David C Dawson's blog

David C Dawson's blog

Accident and Emergency

Some thingsPosted by DavidCDawson Thu, September 08, 2016 20:49:29

Accident and Emergency

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?

He’s 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..)

Nick’s 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.
He’s 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 from him.

Midday. Nick’s 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.

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A Death in Autumn

Some thingsPosted by DavidCDawson Thu, September 08, 2016 20:43:59
Published 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 news.

“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.”

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Writer's Block

Some thingsPosted by DavidCDawson Wed, May 11, 2016 07:24:21
A video that shows we've all been there...

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