All Bedlam Courses Past (part seven)

Posted by ractrose on 31 Jan 2023 in Fiction, Novels

Pastel drawing of bird flying away from bonfire






All Bedlam Courses Past


Chapter One
The Peculiar Nature of Logical Science
(part seven)



Kempf, she thought of it, still kept a housekeeper on the premises.

Élucide stopped at limbo on the path, not noticed by Shad, working, or Old Richard, asleep. Hiking her book and the hospital’s records, she put up her chin, to invade Kempf’s office a second time.

The men had deserted, but she could hear them on the stairs, a clatter of shoes and rising voices. She unshelved three of Kempf’s volumes, stood on them and rang the bell.

She heard Ebrach, at a choice tangent, after a passage low and lost—

…preciosity regarding this fleeting life of limitations. A mistake that must be made, so long as science cannot come to grips with what is truly a sister discipline. Our methods are your methods. Perhaps we achieve more of experimentation, having never found—at least myself—a reluctant subject. Nor is there any sort of case I would choose for mere expedience. It has not been necessary.

Mrs. Everard. Hers might even be known to Kempf.

Indeed [austerity in this indeed], well so.

However, Kempf saw that the patient would have been ill-equipped…

Louder: “Nothing in the matter can be called, I have never heard of anyone’s calling it, impositional.”

Kempf, speaking hushed.

“Many times. I did for a time visit. Her husband makes the pursuit of anything on a personal basis punishing. But she remains…”

Idolatrous. Grateful unto servility. Élucide filled in with her own sense of Verbena. The men did not enter the office, their voices fading to the rear. She lifted a textbook from Kempf’s desk, flipped to the index, searched A.

Alleviation of the nervous manifestations of chronic addiction to alcoholic stimulants must begin with the isolation of the patient from such cares and woes as may inflame the savage urge…

If she knew any way of drawing Richard out, of running across him at all.

Mutterings and footsteps. A comic instant, in which a face popped round the jamb, irritated with its employer, angered outright to find Élucide at his desk.

“I’m sorry. If there’s a speaking tube, I don’t know how to find it. Can you bring a pitcher of water?”

“Bring one here?”

“For the men.”

“For the men…? Oh, I see, Miss. All right, then.”

In twenty minutes, taking care not to slosh, Élucide approached her crew. Of Richard Everards, she had this one, the father. He had not come to the job drunk, but had the long habits of a drunk, sinking careless of his clothing wherever his strength gave out.

While, his clothes were little to be careful of….

The thought faulted Verbena, and Élucide put it aside.







Pastel drawing of bird flying away from bonfireAll Bedlam Courses Past (part eight)















(2023, Stephanie Foster)




%d bloggers like this: