"The Psychiatrist" a Weekend Freewrite. 6 fifty word stories, one tale. Humpbuckle Tales (5-10)
The patient first accused his mother of witchcraft when he was sixteen.
At first she thought he was joking.
She ignored the growing signs of psychosis: she wasn't trained to recognize them.
Until one night she woke to find he had soaked her bed in petrol.
"Time to burn, witch!"
She hated herself for being a stereotype : the nurse sleeping with the doctor.
He was stuck in a loveless marriage (another cliche) but he wouldn't leave his wife .
It wouldn't play well with the press.
She should end it.
She should do the right thing.
But she knew she couldn't.
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He'd known the patient's mother since he was five years old.
"Look at you!"
He squirms, uncomfortable in her embrace.
"You haven't changed!"
"Neither have you," he lies.
She fingers the scars on her face, subconsciously.
"It comforts me. Knowing you are his doctor."
If she only knew.
"I'm a rain maker!" the patient screams.
"I could have used your talents, earlier," the psychiatrist says.
He smiles, directing the nurse to give the man something to calm him down.
The nurse's smile is warmer than it should be.
His frown drives her away.
He will punish her later.
His wife calls.
She complains about her sister again.
She wants him to shut her sister's
new business down.
"Make it happen."
"My pleasure, dear"
He'd always fancied Chloe, but she rejected him.
Revenge led him into the arms of her sister.
Vengence binds them together.
It's stronger than love.
The patient enters. He appears calm.
"You look well, dear," his mother says.
His eyes fixed on the psychiatrist, he doesn't acknowledge her.
"You!" he shouts. "You killed them!"
A nurse manœuvres him out of the room.
"Still delusional, I'm afraid."
The psychiatrist's lie overrules the patient's truth.
I hoped to write 6 fifty word stories that could be read independently and tell a tale all by themselves.
Read as a whole, they should add to the overall story that will build gradually in my Humpbuckle Tales series.
I'm not sure if I succeeded in that goal, but it is a work in progress.
My current aim is to write 12 fifty word stories a week (one a day Sunday to Friday and 6 for the weekend freewrite on a Saturday).
If I keep it up (big IF!) I could have a novel-length story, comprised of 50 word independent tales in about 2 years (no pressure, @mariannewest - you have to keep doing this for at least another 2 years)!
Anyway, it's a thought. It might not last (I have a habit of coming up with good ideas - or good ideas to me - and then giving up on them... we will see.
I am keeping all my Humpbuckle Tales in one place by reblogging them on my @humpbuckletales account. This account will only have these 50 word stories on the blog (unless I accidentally reblog something to the wrong account - which is easily done!).
You will also find them on my Humpbuckle Tales website (but these will be copies of the posts I have already published on Hive, so you can stick to Hive without fear of missing out on anything!).
It is really lovely to see people responding to my short (ZapFic50) stories by writing Zapfic stories of their own. I am not currently running a contest, but if you tag me in your ZapFic I will read it, upvote it and reblog it.
I think there is real value in crafting a really good short story. Not only does the format work in the scroll-past-limited-attention world we live it, but it also helps you cut out unnecessary crap in your writing, and come up with original ways of relating a story (I am not saying I have succeeded in this yet, but I am working on it!)
Thank you for reading and being a part of my life, dear reader.