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Frozen Ball

“Doctor, how do you expect me to take you seriously? It can’t be who you say it is.” Nurse Anna Kuznetsov declared. “It’s the year 1955, was he not supposed to have died nearly ten years ago to-the-day and in such a fashion as to leave no trace of his body?”

Doctor Yahontov acquired a stance of thoughtfulness, poised next to the hospital bed. His professionalism and calm demeanour extinguished the nurse’s outburst like a candle dropped into a deep, bluey-green, Arctic Ocean.

“Anna,” he said, slipping his hand into his tweed slacks’ pocket, “look at the face. Tell me you don’t recognise him.”

“But Doctor Yahontov, after all, it’s possible this may be someone else with an uncanny yet fleeting resemblance.”

“Lift the bedclothes up a little here.” With his hand still buried in his trouser pocket, the doctor pushed a finger against the cotton inner lining, forming a shape that protruded in the direction of where he wanted the nurse to lift the sheet. The nurse followed his instructions.

“Now, slide your hand through, underneath the covers until your fingers are in contact with the upper inguinal region.”
“The upper inguinal region?” The nurse flustered for a moment, causing her cheeks to blush.
“The groin, Nurse Kuznetsov.”
As if bitten by a venomous snake, the nurse sharply withdrew her hand.
“The skin!” she cried, “Doctor, his skin is so very icy cold!”

“This is because the body has recently been removed from a cryogenically preserved state and is thawing slowly, at room temperature. ” The doctor allowed himself a small smile to break loose across his face. “Still, you really don’t believe your very own eyes, do you?” In response, the nurse shook her head in an assured fashion. “Then, in that case I suggest you place your hand back under the sheet and relocate the patient’s upper inguinal region.”

This time, the nurse resigned herself to the extreme coldness of the partially frozen skin and with her hand in the correct location, looked again, across to the doctor expectantly.
“Right, now cup your hand around the patient’s scrotum and tell me how many testes you can count.”
“This is most unusual.” The nurse hesitated, shaking her head, causing the doctor to wonder if she might pull her hand away for a second time.
“Nurse, count the patient’s testes, it won’t take long to complete.”

As her fingers searched, her gaze met and stayed with the doctor. The nurse blinked several times, indicating the moment she felt the saggy ball-sack. Biting the left half of her lower lip, she utilised each digit on her right hand to feel around blindly.
“O-n-e …” she whispered slowly. “Hmm, that’s very odd. Hang-on, let me try again.”
Doctor Yahontov released another expression of kindly enjoyment, suggesting – what up to now – had been his secret admiration for the ward subordinate.

“There is no need, Anna. You won’t find any more.”
“He only has one bollock?”
“Yes Anna, he lost the other one.”
“The same as – “
Precisely.” The doctor said in a triumphant tone.
“You mean to say …” Nurse Kuznetsov’s voice faltered as the truth dawned, “the man, laid before us, the man who’s teste I hold in my right hand, this is Adolf Hitler?”

©Brinkinfield “The Ekphrasis Series”

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Sarah Slid Down in Her Seat . . .

Allan abided by a routine
his feet experienced amazing hygiene
literally, all sparkling and clean
and powdered to encourage a sheen

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They Sail the World Alone

What did you just say?” Professor Quentin stiffly looked up from his morning newspaper, disbelief ringing throughout almost each syllable of his query. Easily distracted since birth, nagging jagged thoughts began shifting neurological gear cogs through his mind, engaging with more questions. Such as, when would his wife notice his empty side-plate? Would he be likely to receive additional slices of freshly toasted bread? What’d happened to the whereabouts of the small, glass jar of delicious orange and lime marmalade he’d received recently, as a gift? Would she accuse him of having finished it off yesterday all by himself, just as she had done every morning of this week so far?

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An Exercise – Ideas for a Story, 500 word limit.

The following is a study piece for an online Future Learning course, “Start Writing Fiction”. I, um didn’t bother with doing the first exercise that was set. So, um, this time, I’d thought perhaps I’d better had.

I share the exercise with you:

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Brilliant Becky! <500 word flash fiction

Superhero Brilliant Becky stood in the kitchen of her small flat, preparing a herbed tomato sauce to serve with a soya-based, breadcrumb coated burger. Earlier, she had ignored the pile of dirty dishes, bowls, mugs and cutlery climbing higher and expanding outwards across all available surfaces. She rested her hand on the surface of the fake marble worktop, allowing the chopping knife to roll out from her grip as she sighed deeply.
Gazing through the kitchen window looking out onto communal back garden mostly laid to lawn, she considered her future. Since the pandemic lockdown, her work had entirely dried up. How could it not? Not officially recognised as a “key-worker” and being a law-abiding citizen, how could she justify defying the imposed restrictions and leave the flat – even if it was to bring about the downfall of evil syndicates and defeat crime?

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Cat and Bat Synergy

A cat
Would never wear a hat,
As a bat
Chooses not to initiate chat.

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The Marshland Influencer

1.
Late evening, on the edge of a remote field located in Middle-England, three score and ten years forward of this day, two romantics made preparation for a starkly different kind of date, to the usual.
Charlotte lifted out a fat gun from a portable case they’d brought along with them and handed it to her lover.
“Actually, it’s not as heavy as it looks!” Chris said.
“That’s right, it’s mostly hollow in construction.” Charlotte replied, knowledgeably. “Here, let me help with the cartridge, then you can do the honours.”
The crescent moon and clustering Milky Way stars spread across the cloudless night sky, providing adequate light to assist with prompt loading of the firearm.
There,” she said, cocking the mechanism, “you’re good-to-go.”
“Are you sure it’s safe?” Chris tested the weight with a loose grip, peering at the gun inquisitively. As he rolled it back and forth through a one-hundred-and-eighty degree arc, Charlotte studied Chris, unsure if his question had been a serious one or not.
“Yes darling,” she said, taking a firm hold of his arm, “especially if you point like so, up in this direction.” From her pockets, she produced four foam earplugs and gently inserted them, first in Chris’s and then her own ears.
“It doesn’t make too loud a bang,” she said, her voice raised by five decibels, “it’s not like a starter’s pistol. But, safety-first, just in case. We don’t want to go down in history as the first couple to lose our hearing, in such a manner.”
“In case of a malfunction, you mean?” Chris asked.
“Exactly so.”

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Buses For Women, By Women.

We’re women and we’re bus drivin’,
around your neighbourhood.
We only take aboard women (and girls),
is that clearly understood?

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Stroke, Fondle and Poke.

Alfrid had sight of him: location Gallery 2. Using the zoom function on the security camera monitor, he watched awhile, as the man lightly stroked a high value piece with his fingertips.
Excuse me sir!” Alfrid yodelled, skidding to a stop on the polished gallery floor. “You can’t touch this.”
Surrounded by non-figurative paintings on the walls were five sculptures, located near the centre of the room. Each, human-sized in scale, formed from richly veined marble and oil-finished ash timber, broadly cylindrical and smooth. Bored into the sides, round-shaped holes added interest, some through the marble, other holes appearing in the wood. Naturally, the sculptures called out to be touched and the man doing the touching, stood dressed in full military fatigues.
“I sanitized my hands thoroughly.” He said, pulling away sharply from the sculpture he’d been caught fondling. “At the entrance, when I came in.” He held his hands up in front of his chest, palms showing, his long fingers stretching outwards.
“Well.” Alfrid hesitated. Abstract words collided with each other inside his mind, while he tried to formulate a coherent sentence.
“I thought the problem with touching, had to do with dirt and grease from people’s hands, transferring onto the sculpture.” The army man looked at the gallery custodian, appealing for a judgement. “Coupled with the passage of time, it’s these minute abrasives and oils which cause the damage.”
“Look, it’s just, if I say ‘yes’ to you,” Alfrid’s voice vibrated with a conciliatory tone, “you know what I mean?”
“Others will think it’s alright to touch the exhibits too?”
“That’s right, sir.”
Although,” the military man countered, “there’s no one else in here, just you and I. No one else will see me touching.” Both men threw glances around the room, unnecessarily.
Alfrid placed his hands on his hips; he felt close to conceding the point. Staring out through the shopfront earlier, had demonstrated the street outside as empty. No cars, no people, no stray dogs, no vapour trails intersecting across the blue sky. Following the second-wave onslaught of the virus pandemic, this had become the new normal.
The telephone at the reception in Gallery 1 rang. “One moment, please.” Alfrid said, raising a relaxed index finger up in the air, as he backed out of the space.

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Knee’d

Keisha, a girl, with an unusual tic.
She’d knee any man met, ’til they were sick.