Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who, Whom, and Wings

[Randy Owens posted a link to an article and writing prompt on "who" and "whom" at a place called The Write Practice which is where this was originally posted.  The observant reader will see slight flavors of this in a later Edith and Ben piece.]
[The prompt was: Write for fifteen minutes about a doctor/psychiatrist/veterinarian with an unusual patient.

Use who and whom properly as the bewildering situation unfolds.]

Angie was closing up when she heard the rear door open. The rear door that she'd just locked. As quietly as she could she went to her desk and took out the flashlight she kept for emergencies. She felt its weight, and concluded it would make a serviceable club. Then she moved toward the rear door.

“I'm not here to hurt you,” she heard his voice before she saw the man. He was mostly in shadow, what little of him she could see was illuminated by a streetlight shining through a window. His hand were empty, palms facing toward her.

She could see that he was unarmed, but that didn't mean he wasn't a threat. She kept her flashlight ready. “Who are you?”

“I'm someone who needs help.” She didn't disagree, the longer she looked at him the more convinced that he was injured and in pain. It wasn't any one thing, more his overall appearance. “I was hit by a car.”

“I'm a vet. If you're not a spaniel you don't belong here. Go to a hospital.”

“Doctors can't help me.”

“Why not?”

“Because I need someone, whom I can trust, whose training includes how to treat wings.” He took a pained step forward, and as he moved further into the light of the window Angie saw something that wan't possible. On his back were two giant wings. Mostly white, but stained with blood.

She struggled for words, she struggled to process anything. The flashlight hit the floor, but she didn't notice dropping it. “Who are you?”

“My name is Colin, we met once before.”


The lights were on, Colin was sitting on a table while Angie examined his wings. The left seemed fine. The right one not so much. Angie told Colin she'd never done anything like this before, he suggested she imagine he was a giant parakeet.

“It's broken. I'll have to set the bone.”

Colin sighed, “Great.”

“So, who hit you?”

“A jerk for whom nothing is sacred, least of all the traffic laws. I was- OW!”

“Sorry. I told you I had to set the bone.”


“So, where will you go?”



“'Whence did you come?' 'Where are you?' 'Whither will you go?' You should have said 'whither' not 'where'.”

“I'm not going to say that. That just sounds silly.” Colin stared at her. “Who says that?”

“I do.”

“The question stands: to what place are you going?”

“Probably into the woods. I'll find an isolated spot where there's no one by whom I will be seen.”


[Original Work Index]

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