Wednesday, 24 September 2014

WEP September Challenge - Changing Faces - 24th-26th September 2014

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Welcome to WEP's Challenge for 24-26 September, Changing Faces.



I've just finished reading Roz Morris' science fiction/literary novel, Lifeform Three (2013), which I highly recommend. So I am going to give Sci-Fi another try here.


Changing Faces

Veronica Carlgren awoke one morning to find that she had forgotten what she had done the night before. Thinking back, trying to remember what happened, she realised that she had trouble even remembering her own name. 

What's happening here? What do I know? Where am I? Who am I?

She looked around the room to see if it was a familiar place, but it looked barren av personal mementos or photographs that would trigger her memory. Hospital beds. There were two. The one that she had slept in and another that was made up and hadn't been slept in by any ... patient.

Why am I in hospital? What kind of a hospital is this? 

She looked out the window. Yes, there was at least a window.

The window overlooked a garden or green area nearest the building and farther away she could see a large parking lot. It was a clear view. She must have been on the second or third floor. It was green outside, but whether it was spring, summer or early fall, she could not pinpoint yet. Maybe she could take a walk outside and see.

Suddenly, the wide door to the corridor opened and a women dressed in some kind of professional uniform wheeled in a cart with a breakfast tray and medicines.

'Good morning, Veronica!' the uniformed boomed, 'Glad to see you up and around. You must be feeling better! How about some breakfast?'

'Thank you. That would be nice. Have you been here a long time? I mean, have you been here as long as I have been here?'

'No Love, I've been on holiday for two weeks. This is my first day back. I've read your charts and talked to the others. But I am not allowed to say anything. I'm just an aid. You'll have to talk to the doctor.

'When can I do that?'

'When they have rounds. They usually do that early on this ward,' she said looking at the watch pinned on her uniform's  breast pocket, 'Sorry Dear, they've already been here. You must have been asleep when they came. Better luck tomorrow morning.'

'You called me "Veronica". How do you know my name?'

'Your name is on the charts, Sweetie. It says "Veronica Carlgren" everywhere. My name's Alma, by the way. I'll be back later. Don't forget to take your medicine.'

Alma left the breakfast tray on Veronica's tray-table and wheeled the cart out of the room. It was cream-of-wheat in a plastic bowl, cold toast with a pad of margarine on a plastic plate, and a small sealed plastic cup of orange juice. Nothing glass or metal. Plastic spoon. Paper napkin.

Veronica sat on the bed pulling the tray-table closer. 

I may as well eat something, she though taking the plastic spoon in hand and tasting the cream-of-wheat.

It was then that Veronica noticed her own hands. She looked down at both of her hands. They were not the hands of a young woman, her age, that is, the age that she presumed that she was, around thirty. These hands were wrinkled and had visible veins. The skin on her arms was baggy, and had dark spots, the kind that really old people get. Some of her knuckles were a bit swollen from arthritis.


Have I been in a coma? For how long? 

She had no pain. She could move about freely. If she had been in a coma for a very long time she would not be able to do this. She would have trouble even getting out of bed, because of atrophy of the muscles. That much she knew, without knowing how she knew it. Had she been a nurse? She must find a mirror and look at herself. Maybe she could remember.

Veronica left the bed and looked around the room. There must be a bathroom or at least a toilet somewhere. There. She spied a door near the entrance. She opened the door, walked into the smaller windowless room and looked above the sink where there was indeed a mirror. But the face that looked back at her was a white-haired woman with sunken eyes and wrinkled cheeks.

Veronica did not know her.

 

[This text is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of my imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.]

Word count according to WordCalc: 710











 


P.S.

This is a hastily written text - only a sketch - and the sci-fi ambitions evaporated due to lack of time. This past week has been filled of near-disasters. My ten-year old daughter, Elisabet, took a shower without paying attention to the fact that the floor drain could not absorb the water fast enough. She let the water spew out on the floor, to rinse her hair, again and again. The floor in the bathroom was quickly flooded and spilled out into the hall and ruined the floor there. It happened so fast, I couldn't stop it. I had to mop up as quickly as I could and literally bail out the two to three inches of water that covered the bathroom floor. 

My novel must have a flood scene in it! I have to use this.


Best wishes,
Anna










First Commenter:


Sally Stackhouse

of

Sally's Scribbles

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Monday, 22 September 2014

Anna looks at Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels for Underrated Treasures, 22nd September 2014

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Anna Nordeman









For Underrated Treasures Blog-fest I would like to submit Preston Sturges' 1941 film, Sullivan's Travels , with Joel McCrea and Veronica Lake,  as an example of a treasure, perhaps not so underrated, but well worth seeing. See YouTube's Playlist here.

 The following text description is from YouTubeMovieClips


Film Description: In Preston Sturges' classic comedy of Depression-era America, filmmaker John L. Sullivan (Joel McCrea), fed up with directing profitable comedies like "Ants in Your Plants of 1939," is consumed with the desire to make a serious social statement in his upcoming film, "Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?" Unable to function in the rarefied atmosphere of Hollywood, Sullivan decides to hit the road, disguised as a tramp, and touch base with the "real" people of America. But Sullivan's studio transforms his odyssey into a publicity stunt, providing the would-be nomad with a luxury van, complete with butler (Robert Greig) and valet (Eric Blore). Advised by his servants that the poor resent having the rich intrude upon them, Sullivan escapes his retinue and continues his travels incognito.


Sullivan's Travels (4/9) Movie CLIP - Meeting the Girl (1941) HD


En route, he meets a down-and-out failed actress (Veronica Lake). Experiencing firsthand the scroungy existence of real-life hoboes, Sullivan returns to Hollywood full of bleeding-heart fervor. After first arranging for the girl's screen test, he heads for the railwayyards, intending to improve the lot of the local rail-riders and bindlestiffs by handing out ten thousand dollars in five-dollar bills. Instead, Sullivan is coldcocked by a tramp, who steals Sullivan's clothes and identification. When the tramp is run over by a speeding train, the world at large is convinced that the great John L. Sullivan is dead. Meanwhile, the dazed Sullivan, dressed like a bum with no identification on his person, is arrested and put to work on a brutal Southern chain gang. With its almost Shakespearean combination of uproarious comedy and grim tragedy, Sullivan's Travels is Sturges' masterpiece and one of the finest movies about movies ever made.

Best wishes,
Anna

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