Chapter 5 : The Heartbeat

“….standing in front of me, stiff as a corpse”

One day I was at home and my sister stopped me at the top of the stairs in the hallway as I walked past her bedroom.  In a cautious and caring tone she asked if she could have a listen to my heart beat.

Due to her profession she had various medical equipment at home including a stethoscope, so she placed the pad on my chest and listened. There was a pause before she said in an uneasy and nervous tone “Oh… right” whilst not looking me in the eye.

She stood there staring at my chest like a zombie, just listening, almost as if someone had flipped a switch and she had frozen in shock.

I took hold of the ear piece and listened, what I heard was dramatic and immediately apparent. There was a heavy thud followed by what sounded like a rush of water, a fast flowing river or a gust of wind, a whoosh sound. Then a sudden thud and a whoosh again.

Thud, whoosh.

Thud, whoosh.

Thud, pause whoosh.

My sister was still standing in front of me, stiff as a corpse. I gave the stethoscope back to her and she refrained from eye contact going back into her room without saying anything. I now knew why the doctor had jolted in her seat, this wasn’t the constant two beat sound you would expect. It was an unusual and strange sound to hear, the contrast from one strong thump to the opposite gushing sound.


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