Monday, November 06, 2006

The beginning

Here's the beginning of my new story:

"This is Dr. Dent. You paged me?"

I hate Dr. Dent. I was hoping he wasn't on duty today. I sat down on the step in the hallway of my mother's condo building. With only 800 square feet between the two of us, it was the only place where I could be sure she wouldn't hear me. "This is Emily Richards. My mother, Lucille Richards is your patient. She had an anneurysm two weeks ago?"


I had been hoping for some sort of personal recognition. "Well, I don't know how to say this. Mom's been acting strange since we got home yesterday. It's just that..." " I was babbling, I knew it then. He made me nervous. The other three doctor's on my mother's team, as they call themselves, were friendly and informal, like we were all chatting about blood vessels because we happened to love them, not because a blockage in one nearly killed my mom. But not Dr. Dent. I didn't want to say the next words aloud, not to Dr. Dent. But I had to. "She's been singing. All the time. And she never sang before, not even in the car or at birthday parties. She said she had an awful voice. Which she doesn't. But I guess that's beside the point."

"I'm not sure I understand. You're calling because your mom is singing?" He said it like I was a child, not a 33 year old woman with a master's in public policy and a mortgage bearing down on her every month. And the worst part is that I played into his condescention, playing the part of the unsure idiot.

"I know it sounds strange. But she's just acting like a different person. Singing is just an example."

I can hear papers being shuffled in the background. "I see here she's scheduled for a follow-up appointment next week. Do you think this could wait until then?"

"Well, if you do. You and your colleagues told me to call if she seemed to be having any symptoms, and well...I just wanted to make sure this wasn't a sign of anything gone wrong. "

"Singing? No." I could hear the smirk in his voice. "I'll see you on Tuesday." Best Blogger Tips


jim said...

I want to hear more.

I probably need to go back to writing fiction. Poetry doesn't seem to be working for me.

Bug said...

Thanks Jim! That's just the kind of response a writer likes to hear! :) And def try fiction out on your blog. It's fun, I swear.

Repeater said...

This story is an awful lot like the one I submitted last time to my semester (only in theme). It's fun and interesting, but Tony warned me not to make the character's condition the only thing I concentrate on in the story, so that's something for you to think about too. I've been thinking a lot about it myself & I'm sure he's right. I like how your people are always quirky!

Bug said...

Thanks Repeater. Good advice. So my gravestone can read, Bug: she did a lot of stuff and made some damn quirky characters. :)

bostonerin said...

Good opening...I like the character's self-consciousness when dealing with the doctor. Very realistic!

Anonymous said...

You've got the smug doctor down pat, and I'm intrigued: is the singing a sign of something wrong or not. This reader wants to read on...

FatCharlatan said...

Doing a quick check in here...I really enjoyed reading this, and I really think you hit a rhythm at the end, especially with the doctor. TI is right: you captured his smugness beautifully. Yes, I want more. Hope all's well.


Bug said...

Thanks everyone! You encourage me to go forward!