CASE STUDY

Time for another installment of Friday Fictioneers, a 100-word flash fiction exercise practiced by writers around the world and hosted by the generous Rochelle.

Friday Fictioneers photo courtesy Erin Leary

Friday Fictioneers photo courtesy Erin Leary

CASE STUDY

Subject: Seven-year-old female child

Parents report subject unable to obey simple household rules. Subject suspected of stealing small household items, including keys and cake.

Parents have witnessed bouts of excessive crying and observed strange ritualized eating behaviors involving said cake.

Subject’s sister reports girl periodically consumes toadstools and/or mushrooms from the yard.

Subject suffers persistent hallucinations and seems preoccupied with chasing wildlife. Patient describes alternating feelings of ‘smallness’ followed by episodes characterized with delusions of grandeur.

Possible diagnoses: Oppositional defiant, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia. Possible dementia triggered by acute poisoning.

Recommended treatment: Electroshock therapy. If hallucinations persist, suggest lobotomy.

 

For more Friday Fictioneers, or to submit your own, click the blue frog:

 

29 Comments

  1. Another superlative and original piece. The voice has that perfect mix of pompous and clueless that is nonetheless quite menacing. Well done.

    1. You overestimate me, but very kind of you to say that!

  2. Spooky. That could have come straight out of historical records of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    1. Sadly, I bet you’re right.

      Thanks for visiting!

  3. Tough therapy there. Why not just … – well, we all know! Nice piece.

    1. Thanks Patrick. It is no wonderland for sure

  4. Sorry bit of a hurry, got to rush, got to rush…
    I blame it on that very suspicious dirty old man hanging around the place with his camera.
    If the doctor comes back you distract him whilst I put something calming in his pipe and then we get the little girl out.
    MJ

    1. Excellent plan! That is the best idea yet 🙂

    1. Janet, you gave me a big grin. I always liked that song 🙂

    2. that was the first thought that hit my pea-sized brain.

  5. She sounds a bit like Alice after she’s eaten the mushroom. Leave the poor girl alone, or remove her from the mushrooms!

    1. Yes indeed, the poor thing. Hope she escapes down a rabbit hole or something.

  6. Dear Karen,

    This is amazing! What a brilliant take on Alice. Applause!

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    1. So glad you liked it Rochelle, thank you so much!

  7. Dear Karen,

    Brilliant. This is one of those stories that I read and then wish that I’d written. Very well done.

    Aloha,

    Doug

    1. Thanks Doug, very nice thing to say!

  8. Great story, I love the way you’ve written it as a report. My first thought was that it was a report on “Alice” (of Wonderland fame), but possibly it’s a small child who’s eaten too many of the “wrong” type of mushroom 🙂 Or maybe they’re one and the same…

    1. one and the same…funny you should say that! The only thing I could think of when I saw those mushrooms was Alice. And so I thought ‘what does Alice do?’ And my next thought was, ‘that really sounds crazy’. And the case study was born! Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂

      1. Since I read your story I’ve been suffering from “Jefferson Airplane Earworm Syndrome” (hey, it’s a thing!).

  9. Yup, ‘Alice?’ was my first thought, too. Great idea to make it a medical case study.

  10. Bet there were many like her…you and your avid imagination channeled a whole strain of klepto – mushroom eating imps who had no idea, this wasn’t the norm. But then again, who’s to say what’s normal. Read like Mary Shelley was looking over your shoulder.

  11. darn, is this what they call tough love?

  12. Me thinks the shrink needed a lesson in toxicology.

  13. Love this one! What a fun take on the prompt. Alice is a handful!

  14. I love this written as a case study of Alice as long as they don’t go the lobotomy route. Lovely! Just lovely!

  15. Melanie

    This is so clever! The “report” style works so well to show different perspectives and actions in a short space. I really enjoyed this one.

  16. She’s a real day tripper. A very creative and imaginative take on the prompt. Well done, Karen.

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