Stream of consciousness Sunday, part two: The accumulator…

06 Sep

Stretching a definition to the extreme this week, just because I have a couple of days off work, SoCS2 is again brought to you by Linda G Hill and the prompt;
” “accumulate.” Use it any way you’d like. “

Better late than never…

The Accumulator.

The old man lay in bed, his hollow eyes gazing at something only he could see, the crisp white sheet on his chest rising and falling with a regularity that was surprising, given his gaunt appearance. The only sign that there might be anything out of the ordinary going on in the silent, brightly lit hospital room was the pair of handcuffs, with which his right wrist was attached to the heavy metal bed frame.

Outside, however, there was a flurry of activity; medical staff hurried back and forth, two policemen were posted directly outside the door, plus two more at each of the double doors in either direction, effectively sealing off this small section of corridor from unauthorised entry, and a group of anonymous-looking officials in suits spoke quietly in a tight huddle by the nurses station.

And, if this was one of those crime scene investigation shows, the camera would now probably zoom in on…

…An orderly, his face registering distaste as he sips coffee from a plastic cup, looking down as the pager on his belt beeps, closing the newspaper he is reading and wearily heading off down the corridor, showing his pass as he approaches the police guarding the doors.

Cut to…

…The headline on the discarded paper; MYSTERY DEATH AT HOSPITAL: Police Baffled As Doctor Is Found Brutally Murdered; it goes on to explain in lurid detail that the horribly disfigured body of Dr Felix Braithwaite, the eminent researcher, physicist and neurosurgeon, had been discovered in a patient’s private room yesterday afternoon, with no clues as to the identity of his clearly deranged assailant.

Cut to…

…Two nurses, talking in shocked whispers; “…it doesn’t make sense, how could that happen in such a small room?…”

Cut to…

…A panning camera shot, which for a few seconds lingers on the police-taped doorway, before drifting magically through into the room beyond, graphically depicting the aftermath of a frenzied attack; splatters of blood on the walls, overturned tables and chairs, smashed medical equipment and forensic evidence markers dotted around the gore-streaked linoleum floor.

Then there would most likely be a dramatic fade into a flashback, because now it’s time for a little backstory…

Scene: A private medical facility, fifteen years ago.

Dr Braithwaite is in surgical scrubs, preparing to operate on a young man who appears to be about twenty years old. The doctor is alone in the operating theatre and the young man is already unconscious. He picks up a circular saw and presses the trigger; a high-pitched whine fills the room and, as Dr Braithwaite leans forward, lowering the saw to the young man’s forehead, the picture faces to black.

Cut to…

…A bright and airy room, with flowers in vases and paintings on the walls. The young man is sitting up in bed, listening as the doctor speaks earnestly; he is explaining to the young man that he has been very badly injured in an accident and he, Dr Felix Braithwaite, has had to perform emergency surgery to save his life.

Cut to…

…Two weeks later and the young man is recovering well and taking walks around the doctor’s beautiful gardens, playing with a German Shepherd puppy and apparently happy to take advantage of the doctor’s hospitality, until…

Cut to…

…The young man overhears the doctor talking on the phone, he hears him telling someone that “..the experiment is progressing well, he will begin to accumulate when I start the next phase tomorrow…” and realises that he might be in danger.

The flashback would end there, fading back to the present day and the hospital; back to the old man, still staring at nothing in his silent room. The camera would slowly zoom in on that lined yet peaceful face, tighter and tighter until it focused on one unblinking grey-green eye. Which is how we know the next scene is from the old man’s memory.

Scene: A city street, noisy traffic passing by, fifteen years ago.

The young man and Dr Braithwaite are pushing their way through the crowds, making for a busy road junction. We see events unfolding from the young man’s perspective and now realise that the young man in the flashback and the old man in the hospital are one and the same. We are being warned by the rising urgency of the incidental music that something bad is about to happen.

The two men stop at the kerb, waiting for a break in the stream of speeding vehicles and, rather innocuously, Dr Braithwaite pulls on a pair of black leather gloves.

Suddenly, from behind the young man, a figure stumbles out of the crowd and into the traffic, falling under the wheels of a truck before anyone can react, despite the driver’s desperate attempt to brake, killed violently in front of the young man’s eyes.

The young man, horrified, rushes to help. He feels hopelessly for a pulse at the throat of the woman, he now sees it was an elderly woman who fell, but finds nothing. A sensation he doesn’t recognise briefly flickers across the surface of his skin; a shiver, nothing more, but it troubles him nonetheless, then it’s gone and the doctor’s leather-clad hand is on his shoulder, drawing him back from the gathering throng of people; “There’s nothing we can do, come away, don’t get involved…”

He allows himself to be led away, uneasy for reasons he can’t articulate and confused by the mysterious shivering sensation, an expensively gloved hand guiding him back to his seat in the good doctor’s car, whisking him back through the frenetic streets to the quiet of their country retreat.


To be continued (using next week’s prompt {which can now be found HERE})…


Pingback to Linda G Hill.


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16 responses to “Stream of consciousness Sunday, part two: The accumulator…

  1. Nandini Bharadwaj

    September 6, 2016 at 21:28

    Loved this way of storytelling! A compelling plot too. You sure are skilled in getting the reader hooked! Definitely looking forward part 2. Still can’t believe this is a stream of consciousness tale! I’ve become a huge fan of your little stories. 😀

    • dalecooper57

      September 6, 2016 at 21:35

      Thank you, I’m flattered.
      Well, I suppose “stream of consciousness” is stretching it a little, since I was cooking dinner, eating dinner, washing up and hanging laundry at the same time as I was writing it, but it was all made up as I went along and all written this afternoon, finishing just before I posted it, so it’s as near as makes no odds.

  2. John W. Howell

    September 6, 2016 at 23:55

    I forgive you for being tardy. Bring on part II

    • dalecooper57

      September 7, 2016 at 06:15

      I only have the vaguest idea of where this one is going, so I’m looking forward to it, too.

      • John W. Howell

        September 7, 2016 at 14:33

        Some of the best stories come out this way.

      • dalecooper57

        September 7, 2016 at 15:20

        Fingers crossed, then…

      • John W. Howell

        September 7, 2016 at 20:32


  3. kgomotso maidi

    September 7, 2016 at 17:56

    This is fantastic, with such a fascinating plot. I am definitely hooked and looking forward to the next installment.

    • dalecooper57

      September 7, 2016 at 18:09

      Uh-oh, that means I’ll have to think of a good way to end(?) it.

      No pressure, then…

    • dalecooper57

      September 7, 2016 at 18:13

      It didn’t come out the way I started, the tv camera thing just occurred to me while I was writing

      • kgomotso maidi

        September 7, 2016 at 18:27

        I don’t imagine it would. Such streams of consciousness can lead to all kinds of interesting places.

  4. thelessonwelearn

    February 3, 2017 at 11:26

    Absolutely stunning from the first word to the last! Great job!

    • dalecooper57

      February 3, 2017 at 12:46

      Oh, that’s not the last word, not by a long way (unless you read all twenty one episodes).


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