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[Writing Contest] - THE ARENA

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Comments

  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    Achillles wrote: »
    Righteo. Topic is: Fever

    Okey dokey. See you before this time tomorrow.

    I can't promise SFW, though!


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    I know I'm posting it early, but I won't get a chance to tomorrow as there's no way I'm opening this on my work computer. :pac: (Also a tiny bit long. Forgiveness please)

    Fever

    Dr Letby straightened his waistcoat and looked in the glass to ensure his moustache was straight, before his next patient’s entrance. It always paid to put effort into one’s appearance, regardless of métier. Mrs Starbard was shown in. An elegantly dressed young woman in an exquisite bonnet, clearly in some distress. “Please, take a seat,” Letby said, and she obliged. “What is the ailment?”

    Mrs Starbard wrung her small hands. “I appear to have…fever.” She dabbed her temples with an embroidered handkerchief.

    Letby approached her. “May I?”

    She looked up at him doe-eyed. “Yes.”

    He put his palm to her forehead, and then checked for redness under the eyelid. “You feel perfectly normal.”

    “Oh,” she said. “I—”

    “Would you prefer if I checked with a thermometer, to be certain?”

    “Please. If you would?”

    Letby bade her stand up and bend forward onto his examining table. “Stay perfectly still, Mrs Starbard. This will only take a moment.” He performed his well-practiced hoist of petticoats, and then placed the thermometer. Mrs Starbard eeped. Letby ignored her buttocks flushing crimson with embarrassment. It was a regular occurrence amongst ladies and even some gentlemen.

    He removed the thermometer and allowed her skirts to fall again as he read it. “Normal, Mrs Starbard.”

    “Oh,” she said, still inclined forward on his examining table.

    “You make take a seat again.”

    “Thank you, doctor,” she said, resuming her prim position on the chair, her cheeks burning as crimson as her buttocks.

    “You needn’t be embarrassed, madam. As a physician I take tens of temperatures in the same manner every day.”

    “It’s not that,” she said. “It’s just that my sister told me that you helped her with her…fever.”

    “Fever is merely a symptom of an underlying infection.”

    “It wasn’t an infection.” Mrs Starbard buried her face in her hands. “I’m not explaining this correctly.”

    Letby looked at her in her apparent shame, and all became clear. “Are you certain ‘fever’ was the term your sister used? Could it have been ‘hysteria’?”

    Mrs Starbard looked up. “Yes, that was it. I’m sorry. I’ve never been very good at being accurate.”

    “Quite all right, madam. Now, if I am to treat you for hysteria, I will need signed consent from your husband, or, if he cannot write, he may present himself here at the surgery to provide verbal consent.”

    Mrs Starbard’s face fell. “Charles died in the Crimea.”

    “Oh dear, I am sorry. Your father may also consent.”

    “My father would sooner send me to the asylum. He is not a believer in modern medicine.” She began to weep into her handkerchief. “It’s hopeless.”

    “There there,” Letby said, feeling a swell of compassion. “It does run contrary to my normal ethics, but so long as it’s just this once, I don’t foresee any long-term harm.”



    Mrs Starbard lay recumbent on the examination table with a palm on her cheek as Letby washed and dried his hands. “I don’t know how much detail your sister gave you, Mrs Starbard, but the treatment can be rather intense and affecting.”

    “Could… could I faint?”

    “I shouldn’t think so. No. The only way to ease hysteria is to draw it out, so during the treatment you may feel less in control of your faculties. You may shout, or say things that diverge from your usual discourse. But you mustn’t worry. I have heard every permutation over the years. Are you ready?”

    “Yes,” Mrs Starbard said timidly.

    Letby approached and laid a palm on her forehead as he lifted her skirts to locate the pelvic pressure point. Her eyes went wide. “Don’t worry, madam. It will be over before you know it.” He took his hand from her forehead and noted the time from the corner clock.

    Five minutes later, Mrs Starbard’s eyes were closed and she was worrying her lip. “Is everything all right?” Letby asked.

    “Yes,” she said, her voice already considerably altered. “It’s, ah…”

    “Mrs Starbard, you must remain still.”

    “Sorry. Could you call me Clara?”

    “That would not be appropriate, Mrs Starbard.”

    “I’m sorry, doctor.” She made her hands into fists and pressed them to her cheeks. “I think… I think fever is more… accurate than hysteria. It feels like… burning. Happily burning.”

    “Hush now, Mrs Starbard. It’s almost done. Relax and allow the poison escape.”

    She covered the entirety of her face with her two hands and made noises typical of Letby’s previous observations in this therapy, accompanied by the expected involuntary spasmodic muscular response.

    Nine minutes: a textbook case.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭Achillles


    Not long in from work, so as good a time as any to post it....

    Fever

    He lays awake-quarter past four in the morning. The bed sheets cling grimly to his sweat soaked carcass. One leg and one arm out from beneath the covers. Too cold, he shudders, tries to find a balance. Both arms in, one leg out. Vice versa. Too warm. Moves to cooler part of the bed- it doesn’t remain cool for long. There is no balance to be had. So he lies awake, and thinks. Of everything and of nothing. It’s Friday night and so he should be exhausted. He is exhausted after another week of monotony at work. Day to day trivialities turn over in his head until he tries hard not to think of them, counting sheep jumping over walls, like his mother thought him. Only they don’t clear the walls gracefully, they scramble and clamber and generally make a mess of things. Goats. He should be counting goats- they’re much more sure footed. With such nonsense in his head, sleep finds him at half five-ish.

    Half Ten and he’s up and about, needs to be with the day that’s in it. He can’t shake this queasy feeling in his stomach, and he finds he’s still sweating. A lot. Drinking plenty of water and eating well, but it doesn’t help, and he finds he needs to **** more. Can’t be healthy, that. Alternately he lies back on the couch- he needs the rest- or strolls the garden- he needs the fresh air. All the while the day whittles away.

    It’s seven o’ clock now, and the queasiness is gone. The restlessness is gone. The frivolous thinking is gone. All replaced with ice in the mind; and fire in the belly. He stands in a huddle, with fourteen other people. But it’s more than a huddle. It’s a team. But it’s more than a team. It’s the lads you have grown up with. Laughed with, fought with, drank with and won with. Lost with. They will kill for each other today, die for each other. And it is more than them. It’s the Parish and the community to whom they will be either heroes or failures. It is their heritage, their Irishness. In unison, they stomp, snort and shout, allowing the rage to build within themselves. Rage at what? They don’t really know. At the injustice that anything would dare stand in their way. For the next two hours, nothing else matters. NOTHING!

    Forget the glory. Forget the pride. Forget the girls and the local fame and the affection of youngsters! This is why he plays football. THIS is championship fever.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    Gorgeously written, Achillles.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,310 CMod ✭✭✭✭coffee_cake


    They're both brilliant!

    I could see DK's better though, love it :cool:


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭echo beach


    So different and as always so hard to make a choice but Achilles skill in conveying the feelings so well in such a short piece swung it for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭Achillles


    I found yours hilarious, DK. How you thought of the situation arising, I'm not sure I want to know. Actually I'm sure I don't want to! 9 minutes textbook? :eek:


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    Achillles wrote: »
    I found yours hilarious, DK. How you thought of the situation arising, I'm not sure I want to know. Actually I'm sure I don't want to! 9 minutes textbook? :eek:

    It's historical, innit?


  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Carra23


    I get it now, the impenetrable clique ! ! ! lol

    P.S. Where's the mod ? I thought there were rules for this game. I'm used to my 3 and 6 year old making the rules as they go along, didn't expect it here !


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    Carra23 wrote: »
    I get it now, the impenetrable clique ! ! ! lol

    Nah, twas just the smut that brought 'em in. :p

    (Seriously though, it gets randomly awfully quiet around here for no discernible reason. Would have been nice to get a few more votes cast on the previous round all right.)

    Which rules were broken?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Carra23


    Das Kitty wrote: »
    Nah, twas just the smut that brought 'em in. :p

    (Seriously though, it gets randomly awfully quiet around here for no discernible reason. Would have been nice to get a few more votes cast on the previous round all right.)

    Which rules were broken?

    I've just noticed now that you're the moderator Das Kitty. That makes it easier to understand !!!


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    Carra23 wrote: »
    I've just noticed now that you're the moderator Das Kitty. That makes it easier to understand !!!

    Not of this forum...


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭GalwayGuy2


    Das Kitty's was interesting. It was a little bit smutty, historical, but also brought in gender issues without shouting them in the readers face.

    Now that the voting periods done I can comment on this.
    “Don’t worry, madam. It will be over before you know it.”

    heh heh.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,310 CMod ✭✭✭✭coffee_cake


    Wat


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    GalwayGuy2 wrote: »
    Now that the voting periods done I can comment on this.
    heh heh.

    Lie back and think of England, madam.

    :pac:


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,310 CMod ✭✭✭✭coffee_cake


    Carra23 wrote: »
    I get it now, the impenetrable clique ! ! ! lol

    P.S. Where's the mod ? I thought there were rules for this game. I'm used to my 3 and 6 year old making the rules as they go along, didn't expect it here !

    Seriously what are you on about


    24 hours to post a story after accepting challenge, 24 hours for votes to be counted after which the most votes wins, winner stays on
    You both broke the rules with your word count, that's about it ...


  • Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭Achillles


    Congrats, DK, brilliant stuff as usual! Not sure what Carra23 was trying to get at, but a fully deserved victory, as shown by the fact that seven people voted for it. At the time we can assume these seven people were sound of mind and acting of their own free will, without intimidation from a gestapoesque police force,or any underhand tactics from the illuminati. So, yeah, fully deserved!


  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Carra23


    I bet those 7 voters are the same 7 voters each time. As I said, the impenetrable clique. There is another word for that, sad circle!


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,310 CMod ✭✭✭✭coffee_cake


    How about "sour grapes"?
    Different people vote for different stories depending on if they read them, see the thread, etc. I didn't vote the last ones cos I didn't notice/forgot.
    You can go back through the thread and see who voted for what. Maybe you can stop insulting people then just because you lost :confused:

    you can post up another challenge soon as well if DK has time or to the next winner whoever they will be and try beat them next time


  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 ✭✭✭Rubecula


    Carra23 wrote: »
    I bet those 7 voters are the same 7 voters each time. As I said, the impenetrable clique. There is another word for that, sad circle!


    I voted and I am not in any clique, nor do I vote on every story posted. I seriously think that:
    1/ You tender an apology to the genuinely hard trying people on here.
    2/ Keep your argumentative opinions to a forum that appreciates them.
    3/ Try and be nice, you catch more wasps with jam than with vinegar.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 476 ✭✭Carra23


    Between the illuminati, the wasps and jam you have me completely lost now.

    There were no votes for either mine or Das Kittys story. Maybe I just didn't see them!

    Anyway, enjoy the stories!!!


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    Thanks are votes... It was 3:1, I think. Posts commenting are just feedback and are optional.

    There's a feedback forum if you want to provide some.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Politics Moderators, Recreation & Hobbies Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 81,310 CMod ✭✭✭✭coffee_cake


    Carra23 wrote: »
    There were no votes for either mine or Das Kittys story. Maybe I just didn't see them!

    Anyway, enjoy the stories!!!

    thanks on the story posts = votes


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭GalwayGuy2


    Since it will be a nice, beautiful, sunny day, I wonder would anybody be up for a story?

    Nothing beats sitting in front of a laptop when the sun is shining :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,252 ✭✭✭echo beach


    Rubecula wrote: »
    I voted and I am not in any clique, nor do I vote on every story posted.

    I'm not in any clique either. I usually vote if I see the stories and get time to read them within the 24 hours because when two people have taken the trouble to write a piece that is of high standard it isn't hard to press the like button in thanks for the enjoyment they give. I also try to give a little feedback if I can to explain my choice.
    The same names do tend to crop up again, maybe because the rest of us aren't brave enough for what is a difficult challenge, but I wouldn't remember who I voted for from one time to the next.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    I can't write again til the weekend, I'm afraid. If you're willing to wait though, I'll take you on then


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭GalwayGuy2


    Das Kitty wrote: »
    I can't write again til the weekend, I'm afraid. If you're willing to wait though, I'll take you on then

    Sounds like a plan.


  • Moderators, Arts Moderators Posts: 17,231 Mod ✭✭✭✭Das Kitty


    GalwayGuy2 wrote: »
    Sounds like a plan.

    Brill, drop a topic tomorrow evening and I'll be along to accept.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭GalwayGuy2


    Rejection and Acceptance.

    I'll be doing both, but it can be an either or as well.

    Reject or accept whenever you want :P


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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,269 ✭✭✭GalwayGuy2


    Oh, Rejection and Acceptance are the proposed themes :o


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