(July 2nd to 8th)

Format: Triple

…’E said I ought to ha’ come to him at first go-off, ‘stead o’ drawin’ all manner o’ dyed stockin’s over it for months. ‘E said I’d stood up too much to me work, for it was settin’ very close atop of a big swelled vein, like, behither the small o’ me ankle. “Slow come, slow go,” ‘e says. “Lay your leg up high an’ rest it,” he says, “an’ ’twill ease off. Don’t let it close up too soon…”


This is from ‘The Wish House’ in ‘Debits and Credits’.

Mrs Ashcroft is talking to her old friend, Mrs Fettley, about how she came to have a malignant ulcer on her leg. She had promised to the ‘Wish House’, an empty dwelling where lived a mysterious spirit, to take on everything bad that was in store for her lost lover.

‘…There was a machine-gunner (I remember his eyes) and he had twenty-three perforations of the intestines. I was pretty well all in by then, and my hands hadn’t belonged to me for two days. I must have left the bloke his stomach, but I fancy I made a clean sweep of everything below the duodenum. And now he’s a head gardener near Plaxtol…’


This is from ‘The Tender Achilles’ in ‘Limits and Renewals’.

A group of doctors, after an annual dinner of their hospital, are reminiscing about the strains and stresses on the surgeons who were dealing with battle casualties during the Great War.

…Drugs could so well veil that horror that it shuffled along no worse than as a freezing dream in a procession of disorderly dreams; but over the return of the event drugs had no control. Once that sigh had passed his lips, the thing was inevitable, and through the days granted before its rebirth, he walked in torment…


This is from ‘In the Same Boat’ in ‘A Diversity of Creatures’.

A young man is having terrible recurring dreams, so terrible that he has become a drug addict to fend them off. Later he meets a fellow sufferer. Together they discover the source of their dreams, buried deep in their childhood and before, and manage to overcome them.