Nature Future Conditional

The story behind the story: Outpatient

This week, Futures is pleased to publish our first story from Dan Stout. Outpatient presents a rather bad day in hospital that is going to cause a fairly severe headache for a lot of people. You can catch up with what Dan is doing at his website or follow him on Twitter. Here, he offers an insight into the inspiration for Outpatient — as ever, it pays to read the story first.

Writing Outpatient 

I suffer from migraines.

Not the ones with auras, just the ‘common’ kind that shoot pain down my temples and make me feel a stranger in my own body, the floors of my home rolling under my feet like a ship at sea.

I don’t get them often, and I’ve always been lucky enough not to be dealing with anything that couldn’t be put to the side while I wait out the pain. But what if I couldn’t? What if I woke to a nearly debilitating migraine right when the world was falling to pieces around me?

I’m fascinated by the protagonist’s role in Outpatient. She’s an active participant in the story and struggles valiantly, but in the inevitable newspaper write-ups she will only ever be mentioned as one of the many unfortunate victims of this tragedy.

Speaking of the victims, those people affected by Kim and Ellen’s work will have quite a bit of adaptation ahead of them, and many difficult conversations with families. What will their legal status be? Is any of this reversible? Just like our own lives, there are so many questions and no way to make them stop.

Sometimes the only choice is to cover our eyes and wait for the pain to fade away.


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