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The Fevered Hive [Secure eReader]
eBook by Dennis Lewis

eBook Category: Mainstream
eBook Description: A collection of short stories reflecting the harshness and beauty, pain and joy of the lives of a variety of colourful characters who are both indigineous inhabitants and immigrants to the city of Cardiff.

eBook Publisher: Accent Press/Accent
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2006




Lewis was in the Outpatient Department at the University Hospital, having another cosy chat with Dr Rosen. She gave him a prickly feeling all down his spine, did Dr Rosen, and it was nothing to do with him being ill. This particular tingle was to do with being a man. Dr Rosen was a train-stopping beauty. It seemed Lewis had only just made it to middle-age. He had entered his forties with a casualty ward of medical problems, the biggest worry being his liver. (How do the French say, a crise de foie?) According to the medics, it was an hepatic ‘Sword of Damocles’. (Lewis called it a ‘Sword of DoasIplease’.) “Let’s just convert that into units, Mr Lewis,” Doctor Rosen was saying. She scribbled unhappily on her pad, her lips pursed in the effort of calculation. He knew it wouldn’t be good news. It seemed strange to be calling her ‘Doctor’ when she looked as though she’d only just qualified from being a teenager into womanhood. The lovely Dr Rosen looked eighteen but had to be in her late twenties. “That’s still too much, Mr Lewis. Way too much. You’re still doing damage to yourself.” Apparently (according to the ultra-sound scanner whose insides started life trying to detect lurking submarines and now sat triumphantly in the corner, harbouring its allseeing eye) Lewis’s liver was too ‘big’. It was also too ‘bright’ and, to his utter dismay, too ‘echogenic’. It was starting to feel like something as big as a ship reposed beneath his ribs, deplorably nudging aside other organs as if they were miniature icebergs. This was not good. This, in fact, combined with the results of the blood tests, was potentially disastrous. During a quiet moment, when the doctor scribbled in her notes, Lewis struggled to listen to his liver, its teeming alleyways groaning and creaking, crying out for relief. “FOR GOD’S SAKE STOP DRINKING!” screamed and echoed around its throbbing, life-giving plumbing. “It’ll have to stop, Mr Lewis. Completely. I don’t mean cut down. I mean no more. Or it will certainly KILL YOU. If you carry on drinking like this you’ll be lucky if you live another two years.” This was the medical equivalent of a drive-by shooting. Something deep in Lewis’s chest was fluttering; some gawky heart-valve or scrabbled bronchus was thoroughly shocked.


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