Short Story: Fever

06Jul06

With reddish eyes that seemed to remain eternally half-open because of his lack of sleep, he continued to burn the midnight oil and prepare for his exams. The first four exams came and went uneventfully. He was glad he had done it fairly well, even though his fever, which kept recurring every few hours, didn’t seem to show much respite.

It all started while he was writing his fifth exam. He felt a searing pain in his stomach. He complained to the supervisor and got permission to take a break to the restroom. He came back to the exam hall, drenched below his hip. His palm was wet and he was perturbed between gripping his pen to write and gripping his painful stomach.

The pain didn’t subside even when he reached home. His father drove him to the doctor ignoring his pleas of losing time to study for the decisive last paper. The doctor examined him quickly, gave some tablets for the time being. His pain was now accompanied with a rumbling feeling in his stomach. As though, someone were driving a Race car under the lining of his stomach.

He threw up in the middle of his last exam. There was a stagnant block of thick fluid spread all around his desk. He took his kerchief and wiped around his mouth as he fell face down on his desk clutching his stomach. He began making low grunting sounds moving his hand slowly around his stomach. The supervisor brought him a cup of water, lifted his head and placed the tip of the cup between his watery lips. Just as he took a sip of water, he threw up again.

Fifteen minutes later he regained some composure and continued writing, writhing in pain. His eyes seemed too drowsy as if writing in his sleep. Twenty minutes before completing his exam, he threw up again. He fell face down on his desk with highly viscous, sticky, watery fluids oozing out between his lips and expanding onto the floor. And he fainted.

The three hour surgery had been successful. The surgeons had retrieved some antigen from the sticky fluids in his stomach. Apparently, that was the cause of all the stomach pain. It appeared very soft, and looked like three separate strands of a tissue paper carefully cut out to form the shape of an irregular quadrilateral. But it would be a few more hours before they found out what it was.

Six hours later, he woke up staring at the white ceiling. It took a moment for him to register that he was operated on his stomach. The past week reeled before his eyes like a jittery black and white footage. The fever. The pain in the stomach. The nausea. The exams. Exams! He remembered he had just completed all his exams.

No more exams. And suddenly he felt a huge bout of relief. He pulled in a long breath that spanned several seconds of inhaling and gradually closed his drowsy eyes. At last, the exams were all gone. And so were the Butterflies in his stomach.

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20 Responses to “Short Story: Fever

  1. 1 sangeeta

    i think i have what you call the warm weather fever – nose bleeds and vomiting :(

    btw nice post :)

  2. 2 prat

    Ewww!! Does this mean what I think it means?
    This should have been the Happy Birthday Kafka post.

  3. San,
    oohh.. take care…

    Prat,
    It does mean what you think it means! May be I should have finished like this,
    He pulled in a long breath that spanned several seconds of inhaling and gradually closed his drowsy eyes and sang Happy Birthday Kafka.

  4. 4 harry

    nice one!

  5. 5 prat

    You’re too kind :)

  6. Nice.. :-)

  7. Was the Butterflies in his stomach meant to be a joke, was it that that they pulled out from his stomach? :-)

  8. 8 Kishore

    Harry,
    Thanks.. :)

    Prat,
    So am I! :)

    Thiyagaraj,
    Butterflies in his stomach is not a joke. ;)

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