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Thread: Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

  1. #1

    Icon1 Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

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    A young talented child, some said a prodigy, wanting to be a doctor, like his uncle and master. His assiduous learning about the human body came to a depressing halt when he entered university - excessive partying have been a common trait of students for centuries. Nonetheless he carried on, despite his uncle's, and maybe with him his inspiration's, death and started working. Working in a job where lives are at stake - and he made mistakes. Because "even prodigies are humans". Or maybe because Admiral Van Tromp's protagonist had missed the point of it all.

    Admiral Van Tromp's winning entry below:

    TotW 266: Prodigy - WINNING SUBMISSION
    To err

    He was staring into the void, sitting on a bench just outside the hospital. His cigarette was lit but untouched, trembling in his hand as it turned into ash. It had rained the night before, and the damp wood wetted his white coat.

    How could this have happened?

    He found himself thinking of how it all started. He was very young the first time he told someone he wanted to be a doctor.

    While the others played in the schoolyard, he sat alone, devouring science books years ahead of time. Fascinated, he gazed at drawings of lungs, hearts, livers and stomachs.

    There was nothing like going to his uncle’s house. The old cardiologist let him wear his lab coat and use the stethoscope. He remembered pressing it against his old grandfathers’ chest, and listening to the old pump still at work.

    His uncle explained to him how the body works and taught him to identify the bones and muscles. He told him stories of his patients and lend him books by the dozens. For a long time, he was his master.

    He was truly talented. A prodigy, some said. As he tore through school with flying colours, all the teachers congratulated his parents, telling them how proud they should be and that he ought to go to med school. There was no doubt about that.

    In college he could have lost everything. The parties, the binge drinking, the anonymous sex… It almost destroyed him. It was embarrassing. Even anticlimactic. A prodigy meeting his end in some frat house, passing out over a beer pong table.

    He clawed his way out. The struggle and the fierce competition made him arrogant. He knew it.

    His uncle died and everything around him lost some of its colour. He remembered asking himself if medicine was what he truly wanted, or if his love for it was, in fact, for the cheerful old man.

    The doubts were dismissed. He carried on.

    Med school was over before he knew it and, two weeks before, he had started working. Straightforward cases, simple patients, doe-eyed nurses. Life was good, all of the sudden. He was doing what he’d always wanted, after all.

    He didn’t expect this. But he knew he should have.

    The worst part was that he was there, in the end. He viciously pounded the chest with the defibrillator, begging the shocks for a miracle. All he got was that never-ending beep. And time of death.

    He didn’t need an autopsy to know what went wrong. The mistake wasn’t serious, but he should have known better.

    The prodigy had died with his uncle. Maybe because the master failed to give a final lesson.

    Curiosity and talent are all well and good but between the lonesome recesses, the old stethoscope, the jello shots and the thick books, he had missed the point of it all.

    Lives were at stake. And even prodigies are human.

    TotW 266: Submission thread | Voting thread

    If you fancy taking part in the Tale of the Week you can enter a story for our Tale of the Week 267: Reformation
    Good luck and keep writing.
    Last edited by Caillagh de Bodemloze; November 19, 2017 at 11:43 AM. Reason: correction of typo

  2. #2
    Alwyn's Avatar Frothy Goodness
    Content Director Patrician Citizen

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    United Kingdom

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

    Well done Admiral Van Tromp and thanks to everyone who entered for your enjoyable stories!

    Thanks to theSilentKiller for running the competition (and to everyone who voted).

    Tale of the Week 267 looks good!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

    My thanks to everyone who voted and to my fellow competitors!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

    Congratz.Admiral Tromp.
    Life is beautiful

  5. #5
    NorseThing's Avatar Primicerius
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    western usa

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

    Congradulations Admiral Van Tromp! A cracking great tale!

  6. #6

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

    Congratulations! I sat this one out because I couldn't come up with any ideas for the life of me. A well-deserved win!

  7. #7
    Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar From the Writers Study!

    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Midlands, UK
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Tale of the Week 266: Prodigy - WINNER'S CIRCLE!

    Congrats on the win.


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