A Question of Perspective

Characters: Dr. Hellecat Brannon

It’s all a question of perspective – get closer it becomes clear, squint it becomes clear, put your glasses on it becomes clear…

Pushing the bridge of her glasses back into place with a somewhat unsteady forefinger almost earned Helle a surprise poke in the eye, but it also brought her much studied subject swimming into sharp focus. Gingerly extending the forceps again she was dismayed to see them tremble wildly and she grimly tried to steady her hand with the other. “I must look like a football player trying to do cross-stitch embroidery,” she muttered as she also rested her elbows on the tabletop to further stop the sway.

Looking more like an intent praying mantis than a fullback with petit point tendencies, Helle once more bent her mind and surgeon’s skills to the task at hand.

“Slowly… slowly… careful,” she barely breathed as she attempted to further coax things along with her words, “just a little… DAMN!!” With a curse that was in no way muttered, the forceps were flung across the room and Helle pushed herself back from the table. “Just forget it! I give up!”

Suddenly the ludicrousness of the situation struck her and her self-mocking laugh rang out in the silence of the room. “Ahhh… you, Dr Brannon, are a patented idiot.”

With a deft flick of the wrist she sent the focus of her ministrations, a seemingly innocent olive jar, spinning across the desk’s polished surface to the edge where it seemed to pause before dropping to the floor and smashing somewhat satisfyingly into thousands of tiny shards. As she bent down to wipe the liquid from the jar off her ankle, she spied the lone olive that had been her quarry laying on the floor amongst the glass.

“Well you’re no bloody good to me now!!” she snorted, “I’ll just have to have my martin sans a-cou-tray-mont,” she added, deliberately butchering the pronunciation of the word.

She sipped at her drink and the laugh that came from nowhere quickly escalated until she was wiping tears from her eyes and holding her sides.

Tiredly she drew in a gasping breath which immediately turned into a cough as the hardwon martini went down the wrong way. As she struggled for air, her hands fluttering ineffectually at her throat, all traces of humour fled in an instant and some detached and sober part of her brain was left pondering the oddity that allowed hysterical laughter to feel and sound almost exactly the same as choking to death…


(C) Copyright 1999 Denise Cox. All rights reserved.