Friday, 7 March 2008

The Treatment

Today, I'm not posting to a prompt from Sarah Salway's blog because I've used the piece I wrote in response to 'What are you waiting for?' for submission to a collection in aid of War Child called You're Not The Only One

Instead, I've come up with this:

I was told at the office. A group of them came from Personnel dressed in black suits, even the woman who seemed to be in charge. They explained what was going to happen, that it must be kept confidential. The key was to act before the damage became public.

They took me by people carrier to my home and collected my young son because he too would need to be treated. Or course, my husband would be there but he would be taken separately.

We picked up my son and travelled past familiar grass verges littered with rabbits and blackened mud from the tarmac, past the airport, under the bridge formed by the terminal building stretching across both carriageways and out the other side to an industrial area. The building looked like a grey warehouse from the outside, anonymous and still but inside it was clean, vast and people in white coats went about their business without looking up. I saw a friend of mine but she didn’t acknowledge my presence; it was clear that she worked there.

My husband was already there, in process. I wondered if he had been affected just by his association with me. Of course, I was anxious for my son and felt guilty that he would have to go through this because of me. I was to go first. They hauled me up onto the moving line, something like a cross between a zip wire and a meat hook. I felt nauseous and my skin was burning. All this because I wore a headset.

When I woke up, the nausea from the radiation lingered on and my eyes darted around the bedroom. Last night, I watched a programme about call centres and meanwhile, my older son was stringing up lamb chops for his art project.

1 comment:

cheryl63 said...

Gosh! I liked this one! Very dark...left lots to my imagination!