A charlatan pretending to be a healer wins the king’s favor, but seems mostly harmless, until the day the king collapses and cannot be roused.
This story is from Year 8, The Year of Revisitation
I revisit one of the stories I’ve already written, and write a new standalone story connected to or inspired by the existing one through a character, a place, an object, a continuation of events (okay, sequel), and so on.
Music: “Mystical Town” by Chris Logsdon
This one was inspired by a previous story that explored old-timey medical practices. It was also inspired by a section I read in the Sawbones book about the four humors of the body. I bought the book after listening to the “Sawbones” podcast, in which the hosts—one of whom is a doctor—explore medical theories, beliefs, and practices throughout the ages of human existence.
[Video Description: Trailer. Duration, 53 seconds. Music: “Mystical Town” by Chris Logsdon. Digital Drawing. Two figures wearing heavy coats. Bottom right, an older woman facing forward and smiling. She holds a rod of Asclepius in front of her with both hands. Behind her and to the viewer’s left, a young man holding a caduceus in his right hand, and flourishing his left hand up. His head is turned toward his left hand. They are surrounded by glowing colored lights. Title card with the words “Short Story” and “Genre: Science Fiction” are displayed in front of the image. At top the story title appears. The title card and title fade. Lines from the story appear over the image: “The royal physician, Galena by name, examined the festering bruise just below the king’s ribcage. The king lay in a sleeping stupor. A state he had been in for three days, and yet it was only now, and only by order of the queen that the royal physician was allowed to examine her king. ‘I had thought him a fool, but a harmless one,’ the queen said. Galena did not look up as she answered. ‘Is there such a thing?’ But she too had thought him harmless, the one of whom the queen spoke, the only one to whom the king had turned to for the care of his health over the past half year. He called himself a didymedicus, a healer who had the skill of treating one’s physical self by treating one’s shadow-twin-self.” The title reappears at top as the last line fades. A watermark of the site URL appears at bottom left throughout.]
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