This Story Is Cool by H. C. Turk | Script Revolution

This Story Is Cool



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adapted from my novel, Bliss
A severe stroke renders a 78 year old man into a vegetative state. Though he seems unresponsive, inside his mind and soul, his life continues. If only he could tell the world.

Wendell Calinar, 78, suffers a stroke. The physical result is slight paralysis, but the mental implications—stemming from memory loss—are more profound. A retired history professor, Wendell's culminating interest is in personal history as recorded by individual memory. A nurse speaks of burn patients suffering terribly during treatment who remember none of the pain after healing. She wonders how real that suffering was considering that its physical causes were rescinded and the memory does not continue. What about amnesia victims? Wendell responds. Do they have no past life, only a present? He fears that if a person has no memory at his death, his entire life will be refuted by its ignorant end.

Wendell is stricken by a second stroke, which sends him into a permanent vegetative state (PVS). His visiting family members wonder of his true state of living. They long for insight into this mystery, which Wendell might possess, but cannot release. Wendell has no real-time experience. All of his perceptions and sensations come to him as though memory—his life becomes only memory. The story is of Wendell‘s ending life, describing the caregivers who treat him with compassion and ignorance, following his family members as they learn of living by observing Wendell‘s death. Conventionally, the narrative point of view is that of the Calinar family. Uniquely, the reader also shares Wendell‘s point of view, learning the inner living of a person who cannot communicate, but who continues to feel and think until his end.

Submitted: April 30, 2017
Last Updated: April 30, 2017

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H. C. Turk's picture

The Writer: H. C. Turk

I'm a self-taught writer, sound artist, and visual artist living in Florida. My novels have been published by Villard and Tor. My short fiction, sound pieces, videos, and visual art have appeared in numerous magazines, web-sites, podcasts, film festivals, and radio programs. I hate writing bios and résumés. There, I said it. Go to bio

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