Waiting Room – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
And the prompt photo, which this week is provided courtesy of
Penny Gadd.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Penny Gadd

Click here to hear the writer read his words:

Waiting Room

Interesting places, doctors’ waiting rooms.
Eight people here when I arrive.
Several coughs, a spectacularly bandaged leg,
glowing noses.
A couple talk in what they imagine are hushed tones but, in the white-walled low-ceilinged space, sounds carry.
Despite the radio’s barely audible mid-Atlantic pop/rock.
Women read crumpled magazines from a low table.
The lone male plays with his irritating
ly beeping phone.
I
make notes, as always.
New faces arrive to replace those already summoned.
This adds spice to the game in my head.
Who is next?
More importantly, who is last?
I could ask, but where’s the fun in that?

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
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65 Responses to Waiting Room – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Having to wait at the waiting room for an awfully long time is not the best feeling in the world. But I have a feeling that the plant is about to end the waiting time for so many people! Great story!

    Like

  2. Uh, oh, a plotting plant. A good story, CE but I don’t know if I’d want to eat a sick person. It could be the end of the plant as well. Well done. 🙂 — Suzanne

    Like

  3. Margaret says:

    Fascinating. Places like waiting rooms make me wonder what would happen if some situation occurred where the people were trapped in there for a time and had to start communicating and co-operating. How would the different personalities interact? That’s what I think about when I’m sitting there. Buses and train carriages also make me think this way. Maybe I’ve watched too many disaster movies.

    Like

  4. Abhijit Ray says:

    Doctor’s waiting room nicely described, Why were you brought here? To get a treatment or to simply hang there and look beautiful?

    Like

  5. 4963andypop says:

    I have a feeling the last patient will not make it to his appointment. I wonder what you meant by MidAtlantic pop/rock. As in the Atlantic coast of the US and the midatlantic states (ie Pennsylvania and Springsteen) ?or did you maybe mean a music that emanated from neither coast of the Atlantic, but rather sprang from somewhere in between, ie music belonging to no one, as in Muzak.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Ah, Andy, I love that we speak a different language!
      Mid-Atlantic means having no disernible roots, bland pop/rock, if you like.
      It is not muzak, but typically barely charted songs from the sixties onwards that most of us have forgotten and no one ever wants to hear again.
      Re Mr Springsteen, I had the great pleasure of seeing him perform in a packed stadium (50,000 people) in Glasgow a few years back.
      Very much not mid-Atlantic!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I’d rather pass at the chance of visiting the doctor’s clinic.

    Like

  7. lisarey1990 says:

    Described very accurately.

    Like

  8. A clever & understated observation about life, all found in the waiting room. Well done.

    Like

  9. Waiting rooms are the last place I want to be. Reckon I skip it. 🙂

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  10. James McEwan says:

    Life in many respects is a waiting room, whoever is last, ‘Please shut the door.’

    Like

  11. I no sooner arrive in a doctor’s waiting room than I wish to leave. Well captured.

    Like

  12. draliman says:

    I quite enjoy sitting in the waiting room watching the people. As long as I’m not too ill 🙂

    Like

  13. You described well the uneasy feeling of waiting to see the doctor. I enjoy watching others, but recognize they are also watching me. In close quarters, that’s a bit disconcerting. Enjoyed the story as always!

    Like

  14. Being nosey helps the time pass more quickly, you just have to try not to stare at people for too long!

    Like

  15. neilmacdon says:

    Beautifully observed. And a funereal last line

    Like

  16. They don’t call it the “waiting” room for nothing. It reminds me of the holding pens at the stockyard. Sooner or later, your number comes up and you’re led to slaughter.

    Like

  17. I know it’s probably a perfectly average waiting room with regular sick people and a writer observing…so why do I feel sinister thoughts in the offing? 😀

    Like

  18. Mike says:

    My doctors already think that I am strange, now I know why. 🙂

    Like

  19. bearmkwa says:

    Where is the fun in that, indeed! A great listen this week (YEAH! I can listen again!). Hopefully you’re not the last one. Good write with an air of mystery created that could be explored a million times over.

    Like

  20. I remember the last time in my waiting room, non-scheduled emergency room, with people coming with bleeding eyes… not that kind of atmosphere, but creepy still.

    I was the one ending up in surgery in the end.

    Like

  21. Nobbinmaug says:

    Yuck! Your description was so vivid, I felt like I was in a doctor’s waiting room. Like everybody else, I do the same thing. Sometimes I get so lost in watching people that I forget they can see me too. I’m sure I come off as creepy. My friend and I used to play a game where we would watch people and make up stories about them.

    Like

  22. granonine says:

    I visited a doctor once whose philodendron had grown so that she had it draped all around the room, hanging from the ceiling, and twisting up the slats on the blinds. Kind of creeped me out 🙂

    Like

  23. It’s a fun place to ang out. Get to finish another chapter if one’s lucky.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Vividly described! It’s what I do in those situations too (airports are one of my favourite places to people watch). Great take on the photo prompt.

    Susan A Eames at
    Travel, Fiction and Photos

    Like

  25. Dear CE,

    A doctor’s waiting room well described. The perfect place to find characters. Nice.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Colline says:

    Ah, the sounds and sights of a doctor’s waiting room. Perfectly described.

    Like

  27. Iain Kelly says:

    It seems we can all relate to this thought-process in the waiting room. Neatly observed.

    Like

  28. Ah yes!
    It is a fun game! 😉
    Unless one is too unwell!!

    Like

  29. Sandra says:

    As someone who arrives well ahead of any scheduled appointment, I’m always incensed by latecomers who take what I imagined to be my turn in the queue. So irritated I could… but no, they’re not well people anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Tannille says:

    Oh I know this waiting room game well…
    Great story.

    Like

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