Some exercises – Logan Bright 2016
Novakovich 5e2: different PoVs of the thefts from yesterday
Novakovich 5e3: three-paragraph piece about war and friendly fire
Novakovich 5e4: three perspectives on a doctor sexually assaulting a patient, who cuts the doctor’s ear with a scalpel. 1) patient 2) doctor 3) nurse
Abigail Bad Girl pushed through street people blind people, into a cold and blue store full shiny glass and metal. Trapped in cold case prison the most beauty a run ring gold shiny, so sweet, gold sun ring trapped in glass cages. Saleslady seller watched but talking coin with some gosso, she won’t bother Abigail Bad Girl or his sweet sun ring, no, just gold and sweet metal, wants freedom from glass cages.
Other glasses, pretty shiny but Abigail Bad Girl’s fingers went squee squee when they saw the sun ring the deal sealed, sweet gold gold. He pressed his face against the glass, so cold burns nose and skin he doesn’t pull away, sweet sun ring warmth so close, trapped and screaming trapped and pleading sweet life, sweet air, bring me from glass cages Abigail Bad Girl, sweet warm metal for your pinkie pinkie toe, good gold sweet Abigail and Abigail Bad Girl raised squee squeeing fingers crash cold glass, it holds trapped sun ring, seller screams forgets the gosso, Abigail Bad Girl’s squee squees go smash again and again and now the case is vanished, many fragments all around pinkie toes and gold is free and warm, sweet sun ring, fingers squee squee to touch, squee squee, seller shrieking idjit tongue, sewer tongue tongue.
Abigail Bad Girl meets sweet metal warm and wanted, loved by sun ring, seller screaming. Abigail on toes he flees in fumey streets, full gossos dockside sicklies but Abigail Bad Girl warm with sun ring, sweet so gold sweet so. Sun ring stays with Abigail Bad Girl always, whispers sweets and oaths into his ears of light and warmth. Fire sun ring hot in squee squees and Abigail Bad Girl heats and heats and sleeps content a night of dreams. Squee squee fingers keep safe sun ring, no glass cages cold sweet sun ring, sweet gold so.
Abigail Bad Girl cracked an ART with his stubby finger squee squees, swallowed sharpness, mind alerted. He pushed dirt gossos out of way and crashed into a shop of shinies. It was a porktown counterfeit jeweler’s owned and operated by Donnie Santiago’s most litigious ex-wife, Arianna San Cruzas.
Abigail Bad Girl caught glance of cold cages trapped gold, sweet gold warm sun ring, his fingers squee squee, tingling, physiologically tingling with excitement and chemical imbalances, each digit chattering in a pitch way up in the high kHzs, so high only he could hear them, ART pulsing behind his eyeballs. Squee squee went fingers his face upon the glass, trapped sun ring, cold cold in glass trapping, freedom sough sweet gold sweet so gold.
Ms. San Cruzas, who’d snared and all but speared a mark with a cheap but serviceable Jägan knock-off, was alarmed at the docksider oaf fogging up her display case. “Excuse me, sir,” she said, but Abigail Bad Girl, who’d never had a proper name but adopted this one after years of hearing it screamed in the apartment above his burrow when he was a lad, squatted out of sight and tried to push his fingers through the glass.
Face on glass cold, cold trapping gold class cages. He made fists, impermeable thanks to the shot of ART the minute before, and brought them down on the case once, twice. Pain shot through his arms but the pain-reception centre of his brain had worn down like the city itself and functioned sporadically. The third blow cause the case to shatter.
Ms. San Cruzas screamed at him and in her rage and indignation let slip that the shop was full of fakes, but squee squees freed sweet sun ring, sang with happy and warm sun ring, and Abigail Bad Girl sprinted from the shop far quicker even than he’d burst in, leaving shattered glass and mangled jewelry behind him.
Ms. San Cruzas lost the sale of the Jägan, but replaced the shattered case in due time and business improved in the following years. Abigail Bad Girl’s sweet sun ring in squee squees is safe.
War’s been done a few different ways through the years but mostly it’s the same. Bad blood, bad reasoning, resources, competition. Enmity personal and im-, deserved or not. These two organizations were doing it the old fashioned way, of course, with violence, hatred.
Carmelo knew about the betrayal, had read it in Dante’s eyes; and now Luke, just a defenseless soft back a few steps ahead, and Carmelo, standard-issue rifle in hand and loaded. Dante had pleaded with him not to do anything but Carmelo had to get even, felt on fire when he saw Dante’s face, his tears. Carmelo pulled the trigger, Luke fell, and shame, of one sort, was ended.
Luke felt the fire in his abdomen, bitter and pleasant like good whiskey. He knew he was wrong to say accept Dante’s glances but he had, just as he had willingly taken the front of the front line, ahead of quiet Carmelo. Luke took a dip seep of that sweet whiskey, that fire in his abdomen, and slept.
Sati’s ears were pounding when she arrived in Dr. Ramachandran’s examination room. The walls were covered in the usual cross-sections, corpses chopped and divided for ease of reference.
The nurse handed the doctor one of those silver wands with the black triangle head and he lit it in her ear canal, peered into it, his face and mustache scrunched. The roots where his teeth met his gums were yellow, and his breath smelled of cough medicine. She could feel the heat of his body centimetres from her own. She looked away to a poster, and caught the nurse’s eyes instead. The nurse went pink as her scrubs and looked away.
“Well Mrs. Gupta, everything’s looking good so far,” Dr. Ramachandran said over the squeak of his chair. He rolled slowly in orbit around her, checked her right side. He was close, very close, his hot cough medicine breath on her cheek and neck.
“Nurse,” he said, face so close to Sati’s that she could feel the wiry potato-brush bristles of his mustache, “could you go and get me, uh, a T-94 and an electromyopod, please?” Sati started and he added, still looking into her ear, “just a routine scan, nothing to worry about, my dear. Nurse? They’re in the basement, I think.”
Sati’s fists clenched hard as baked clay balls as Dr. Ramachandran’s hand fell upon her knee, far higher than Sati would ever have been comfortable with.
“You’re looking very healthy, Mrs. Gupta. Or may I call you by your given name? Very healthy, and very beautiful, Sati.” Sati could hardly hear him rasping as though to himself. His gaze had left hers and travelled down the valley of her sari, his imagination boring into her most forbidden places. His hand climbed to find them.
“Doctor, no,” she said, turning from him. “No.”
She fumbled with her purse but it was zipped, to protect her from thieves. She cast about the room as the heat grey, both hands on her legs now, her thighs, thick cough medicine stench in her lungs. Her hand alights on cold, stable steel. A medical instrument of some kind. Her fist clenches around it.
“Dr. Ramachandran, stop. Doctor!” As her voice rose, several things happened at once: his hands reach her warmth, the nurse bursts in, and Sati’s hand with the cold strong steel swings at the doctor and he falls to the floor, clutching his bleeding ear, leaving her.
Dr. Ramachandran’s heart sparked as he inserted his ear-scope into the ear of Mrs. Gupta. He savoured the first delicate hint on her scent. The calm lavender reached gracefully out to greet him. He was relieved to find no cause for alarm in her left ear, and reluctantly moved away, the back of his neck prickly under the watchful gaze of his nurse Nadia.
He rolled his chair around, taking the slow, scenic route, as he always tried to do when Mrs. Gupta visited. Maybe next time she’ll come in with heart palpitations, he thought. Then I could use the stethoscope. Then again, she’s here now, and an extra test or two couldn’t hurt…
“Nurse, fetch me a T-94 and an electromyopod, would you,” he said, peering into Mrs. Gupta’s right ear. To extend the goose chase, he added: “They’d be in the basement, I suspect.” It seemed to him she hesitated, but she left them.
“Now, Mrs. Gupta, you’re looking very healthy so far, very healthy and very beautiful. I would like to perform some extra tests, however. To be on the safe side.” The air between them buzzed, crackled as though filled with a thousand fireflies. She looked deeply into his widening eyes and he felt her touch, her soft, vibrant touch, alive in that look. Then he was touching her in turn, when his flesh met hers the energy grew a hundred-fold, he was suffused with joy and electricity, the voltage soaring higher as his hand reached its goal; he was blind, he was deaf to all but her warmth, her smell, her beautiful soft soul.
On earth, far below, he could hear her talking now, saying something strong and firm through layers of gauze and plaster.
His brows fell and for a moment he wasn’t sure why, but the flat dull colours of the office were fading back in. “No,” she was saying. “No.” But in the last shreds of ecstasy, control returning, he found a moment of reflection, the world frozen to offer it. In that infinitesimal moment, his choice was made.
Dr. Ramachandran drove his hand home as the door opened and the nurse screamed, and a split second later he heard the faintest whir of air before his ear exploded in pain, sliced or shocked but some malignant spell. Red rained down from the hand of Mrs. Gupta.
Dr. Ramachandran lost his license to practice medicine. His scar took seven weeks to heal.
Nadia showed Mrs. Gupta through the cramped hallway into exam room 2. She was still new to Dr. Ramachandran’s practice and didn’t know any of the patients, but she and Mrs. Gupta chatted amiably until the doctor came in. As soon as he arrived in the room Nadia felt the energy change, like the tide had gone out blue and come back in neon green.
So that’s how it is, she thought. Nadia hadn’t worked there long, but it’d been long enough to recognize one of Dr. Ramachandran’s little crushes. It looked as though Mrs. Gupta was one of those unlucky souls. But at least she was close to his own age and not some teenager in from the high school.
Nadia stood behind him and watched the exam. He peered into Mrs. Gupta’s ear, slowly rolled around her, as close as possible, and peered into the other ear even longer. Mrs. Gupta was tense, hands in tight balls. Nadia smiled at her but the bulb burnt out on contact. Mrs. Gupta looked ready to shatter into millions of tiny pieces. Nadia blushed and looked away.
Someone should say something, finally, she thought. Maybe I should. Maybe I will.
“You’re looking very healthful, Mrs. Gupta, very healthful. Nurse,” he added over his shoulder, “could you dig up a T-94 for me, and an electromyopod? Just routine tests, Mrs. Gupta, don’t be alarmed. Nurse? They’re probably somewhere in the basement.”
Neither of those objects sounded familiar but Nadia was glad to shut the exam door behind her and trap all that thick, awful energy with Dr. Ramachandran. And Mrs. Gupta. Nadia hadn’t even given her another look before she escaped into the tiny hallway. Mrs. Gupta had had that inward-looking, lost-in-the-headlights look of a deer soon to be wounded in the night.
Nadia took a step, stopped. Dr. Ramachandran is the only one with a key to the basement, she thought. He’s always got it, the only one.
She paused, drew a breath, released, and plunged back into exam room 2. She screamed as Mrs. Gupta swiped at Dr. Ramachandran, whose hands, before they flew out of the chair with the rest of him, had been deep within the sari of a flushed and frightened Mrs. Gupta. Dr. Ramachandran blubbered, clutching his ear. Mrs. Gupta dropped the scalpel. Nadia took her hand, squeezed it for a long moment, and then stitched up Dr. Ramachandran.