31 Shots of Shock: #16 – ‘An Eddy on the Floor’ by Bernard Capes

31 Shots of Shock *Title: An Eddy on the Floor by Bernard Capes
Date Read: 16 October 2009
Available Online?: YES (PDF)
Briefly: Impressed by his inherent principles and impressive career record, prison governor Major James Shrike pays a visit to the narrator, to encourage him to accept the job as the resident doctor in his prison. The doctor accepts and so begins the recounting of the doctor’s time spent in the prison, and the strange tale of Cell 47, a cell which is permanently sealed and apparently empty.
Afterthoughts: Breaking it down to its basic form this isn’t too bad a story – it certainly has a good ending. However Capes’ prose is so extraneously ‘flowery’ and drawn out that it was a really difficult to engage with the story to any great length. A real shame because I really wanted to love this short because its premise held so much promise.
Notable Quote: ‘The form it took was some absurd prejudice about the next cell—number 47. He swore it was not empty—was quite upset about it—said there was some infernal influence at work in his neighbourhood. Nerves, he finds, I suppose, may revenge themselves on one who has made a habit of playing tricks with them. To satisfy him, I asked Johnson to open the door of the next cell—’ .

Rating: ★★½☆☆

*Story read as part of my 31 Shots of Shock reading challenge.

About Rob

Rob, a self-confessed bibliophile, is without any hope of rehabilitation. He gets unnaturally excited over anything book-shaped, and if book sniffing were a crime then he would have been locked up years ago (which wouldn't bother him in the slightest provided his cell was lined with books).