Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: HEALTH (10/13/16)
- TITLE: Compared to Red
By Francy Judge
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Dr. Marshall nods. “Why don’t you tell me what’s bothering you now.”
I stretch my legs out on the recliner. “Everyone understands why Red has emotional problems after her traumatic experience. I get it. She got lost in the dense forest all by herself without a flashlight or GPS and lacked common sense when she talked with a furry stranger. She found out her grandmother perished at the paws of an impersonator in a most hideous way. She almost died too if she hadn’t been saved by a brave woodsman. That’s one bad day. A weak person is sure to need psychiatric help after that experience. I would hate to have to live in a psych ward until I returned to a healthy mind. Who knows how long that could take? I visit Red once a week and pray for her to get back to her old self. I feel for her. My problem isn’t with her, but with the media. Everyone wants to hear Red’s story. All the magazines had a sad picture of Red on the cover and ran articles about her current condition and tragic life: “Red’s Lost Reality,” “The Real Red,” “Healing Red,” “Where are you Red?”
“Mmm. I see.”
“What about me? Doesn’t anyone want to know how I am doing? Kids have recited my story for years, yet no one questions where I am after my traumatic experience. They claim I sat on a tuffet and while eating some nasty curds, an innocent spider sat down too and scared me away. Ridiculous. I’ve seen hundreds of spiders and never run from them. First of all, I wasn’t sitting at all, tuffet or no tuffet; I was sweeping out the barn on a dark, stormy day. As I stood on a wooden ladder to brush cobwebs from the ceiling, about ten black widow spiders scurried toward me. One crawled up my arm, and one bit my hand. I immediately felt a stabbing pain and fell off the ladder. I hobbled out of there as quick as I could with a sprained ankle. An aggressive widow followed me out, but turned back as the sunlight shone on his red stripe. I noticed two little dots of blood on my hand where it sunk its fangs.”
“Mmm. I see.”
“I heaved my breakfast in the rhododendrons until my stomach was empty and a fever warmed my body. My brother found me lying on the grass in the evening. I was having trouble breathing, so he called the doctor. I’m blessed to be alive after that day… and all I’m remembered for is running away from a spider. I have nightmares about spiders every night. I’ll never be the same after the spider attack.”
“Mmm. I see. You have arachnophobia and an obsession with nursery rhymes. Other than that, you seem healthy.”
“That’s it. Try to stay out of dark corners.”
That's when I noticed what big ears Dr. Marshall had… and eyes… and… I got off my tuffet and ran out the door.
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