Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Seeing Infinity--Fiction

"What brings you to see me this morning, Mrs. Bettelheim?" Dr. Clark held his pen over his clipboard and looked over his glasses at his new patient.

"Well, Dr. Clark, this is going to sound crazy..." Mrs. Bettleheim paused, her hands clenched together. She took a deep breath.  "I woke up this morning and my eyes were full of..."

"Floaters?" Dr. Clark asked helpfully as he scribbled on his clipboard. "Little black specks? Flashes of light?"

"...Uh, I guess." Mrs. Bettelheim hedged.  "I'm not sure."

"We'll take a look and see what's up?"  Dr. Clark smiled at her reassuringly as the nurse told Mrs. Bettelheim to sit in the chair and placed the eye drops.  While the patient's eyes dilated, Dr. Clark moved the slit lamp into place and asked her to place her chin and forehead on the designated pads. Based on the reported symptoms, he was sure that he would see at least one retinal tear, so common in the elderly.

"Look right at my finger here," he held his right index finger next to his head and looked into Mrs. Bettelheim's right eye.

Dr. Clark saw stars. He saw galaxies. Mrs. Bettelheim's eye was somehow full of them, stretching further back into her brain than he could see. 

He blinked, then turned away, and stared at the wall a moment. Perhaps his own eyes were failing.  Assured this was not the case, Dr. Clark moved the lamp to examine the left eye.

Each bright star in the infinite sky of Mrs. Bettelheim's left eye seemed to call to him, and Dr. Clark realized that each one was a soul. The souls of family and friends long past, those he had promised to remember each year during holy days, but had forgotten in the daily struggle of becoming a doctor and raising a family.  Tears poured from Dr. Clark's eyes, but he had no awareness of them.

Instead, he remembered.

The prompt is the third definition of the word REMEMBER.  This came to me as I contemplated the increased number of "floaters" in my own eyes.  I don't know if it works, and concrit is appreciated.


  1. Nice. Very well-penned. :-)

  2. Love how you take this ordinary situation and make it extraordinary. Thanks for linking up!

    1. It's amazing what I think of while doing ordinary things. Thank you for inspiring me, Trifecta!

  3. This is certainly the most interesting trip to an optometrist I've ever seen! Makes you wonder what she's seeing.

    1. All I see are black spots! Let's hope Mrs. Bettelheim sees something less annoying. Thank you for reading!

  4. Totally works - I wonder if the "floaters" mean different things to different people? Love the description of the universe in her eyes. Lovely and utterly unexpected.

  5. This is a perfectly gorgeous story, Tina! So mundane in the beginning and then suddenly cosmic and soulful and infinite and personal.
    Love Mrs. Bettelheim as the "carrier" of all this universe, too. I imagine him giving her drops and sending her home when he's done.

    I don't know if this is concrit or opinion. Rather than calling the stars "souls" in the last paragraph, I like directly relating the stars to the people he needs to remember. But that might just be old atheist me : )

  6. I'm so used to your clever, dark stuff with a twist that I was waiting for a shoe to drop. This was lovely (your writing always is no matter the genre). I, too, like how this perfunctory examination turned into universes, and infinities and remembering!

  7. Terrific, Tina. I love it. It's poetic and beautiful.

  8. This was a cool story! I'm kind of like Gina - I was waiting for something truly shocking to happen :)


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