Thursday, May 24, 2012

Timed Writing: 5/24/2012


Time: 10 minutes
Prompt: "... I am weary of this blood-letting..."
Source: 3 x 6 x 5 + 4 x 1 = 94 = The Chronicles of Count Antonio by Anthony Hope

"I must declare," Doctor Antharp said to me, as he approached my bed, "I am weary of this blood-letting. But I am wearier still of your failure to respond. It seems to have done nothing for either your physical or mental health. Your heart beats more rapidly each time I bleed you, and your color wanes as it should, but then, almost immediately, you seem to weaken. Most perplexing. Perhaps I have not been taking enough blood. You are a very tall man and large of frame."

"Doctor," I replied, attempting to suppress the disgust that I felt for this barbarous practitioner of only the most primitive medical techniques, "you say that you are wary of letting my blood. I assure you though, that it is I who is the wearier of it... and wearier because of it. I recognize that you are doing your utmost to treat your patient according to the highest standards of care, but I beg you to listen when I tell you that for my kind, bleeding does nothing but harm. Please at least postpone the next treatment for some days while I recover my strength."

Even this much speech tired me and I let my head sink back into the deep plush cushions. For a prisoner I was being treated far too well -- a well-appointed chamber with fresh breezes blowing in the windows, and all the food and wine that I could keep down. The polished steel manicles that bound my hands to the wrought-iron bedframe, however, suggested that I was something other than an honored guest. The doctor was the only person I'd seen since regaining consciousness and he refused to speak of ought but my health and his treatments.

"I had hoped to present to the inquisitors a sane and rational man," he said, "if not an entirely whole one. They grow impatient however, and I feel sure that they will give me but a few more days in which to treat your ailments."

Inquisitors. Finally he had referred to someone besides himself or me, but the the word summoned images of robed churchmen and monstrous tortures. I hoped that these were not the sort of inquisitors that he meant.

Doctor Antharp leaned over me and placed a hand to my carotid pulse. His brows were drawn tightly together in an expression of the greatest concern, and he made a wet clicking sound with tongue against roof of mouth. He laid his other hand on my forehead for a moment, then brought his palms together, as though praying, and let out a deep sigh. His breath stank of raw garlic and sour milk.



(about my timed writing exercises)


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