I Needs Must Part, The Policeman Said: 07/08/10
When I read "I Needs Must Part, The Policeman Said" by Richard Bowes I knew nothing about the author. The story though was one of my favorites from the December issue.
From reading the review posted on If You Like That Sort of Thing, I've learned that story is a semi-autobiographical account of his time in a hospital during a life-threatening disease. That personal connection explains why the main character's experience in the hospital rings true.
Hospitals are strange places. It's a place where people are being born and where other people are dying. And a whole bunch of other people are there to recover from goodness knows what. Add into the mix the medications given, the sleeplessness from the night staff checking in on patients routinely and the hospital takes on an otherworldly aura. Now add into the mix a speculative fiction author who is at death's door.
I don't want to spoil anything, nor will I do the story justice by rambling on about it. Instead, find a copy of the story and read it. Then read the If You Like That Sort of Thing post.