Opening to “Hypochondraway”
There is a bloody rot in this place. It breathes beneath the floors. It lurks in the shadowy vents stalking the weak- hunting for meat until all the sick are swallowed whole. The thick smell of it made my vision go grey.
I’d been here as a child when it was a normal crumpled hospital for normal crumpled cirhossis patients and gangrenous feet. Thoughts of cancer crept into my ear, reminding me that there are poisons in this world that I can taste as clearly as the salt that rides on an ocean breeze. I wasn’t completely cured yet. Dark, unpleasant thoughts often swelled up in my head leaving no room for cupcake recipes or oven cleaning tips. Today’s Hypochondraway treatment would fix all that though. From now on, ALL my daydreams would be happy and light like lemon meringue.
Excerpt from unfinished science fiction story titled “Hypochondraway”
The concept of this fragment is inspired by a series of psychosomatic fainting spells I had. The imagery, which I will expand on in later posts, is taken from a dream I often have where I am sitting in the waiting room of a hospital in the early 1970s. Everything is yellow, linoleum, and humming with the sound of indifferent machinery.
by Angie Hoover-Hillhouse