Symptoms Of Unrest: Flash Fiction 99 Words

Brotherly Love - York Dungeon 1990s (c) Sherri Matthews

Brotherly Love – York Dungeon 1990s
(c) Sherri Matthews

Symptoms of Unrest

Muriel waddled into the doctor’s office.

“What can I do for you,” asked the doctor while staring at his computer screen.

Muriel sniffed. “Well, my nose feels blocked and according to my husband, I snore.”

“Have you tried nose strips?”

“Err…no. I think I might have a sinus infection actually.”

“Get some nose strips and see me in two weeks,” said the doctor, still tapping away.

“Oh, just one more thing,” said Muriel as she headed for the door. “I think my husband is trying to murder me.”

The room fell silent as the doctor, at last, faced his patient.

*******

When I wrote Water Rat a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t plan to add to it.  But then Charli gave us this week’s Flash Fiction prompt to write a story revealing a character’s symptoms and I couldn’t resist having some fun.  ‘Symptoms of Unrest’ is part two, in 99 words, no more, no less.

About Sherri Matthews

Sherri has been writing full time since 2011. Currently working on her memoir, 'Stranger in a White Dress', she has been published in a variety of national magazines, websites and three anthologies. Sherri raised her three, now adult children, in California for twenty years and today, lives in England’s West Country with her hubby, Aspie youngest, two cats, a grumpy bunny and a family of Chinese Button Quails. She keeps out of mischief blogging, gardening, walking by the sea and snapping endless photographs. Her garden robin muse vists regularly.
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94 Responses to Symptoms Of Unrest: Flash Fiction 99 Words

  1. restlessjo says:

    That basket gave me the heebie jeebies, even while I was smiling, Sherri 🙂

    Like

  2. Heyjude says:

    Haha, you do these so well Sherri 🙂

    Like

  3. Heyjude says:

    …and I love your container full of daffodils and the lovely coloured pansies.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks Jude! You inspired me after reminding me about my header 🙂 It looks even fuller now so should take another photo. Hopefully they’ll last a while. Even my rose (remember we had to cut it right back) is coming back into bloom. Let’s hope we can secure it properly this time 🙂

      Like

  4. mihrank says:

    well done – what a wonderful story to read and enjoy!

    Like

  5. Poor old Muriel. She can’t win with a murderous husband and a disinterested doctor. At least she got his attention. You are going to have to continue this one Sherri. 🙂

    Like

  6. Tom Merriman says:

    Well, that’s certainly a symptom of unrest if ever there was one, Sherri!

    Like

  7. OOh spooky photo, reminds me of Warwick Castle dungeons which scared me so much I had to be let out of the fire exit while my grandchildren continued the tour unperturbed by all the gore! I love the story ~ I think her doctor works at our practice!!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I remember Warwick Castle dungeon and I don’t blame you, it is really scary in there! I have a similar story: I took my daughter to a walk-through set of the film The Mummy at Universal Studios in California when we lived there. She was 10 years old but I had no idea it was so scary. When one of the skeletons jumped out in front of us I don’t know who screamed the loudest and I was so grateful when a nice lady appeared out of nowhere and led us out by a side entrance!
      Haha, yes, I think you can tell I have experience of such a doctor too, more’s the pity 😉
      Glad you enjoyed the story, thanks Brenda 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Good thing Muriel is persistent and aware of what her husband is up to. That doctor isn’t much of a people person is he? 😀 😀 This is terrific, Sherri. You have my attention.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Hi Tess, great to see you back again, hope you enjoyed your break 🙂
      Haha…think Muriel needs to change doctors that’s for sure 😀 Glad you enjoyed it, thanks so much 🙂 😉 😀

      Like

      • You are welcome, Sherri.
        Yes, I’m back and already overwhelmed again. Did some serious reading accomplished. Yay! Forgot to turn comments back on. Sheesh. How quickly I forget. 😛

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        So glad you got some good reading time in Tess, but sorry you’re overwhelmed again… It’s non-stop isn’t it? Yes, I was going to ask you about that, I read your fantastic flash…love it and how you used the prompt for the ending…but couldn’t comment 😦 So now you can read it here 😀 ❤ 😛 😉

        Like

  9. Both hubby and I really laughed out loud at your flash fiction. The Photo is a bit scary. Just imagine, that this actually used to be a regular occurrence! 😯 xx

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…thanks so much Sylvia, I love that thought of you and hubby laughing out loud 😀 I love the look on my eldest son’s face in this photo…enjoying it a bit too much I fear! And yes, this was just run of the mill stuff back in the day! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Well, that’s one way to get a doctor to spend more the five minutes with you. 🙂 Great job, Sherri! I love that photo too! I hope you’re doing well. xoxo

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…think I need to try that 😀 Thanks so much Jill, so glad you enjoyed it! 3,500 words yesterday… 😉 Hope you’re having a good week 🙂 xoxo

      Like

  11. I love that you have humor and murder in the same post! Way to go Sherri!

    Like

  12. Charli Mills says:

    Oh, what a twist and to go back before the water rat was relieved is chilling! The doctor is put on the spot to do something yet he either ignored the woman he faced or did too little. Great flash! And what a fun photo!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…thanks so much Charli! Doctors are on my mind these day 😉 Your prompt this week had me dreaming of Muriel and her story…I can see her now! It’s great when an idea pops like this isn’t it? Great solution to a bad night’s sleep 😛

      Like

  13. Is she like one of those old ladies who ends up being the murderer? I wonder.

    Like

  14. Pingback: Walking with Symptoms « Carrot Ranch Communications

  15. I was still laughing at the picture–talk about a perfect example of “unrest”–then your flash fiction’s final lines snapped me to attention very quickly. Well done, Sherri!

    Like

  16. jennypellett says:

    Haha, I think Muriel must be a patient at our surgery. That’s the way to get them to notice you. I’ll try it next time😄

    Like

  17. TanGental says:

    I was hoping for the follow up line… ‘So how do you think that affects your sinuses?’ Great Flash Sherri

    Like

  18. Oh, LOVE it! (Such a believable doctor, too.) O_o I’ve met too many of those.

    Like

  19. Such a cliffhanger Sherri! One of these days you’ll have to make all these flash fiction posts into a collection of short stories 🙂

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    • Sherri says:

      I love that you read along with my flash fiction stories Heather, thank you so much, I’m thrilled you enjoy them so much 🙂 I certainly enjoy writing them, so let’s see what happens… 😉

      Like

  20. TBM says:

    Interesting twist and I wonder if it’s true.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well, I can certainly relate to poor Muriel (except for the murderous husband bit, that is!). Always such a pleasant surprise when a doctor actually listens isn’t it? Thanks TB, glad you enjoyed it 🙂

      Like

  21. Great story. Loved how she finally got the doctors attention. That seems to be the case these days. Your boys looked like they had fun posing for the camera in their murderous posture.The younger one seems so compliant to his older brother. Are they still that way. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Thanks so much Marlene, so glad you enjoyed it 🙂 It’s great to be able to bring some dark humour in, despite some truth behind it (with the doctors I mean, sadly…) Haha….interesting what you say about my boys! Younger one definitely posing here letting big brother ‘take the reins’. And I would say that yes, big brother definitely is still the boss 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  22. That was just brilliant, Sherri! I love surprise endings. And the photo! I don’t know whether to laugh or scream. 😀

    Like

  23. Rachel M says:

    That’s such a cool photo and wow, the story is terrific. But I want more? How does she know he’s trying to kill her? Is he poisoning her?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…thanks Rachel! I do believe you know all about York Dungeon 😀 Love that you enjoyed the story…and let’s see what happens and hopefully answer your questions too 🙂

      Like

  24. All I can say is, there had better be a part three to this story, because I need to hear what happens next! Oh, I’ll also say I’ve taken an immediate and intense dislike to that doctor. A patient should not be under threat of murder in order for her physician to actually look at her! Amazing how you’ve managed to elicit such a response from me in only 99 words. Goes to show you’re a master of your craft 😊

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Oh I love your comment Marlene! Wow, that’s music to my ears knowing that these few lines did indeed elicit such a strong response from you! Let’s see where this goes next! I hadn’t planned to carry on with ‘Water Rat’ but strangely, it took hold me. Thanks so much, I’m greatly bouyed by your encouragment 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  25. Mahesh Nair says:

    Ha ha! Lovely addition to Water Rat.

    Isn’t Muriel a fascinating character!

    She may be as cruel (and crooked) as her husband, if not more. What else explains that she’s sharing her fear with a doctor, rather than with police. I get it that she wants doctor’s attention, but
    revelation of this nature gives Muriel a different shade — a shade that tells us (a must in fiction) that no character is sacrosanct.

    Told you, you do good jobs with these. Continue this, my friend.

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha! Well, as usual my friend, you bring wonderful feedback and insight, thank you so much 🙂 Yes, you’ve got it…why indeed is Muriel revealing her fears to her uncaring, disinterested doctor and not the police? Hmmm…perhaps she is indeed up to her own malevolent tricks. I love that you caught this dodgy side of her character. Let’s see where this goes… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  26. I think you’ve told it just how it is these days, Sherri. It seems to be of one of life’s unfortunates that everybody is far too busy to listen properly. How many times have I said to my partner “Right, I’m going to streak up the street and back” and his reply has been “OK, have fun”, while he’s busy dealing with work emails on a Sunday morning!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…now if your partner happened to catch a glimpse of you streaking past the living room window, he would be in for an almighty shock, that’s for sure, and I’m sure he would listen to you then 😀
      We are all too busy, you are right, and it worries me how little we are listening to one another these days. Plus, doctors are not in my good books these days…but that’s a whole other story. It’s great to be able to express this in fiction isn’t it? Thanks again Hugh for reading along with these FFs 🙂

      Like

      • Yes he would, and so would all the neighbours ,and I’d probably end up in the Tower of London for the rest of my life. Mind you, there is a naked bike ride taking place in Brighton in June so maybe that would be the best time to do it 🙂

        Like

      • Sherri says:

        Hahah….the mind boggles! Just as well Henry VIII isn’t still on the throne 😉 As for the naked bike ride, my boys have told me about that, not seen it myself though. Not something I fancy I must say…far too cold 🙂 You make me laugh Hugh, love it 😀

        Like

  27. Norah says:

    The lengths one must go to to get their doctor’s attention. I thought he may have been the husband at first and she couldn’t get attention from him anywhere! It’s delightful! What is she going to tell him now that she has his attention?
    And the two gorgeous brothers. I’m sure they had great delight in posing for that photo. I assume no one was hurt in the making?

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…I can assure you that no one was hurt Norah, but I do think Eldest Son is enjoying having the opportunity to be the axe-wielder a little too much, don’t you think? 😀
      As for Muriel, she is definitely up to her own tricks, you’re on the right track Norah! I wonder too what she is going to say next. I like your thinking that the doctor might have been her husband…clever that 😉 So glad you’re enjoying the story, thanks so much for reading along!

      Liked by 1 person

  28. Well done to Muriel. I’m sure she just made that up to get the doctor’s attention. I love stories with ends that can be interpreted different ways.
    And now I have a challenge for you, dear Sherri. Check out this xxxx
    http://sarahpotterwrites.com/2015/03/26/love-in-ten-lines/

    Like

  29. Elder son looks so gleeful as he gets ready to lower the boom! I wonder if Muriel’s husband is going around with that same look in his eyes as he fiendishly plots her demise! Knowing some Doctor’s as I do I am surprised that she finally got his attention. And I must mention poor younger son, poor little lamb….shudder. He looks already done in!! This latest story is great fun and once again I have a smile on my face about poor Muriel’s plight. Now what in Heaven’s name does that say about moi? 🙂 xoxoxo ❤ Love the photos you find-priceless!

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Haha…yes, and you know that I am not exactly enamoured with doctor’s at the moment either 😉 Methinks Ken and Muriel are as bad as each other and we share the same dark humour dear friend 😀 Ahh…yes, I know, his little face…he should have been an actor 😉 Eldest son of course doing the axe-wielding and looking a little too happy about it 😉 Thanks so much dear Diane…always thrilled you enjoy these little stories ❤ xoxoxo

      Like

  30. How could I not mention the perfect title-well done Sherri!! 🙂

    Like

  31. Ohhhh maybe sleep with one eye open?!! Unexpected ending for your great flash fiction here, Sherri!

    Like

  32. simplyilka says:

    Hihi! I will try this next time a doc is choosing his computer screen over me 😉

    Like

  33. I wonder what the doctor will prescribe for her thinking her husband is trying to murder her?

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  34. That was really well done. You have me searching for the next “page” to click on. 🙂

    Like

  35. Marie Keates says:

    I’ve had. Few doctors like that. What a good way of making him sit up and take notice 🙂

    Like

  36. Oh, we can all relate to this! It so happens that today I went to an infections disease control specialist (regarding my infections and sepsis) and this wonderful man spent 45 whole minutes with me!! The nurses kept paging him that his other patients were waiting but he kept ignoring them. Now, either he thinks I am going to die sometime soon or he was just being a good ‘ol fashion doctor who takes his time, listens and lets you ask all the questions you have without rushing you. I am going to believe the second scenario. 🙂

    Like

    • Sherri says:

      Well that’s a turn up for the books Maria! How wonderful that you found such a specialist…and definitely going with the second scenario, for sure 🙂 xo

      Like

  37. reocochran says:

    I enjoyed the brotherly love photo and the hysterical way the patient finally got the doctor’s attention, Sherri.

    Like

  38. Had to go back and read water rat to see how it began and now I see…it’s fun to see your dark side Sherri! But yes, you’ll have to carry on now!

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Pingback: Suspicious Minds: 99 Word Flash Fiction | A View From My Summerhouse

  40. Pingback: Desert Storm: 99 Word Flash Fiction | A View From My Summerhouse

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