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Getting Through : Creative Writing

Iron knee

from Anthony - Friday, January 24, 2003
accessed 1366 times

No summary needed for such a short story.

Iron knee

Located somewhere in the south west United States is the town called Iron Knee, a town who’s inhabitants have a myriad of stories and legends of how the town got its name; but ostensibly no one knows for sure. Perhaps the following story could be added to the library of theories of how the town got such an unusual name.
The entire town was a quasi-retirement home as a large percentage of the town’s folk were elderly, whimsically passing the time until their eventual last breath. The town was quiet, peaceful and somewhat secluded, but not too far from the nearby big noisy city where the not so old would work, but could come home to tranquility.

Often times individuals take up social causes to ease their conscience or relive guilt, then there are those who’s motives are a bit more “noble”, whatever the reasons may be often a social “good” is achieved and society is that much better because of it. However, it is interesting to note that not all “good” deeds are mutually exclusive.
Doctor Goode felt it was her duty to make house calls to the folks in Iron Knee, as far s her motivation is concerned; it’s fair to say that hers was about as pure as a human’s can be. Her office was halfway between the town and city, a convenience she appreciated. She was co-owner of a rather successful private practice in the city with two doctors, however she played a more administrative role as this allowed her to make emergency house calls.

Last week she received such a call from a mother, her 2 year old son seemed to be experiencing shortness of breath, but there were no know cases of asthma in her family. What she didn’t know was that an unidentified object logged in one of his lungs obstructed her son’s breathing, and each of his subsequent breaths seemed more forced and painful. Doctor Goode put the pedal to the metal and was making good time, all she could think about was getting to the toddler, event though she didn’t know how serious the conditions was, it her many years of experience one thing she came to know was that breathing problems were not to be taken lightly. Flashing blue lights in her rearview mirror, was it? Yes it was.

Officer Aston: Morning ma’am, are you aware that you were going 24 over? License, registration and proof of insurance please.

Doctor Goode: Yes officer, I’m a doctor responding to an emergency…a child…oh it’s time critical.

Officer Aston: License, registration and proof of insurance please.

Doctor Goode: here they are, listen officer, a child needs my immediate attention.

Officer Aston: No, you listen to me, you professionals and college educated people think you’re so much better than everyone else so that the rules and laws don’t apply to you, well I’ll show. You must really think I’m a stupid country donut hog, but all your credentials, expensive layers and fancy words won’t stop me from doing my job,

Doctor Goode: Officer, I assure it’s nothing like that at all…why I’m shocked that you would say such a thing, I’m not lying to you…I must get to this child before it’s too late, I don’t have time for these “status” games.

Officer Aston: Now I’ve heard them all. Please remain in your vehicle while I run your id.

Doctor Goode: I can’t believe this…this is not happening, not now.

You would think in a a small town, everybody knows everybody, well this was true for the most part, but Officer Aston had just recently been assigned to this police department from a larger one. Now, I can sympathize with a man whose wife won’t sleep with him, but I can’t excuse his carrying his personal and domestic problems such that they negatively interfere with his profession. After giving the good doctor Goode a citation, he let her go on her way.
Aston is not a bad man, he certainly needs help dealing with some of his unresolved issues, but don’t we all at some time or another? Ten minutes after harassing the doctor he received a call from the police station telling him that his wife was desperately trying to get a hold of him…their son was in critical condition, his conditioned had escalated in a matter of minutes, his wife called the station because Aston had mistakenly left his cell phone at home.

He felt like he had just been hit head on by a freight truck, at full speed. Could the doctor have been telling the truth? Suddenly he lost all regard for speed limits as he dashed home, sirens and all. As he pulled up to his house he could see the doctor’s car badly parked in his driveway. He left the keys in the ignition, didn’t close his car door and ran as fast as he could into the house. In the living room were his wife and only son, the doctor and neighbors. Yes, the doctor was 3 minutes too late, the child died in his mother’s arms; the room was a sea of sorrow and pain. He had killed his own son, at least this is how he saw it, and not many people disagreed with him on that.


Reader's comments on this article

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from Bella
Monday, February 03, 2003 - 16:49

Very metaethical ending there Tony. Did he really kill his own son? Or, was the death of his son pre-determined and, therefore, the child would have died regardless of whether or not "Aston" stopped the "Goode" doctor or not? ... hmmm

(reply to this comment)
From Anthony
Tuesday, February 04, 2003, 16:00

We all die; the questions are: when and by what means? What do you think?(reply to this comment
From Bella
Wednesday, February 12, 2003, 16:38

What exactly do you mean? Please expound. (reply to this comment
From Anthony
Wednesday, February 12, 2003, 17:48

You asked, "Did he really kill his own son? Or, was the death of his son pre-determined and, therefore, the child would have died regardless of whether or not 'Aston' stopped the 'Goode' doctor or not?"

What I'm saying as far as his death being pre-detemined is that, in a way, since we all die eventually, it's all pre-determined. However, the child did not have to die at that instant, nor in that manner, had his father not held up the doc; he might have died of old age or suicide later on in his life. So yeah, he did help the early (notice I don't say "untimely") death of his son, albeit, indirectly.(reply to this comment
From Bella
Wednesday, February 12, 2003, 20:47

Ahhhh but see, we do not know that. If ones fate is determined, then no one can intervene in that fate for either the good (to stop the death) or the bad (to not stop the death). It seems that if the child's death was pre-determined, then he would have died (at that time) regardless of whether or not the cop stopped the doctor; i.e. the child could have died by toddling out into the road instead. So while I agree with you that ultimately death is pre-determined for us all because of the life cycle, I am hesitant to agree that the child could have lived till he was old. Reason being: when I speak of death being pre-determined, I mean the time of death -- not simply the fulfillment of death that each of us will one day experience.

Know what I mean?

Another point to ponder: You said "the child did not have to die at that instant, nor in that manner, had his father not held up the doc[.]"
My question to you is this: is the father really ultimately to blame, or is the "Goode" doctor to blame because she was speeding? (reply to this comment
From Anthony
Thursday, February 13, 2003, 15:56

Well, if you believe that the time of one's death is pre-determined, then no, nothing could change or avert that. The speeding issues seems a "catch 22" of sorts; had the doc not been speeding she might have also been too late to save the child. In all honesty(?), the father really isn't to balme as he was simply doing his job and duty as a citizen.

One of the ideas or questions is: is doing what's required of you always "right" or appropriate in certain instances? And, of course, it's about irony as well, hence the title.

BTW, don't you have real studying to do? LOL. I would be interested to hear what a metaethics prof. would say about this story. See you later.(reply to this comment
From Bella
Thursday, February 13, 2003, 19:06

Darling I can always find time in my busy schedule for you ;-)

There is no right or wrong answer to any of these inquiries, and the question of moral responsibility will never be solved; that is what my metaethics prof would most likely say.

By the way -- the title is just as good as each of the names you give your characters in your short stories; telling, yet leaves one questioning.

I really do like how you've explored the problem of moral responsibility via your story. There is a reader called "Free Will" (Published by Oxford University Press, edited by Gary Watson). It is a collection of key recent philosophical writings exploring such things as free will, determinism, and other moral issues. You might find it interesting. (reply to this comment
From Anthony
Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 22:50

As interesting as you?(reply to this comment
from Elsie
Saturday, January 25, 2003 - 18:19

Un conte triste et pessimiste, non?
(reply to this comment)
From JoeH
Sunday, January 26, 2003, 18:06

oui, c'est la merde(reply to this comment
From Elsie
Monday, January 27, 2003, 19:17

C'est la merde as in "it's the shit!" or C'est de la merde as in "it's shit?"(reply to this comment
From JoeH
Monday, January 27, 2003, 19:44

well it's not pure shit, but it's not "THE Shit" either. We've heard this story line before, although I must say his was an improvement over that sappy testimony we had to read.
Speaking of which,
debunks a bunch of myths we grew up with, like the models for "The Last Supper," the frog in the boiling water etc. Check it out.(reply to this comment
From Anthony
Thursday, January 30, 2003, 16:55

Joe, which testimony?(reply to this comment
From Anthony
Monday, January 27, 2003, 20:13

(Agree/Disagree?), great site!(reply to this comment

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