A Frog-Keeper | the oracle

words are like frogs

Words are like frogs; slippery, uncooperative and very noisy. I’d give you all my frogs if I can, but you see: it is the mother’s guidance for me to take care of them. I am a frog keeper, and I live in the nineth house. Yes, just the one between Altaïr and Tarazed, under the head of the great-sky eagle. A true beauty she is, really.

No, I don’t see many people nowadays. It’s always great to have some kind of company, especially when the nights get cold and when the coal runs out in the scullery…How are you holding on? Is everything alright? Have they treated you well? I have no willow-bark left, and I cannot do much with the swelling. My dear, it is a slow process, but your hand will heal again. The damned frogs: they are needy little fellows aren’t they? Always bustling about, croaking and hopping between the mosaic floortiles. Tasking poor nanny with feeding them, singing them lullabies. So curious and full of life, they are.

I would be fourty-nine today. How time flies, doesn’t it? I remember how it was half-past midnight, and the nurse lifted you out and into the light. You were so small, so frail and so, so loud. They placed you in an incubator beside my bed, and though I was weary, I heard the nurse point at you and exclaim, how full of life she is!

I promise you I haven’t told you this next part. I promise, my dear.

It was surprising, actually. I dreamt of you that night through the hazy smoke of the little spinning forevers in our mind: that plain dress complemented your eyes, and your form reminded me of some sort of sapling. You laughed a little louder than everyone, wore your neckline a little lower than everyone, drank a few more shots than everyone. Was it all true?

What, must you leave now? So soon, so soon. Let me have one last look at you. My Bessie, all grown up!

Tell them that I said hello, alright?

Patient Name: Elizabeth Shaw

Patient Number: 1000010659748

Diagnoses:

Adjustment disorder with depressed mood, F43.21 (ICD-10) (Active) Generalized anxiety disorder, F41.1 (ICD-10) (Active)
Histrionic personality disorder, F60.4 (ICD-10) (Active)

Notes & Risk Factors:

Acute Grief: Loss of infant 12/4/18

Instructions:

Keep all windows shut at all times during the night, with no glass exposing the sky. The night sky seems to bring on a manic-effect that is yet to be diagnosed with conclusive results. Constant re-sketching of constellations between latitides of 85 and -75 degrees. Occasional muttering, audio cues are unclear and thus excluded from pertinent symptom overview; notably similar to an amphibian’s croak.

Keep careful surveillance of the patient. Mrs Shaw was seen to repeatedly attempt a breaching of the window, resulting in a minor injury on both sides of the hand as the latch snapped shut.

A clinic or outpatient treatment setting is recommended, as the patient is impaired to the degree that there is mild interference with interpersonal /occupational functioning.

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Vincent Chang

Melburnian high school student | owner of The Afterglow Publication | lover of all things literary |