergency today.
Seven minutes. That’s
all it took. From arriving at the reception desk to Nick having an oxygen mask
put over his face. Blood tests. Intravenous antibiotics. More blood tests, then
the X-ray that shows the storm cloud of pneumococcus over his left lung. We
take a photo. Perhaps it will be a first for Facebook. Something to share and
like. Yes! Three people like it in the first twenty minutes. Why isn’t
there a “that’s terrible”
button on Facebook? (Ed: OK, there is now..)
lying here now. His breathing is shallow, but his temperature is falling and
his oxygen levels have stabilised. It’s a start. The doctor has curly hair
falling across his baby face. He looks like Jesse Eisenberg, the actor who
played Mark Zuckerberg in the film the Social Network. Perhaps I should ask him
about the Facebook button idea. Maybe not. He might look young but he’s
got a brain the size of a planet. Like all the doctors here.
on the phone, trying to find a free bed to admit Nick to the hospital. He’s
making a lot of calls. Endlessly patient. Endlessly polite. But persistent.
Thank goodness for his intelligent idealism. Let’s hope the
dead hand of government health service reform doesn’t squeeze it
been admitted. The only bed was in infectious diseases. Inappropriate, as pneumonia
isn’t infectious. But it means he gets his own room. On the ground floor
with a window looking onto a garden. Well, a scattering of gravel and three
pretty looking weeds. Nick’s asleep. He will get better.
Some thingsPosted by DavidCDawson Thu, September 08, 2016 20:43:59Published in the first anthology for Chesham Writers and Scribblers 2015. Look out for the second one this autumn
A Death in Autumn
As he stood on the platform that late September morning,
Harold got ready to set in motion his plan for the death of the man in the
smart overcoat. The mechanics of the plan had always been simple. But until now
it was the means of avoiding discovery that had eluded him.
Not any more. His plan was now perfected. Today he would put
it into action. Everything was right on this first day of autumn.
The platform was filling, as it always did, for the six
thirty eight to London. This was the first wave of commuters, who always
arrived in good time for the non-stop City train. Immaculately dressed, coffees
in hand, perfectly groomed. Soon would come the last minute dressers. Women
still applying their make-up, men reluctantly putting on their ties. Finally,
at around six thirty two, the pushers and shovers would arrive. Delivered at
the last minute by their spousal taxi services, they started at the back of the
crowded platform, yet always got to the front as the train came to a halt and
its doors opened.
The man in the smart overcoat was part of this last group.
Today, Harold was ready for him.
He had rehearsed his moves many times. He needed to be just
to the man’s side as the train doors opened. He would execute a
swift jab to the man’s thigh as he moved forward and then
Harold would pull back. The forward surge of the commuters would carry the man
into the carriage. Even as the doors closed, the poison injected into his thigh
would begin to act. By the time the train got to Moor Park, the man in the
smart overcoat would be dead.
And good riddance. That man who had cost Harold his job, his
marriage, maybe even his sanity. The man who Harold had seen on television,
saying over and over: “There are always casualties in a
recession”. The man who last Christmas received a bonus of three
million pounds from his bank.
The imminent arrival of the six thirty eight was announced.
It was on time. Harold looked over his right shoulder. As people gathered up
their belongings and shuffled forward, he saw the smart overcoat. Harold stared
straight ahead and drifted to his right as the commuters around him got ready
to move. One further brief glance to his right confirmed that he was alongside
the smart overcoat. Harold reached into his pocket and his fingers wrapped
around the adapted hypodermic. The crowd surged as the train doors opened in
front of him.
By lunchtime it had made the headlines on the television
“The twin brother of Global Bank’s deputy chairman Cedric
Messeter was found dead on a crowded commuter train this morning. Angus
Messeter, a director of the charity Poverty Action, apparently died from a
heart attack. He was forty two. He was a vocal opponent of his banking brother’s hard line approach to
struggling businesses during the recession.”
Some thingsPosted by DavidCDawson Wed, May 11, 2016 07:24:21
that shows we've all been there...