Posted tagged ‘Monica Carter’

‘Foetal Distraction’ by Monica Carter

October 9, 2009

(c) 2009 Romeo Esparrago

(c) 2009 Romeo Esparrago

Few leave this place alive. Entering through the heavy, green, odd-shaped door, Dr. Charles Dennis shivers. An inclement night: wind tears through the old house, the hospital, where desperate souls bury immorality, illness, fear of the immortal, or they bury themselves.  Tonight something other than death, sickness, and despair saturate the place; something else seems to have permeated the thick walls.

Old Jacob, a tangled mass of verbiage and stinking clothes, huddled on a makeshift bed beside an open fire, seeks the good doctor’s eye. “It were a night like this I found him, a black night — dark as ever ’ell was afore the Devil lit his fire!”  Phlegmatic eyes illuminated, he leans forward.  The unfortunate doctor wants to leave; a warm supper awaits him at the inn, but Jacob’s posture, its eerie promise, holds him.

He watches as the old man pulls his frayed coat tight about his skinny frame, rubs cold arms to warm still colder blood, and draws closer to the feeble flames that claw the dank October night, in the open grate.  Jacob, like a hideous automaton, clasps the doctor’s arm, and forces his wet mouth close against his shrinking ear.

“It were a night like this I found him: cold, wet, curled like a babe unborn, all dirty, soiled.” Before Dr. Dennis can enquire of whom he speaks, Jacob continues. “Sometimes he wept, and others he laughed, a screeching sound that sent the rats of Tanner Street — for that is where he was — scurrying.” The good doctor steps back in alarm.