Friday 27 April 2012

April A-Z blogging challenge X is for X-ray

April A-Z blogging challenge 2012
X is the next letter for stories in this sequence of 26 short stories of 250 words or fewer. All the stories are about the life and times of a fictional character called Alice.

Alice had never broken more than a fingernail. The day she slipped in the kitchen she lay on the floor, gazing at the ceiling and wondering if it would be advisable to try and get up. Her elbow hurt but she thought everything else was in working order.

Norman called out, ‘Is tea ready?’ and Alice grimaced as she replied, ‘Not quite. I’m a bit incapacitated at the moment.’

Norman came to investigate. As soon as he saw her he said, ‘I’ll call an ambulance.’ Alice told him not to be silly but despite her protests he insisted she should at least have her arm x-rayed. He drove her to the hospital where she joined a waiting room full of patients in varying states of medical distress.

It was an opportunity to see Joe Public at his most vulnerable. A young mother nursed a small baby and comforted her little girl who was whimpering in pain. An older boy with a face as pale as his sports kit held his arm protectively against his body and tried to joke with his pals. A man in workman’s dusty overalls sat stoically staring ahead out of the eye that wasn’t covered with a bandage. Ambulance men carried in a still form on a stretcher.  Alice shivered, feeling she was there under false pretences.

After several hours her arm was x-rayed; as she expected, it wasn’t fractured. She returned home, exhausted. She realised afresh how fortunate she was. A bruised arm was nothing.


  1. I feel Alice's pain. Working in the yard last weekend, a big piece of machinery fell on my ankle and my mother insisted on taking me to the hospital. I refused because I knew it was just badly (badly) bruised.

    I know there are only a few more days until this challenge is over, but please don't let Alice die. I will be crushed.

  2. I am glad as well that Alice didn't break an arm or anything else when she fell.

  3. Makes the point simply and well.

  4. Yes....we should all be happy to be relatively healthy. My husband fell off a ladder at work last month and broke both his wrists.

  5. Phew..dodged a bullet that time.

  6. Whew moment... While walking on the sidewalk a few weeks ago, I was struck by a car. Just a bruised knee, whew... I am relating to Alice.

  7. When I was 12, I broke my left arm. I could hear it happen. I picked it up with my right hand and took myself home to Mom, who was sure it couldn't be broken because I wasn't making a big fuss. So she ran cold water over it, which made it swell up like a balloon. "Oh," she said, and took me to the hospital, where X-rays revealed a fracture. Our doctor was furious with her. "I can't put a cast on an arm that's swollen like that!" So he put a sling on it, and told Mom to bring me in again the next morning.
    Assume the worst because, if you're wrong, the news is always good.
    PS, I'm catching up with your story, because I seemed to miss V and W somehow.

  8. Your description is so vivid, it sounds as if you've been in Alice's shoes at least once.

  9. Glad Alice didn't break anything!

  10. I laughed at this "Alice grimaced as she replied, ‘Not quite. I’m a bit incapacitated at the moment.’"


  11. Hi Janice .. she was lucky - but yes I too laughed at her reply to her husband! Great X for X-ray .. cheers Hilary


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