I (sometimes) call myself Mr. Pondersome. I'm a rather wordy, weirdy person. I say hullo a lot. I write a lot more. While you're here, why not give some of it a read?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

KALEIDOSCOPE AUTOPSY (a.k.a. Part One of My Stories in Honour of Short Story Week)

            Up until now there's been no good way to study stomach diseases in humans. So Lionel and I once tried it with a kaleidoscope.
            I was a doctor but Lionel wasn't. He suggested the idea and I was so drunk that it amused me. It was amazing that we even found our way to the morgue. We, of course, had to make a pit stop at Lionel's pad to pick up the essential tool.
            I pulled out one of the recent bodies which, fortunately for us, had expired due to complications before surgery. I made a surprisingly neat incision and held the flaps open even better than I do whilst sober. Lionel peered inside, twisting the front of the kaleidoscope a few times.
            'Observations?' I said to him.
            He giggled. 'This man's innards are a psychedelic green.'
            'No, no, no,' I snapped. 'You are looking at it all wrong. What does the shade of green tell you about the gastritis?'
            Lionel looked up, still through the kaleidoscope. 'That the stomach acid burnt into the lining in a very particular way. It made grooves.'
            'Groovy.' Lionel did a dance. I almost ripped one of the skin flaps off when I reached up to hit him.
            'This is serious business, Lionel,' I said. 'Are there genuine grooves?'
            He examined the stomach without the kaleidoscope and then with it again. 'Actually...yes, I think so.'
            'Give it here,' I said. Lionel picked up the forceps gingerly.
            The kaleidoscope showed many tiny diamonds in a bizarre formation. I took it away from my eye and saw that they matched the grooves in the stomach lining almost perfectly. I gasped. 'How is that even-?'
            Lionel giggled. 'Possible?'
            'Yes. It can't be.' I twisted the top of the kaleidoscope. The colours changed to a pale yellow emanating a bright orange ring. The tiny diamonds remained in the exact same places. I moved the kaleidoscope further down to the underside of the stomach where the largest hole was. The diamonds fell and matched the shape. A few of them even started to twinkle.
            'This is mad,' I said.
            'This is hilarious,' Lionel added. 'Now let me look again.'
            I smacked his hand away. 'This must be the latest, maddest discovery in the history of medical science. Kaleidoscopes in the hospital.'
            'No coroner should be without one.' Lionel winked. 'And think how drunk they'll need to get beforehand!'
            I paused. We were drunk. This slowly sobered me up. I handed Lionel the kaleidoscope again, slapping my cheeks before pulling back the skin flaps again. I needed to drink something refreshing but tap water was the only thing down here. Harold stored his orange juice in one of the cupboards but I doubted that that would be quite as effective.
            'Hang on a minute,' I said, closing the flaps and moving over to the sink. I cupped my hands around the water and let the tap run into them. I splashed my face a few times before drinking.
            'Are you done?' Lionel said.
            'Yes,' I returned to the slab. 'Let me see again.'
            Lionel grumbled as I took the kaleidoscope away for the second time. The colours were all there but no diamonds. I turned the front a few times, ground it, but nothing even resembling them appeared. No unearthly shine, no bizarre sparkle. I stepped back.
            'We've got to get out of here, Lionel,' I said, realising the situation. 'We're pissed beyond logic.'
            'I don't know what you're talking about,' Lionel replied. 'I can see very well. Diamonds are quite logical if you think about it. They're beautiful.'
            I managed to coax him out of the morgue eventually. The next day he couldn't even remember being drunk in the hospital.
            I asked him about the diamonds in the stomach and he said, 'You mean the kind they smuggle in teddy bears?'
            'Yes,' I said. 'Just like in cop shows.'
            I was found out later that day. I had lost my license by the weekend. I still read the medical journals though, for the new discoveries.

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