Нина Ягольницер

Страна: Израиль

Здравствуйте, меня зовут Нина Ягольницер, я писатель, автор статей, неутомимая рассказчица, режиссер по первой специальности и ассистент стоматолога по второй. Увлечена историей шестнадцатого века и даже на работе известна привычкой рассказывать пациентам байки о медицине позднего Средневековья. Я всегда стремлюсь заглянуть в прежние века, побродить среди чужих судеб и порыться в легендах прошлого, которые никто не доказал, но и не опроверг. Автор двух романов и сборника рассказов.

Country: Israel 

Hello, my name is Nina Yagolnitser, I am a writer, author of articles, a tireless storyteller, a movie director in the first specialty and a dental assistant in the second. I am passionate about the history of the sixteenth century and even at work I am known for the habit of telling patients stories about medicine of the late Middle Ages. I always strive to look into previous centuries, wander among other people’s destinies and rummage through the legends of the past, which no one has proven, but has not refuted either. For today I am an author of two novels and a collection of short stories.

Отрывок из детектива “The Chest Of The Mad Puppeteer”

The winter came, and with it came the hell: mandatory hospital practice. Suddenly, everything became serious, exposing Meg’s true face to the profession imposed on her.

The clinic shifts were dreadful. Especially at night. Sometimes they were painfully endless, frozen in the thick silence, dimly lit hallways, the smell of disinfectant and cheap coffee. Other times they were exhausting, filled with someone’s pain, meaningless whims, and stone-cold despair.

Margaret hated everything here: the dull-blue sheen of the floor and the dreary whiteness of the walls, the steady pulsation of beeping devices and the muffled hum of rolling gurneys, the lifeless glow of energy-saving bulbs and the rustling of curtains in the wards, the echoing ancient staircases and the tall, lanced windows.

She hated everyone here: the nurses who gave her haughty looks, the doctors who didn’t even notice her, the cleaners who acted as if they were the only ones with a real purpose, and all the rest just wandered around aimlessly, leaving behind nothing but filth.

She hated her job, which was back-breaking, messy and disgusting, and which no one appreciated. All around her, people belittled her efforts, claiming that their own work was far more important and meaningful.

But above all, in this white-and-blue, cold-sterile hell, she hated the patients. Not because they couldn’t remember her name. Not because they sometimes looked repulsive and smelled foul. Not because they oozed vile bodily fluids that she had to clean up while senior nurses impatiently reminded her that she was disturbing them with her fuss.

She hated these people for her shattered “velvet-caramel bubble”. For falling out of love with the human body, witnessing its mournful, humiliating weakness.

It was here, in the postoperative ward, that she finally understood what her mother meant by “eating this life sugar-free”. There was no place for sugar, lace, or minstrels here. The realism of this terrifying fairy tale exceeded the speedometer of a racing car. Whatever controlled the fates of its heroes – it was blind and indifferent. Meg wasn’t particularly religious before, but now she was convinced: humanity is utterly alone, because no divine creator can be so illogical, inconsistent, and childishly cruel.

The hospital became her personal purgatory, a place where her hopes and dreams had been suffocated, and the air was thick with despair.

And the worst part was that with the start of her internship, Meg lost the last fragment of her previous life: the reenactors’ club “Knights of Heather” that her mother hated so recklessly. No, no one drove her away from there, and she was still invited to gatherings, battles, and thematic “medieval” parties. But her beloved world was no longer the same. It had dimmed, lost its color, and been bleached out by the vinegar realism of her current life.

Meg could no longer, as before, forget everything, immersing herself in the twists and escapades, with the loving meticulousness thought out by the “Council of the Clan”. The familiar masks, which had grown into the faces of her friends and seemed alive to her, suddenly seemed to reveal their seams, brushstrokes of paint, and frayed edges of papier-mâché. And she couldn’t forget that their clan’s leader, the noble Roderick the Heatherblade, whom she remembered as a fourteen-year-old boy, was actually Rory Bates, whose father was seriously ill, and Rory was tearing himself apart working two jobs.

The healer Amarille… well, Ellie Hobbs… goes to the club because her mother has been suffering from a long-standing depression since her husband’s death. Ellie took her to several psychiatrists, but all was in vain.

Ginsar the Jester, a witty and sharp-tongued lad, is actually named Mike. He is the youngest member of the “Knights” club – skinny, stooped, wears old-fashioned glasses, and is bullied at school. Only by donning his jester’s mask does Ginsar straighten his back and unleash his sparkling wit, unafraid of anyone and scattering jokes like rice at a wedding.

Her beloved friends… So important, so close… yet not real. For Griselda the Archer, dressed in the hated nurse’s uniform, soon realized that they all pay for their “sugar” with their precious time, and one day they will have nothing left to pay. Then they will discard their worn-out masks, pack their fake rags into their backpacks, and go their separate ways forever to their real, sugar-free worlds.

The only thing left was home. A respectable apartment in an expensive neighborhood. A respectable mother in her expensive glasses. A respectable life that Meg wouldn’t give a penny for. She didn’t want to go there either, but there was nowhere else to go. Meg had enough friends, but having been raised with Soldens’ ideals of pride, she didn’t want to seek sympathy from anyone.

…”Margaret!”, this exclamation broke into the sleepy silence, and Meg flinched, almost dropping her coffee cup: Elsa, one of Meg’s senior mentors, with the eyes of Greta Garbo and the manners of a flustered chicken, was standing in the doorway of the nursing station. Elsa was holding a bulky package in her hands.

“Maggie!” she chirped, “Maggie, come here right now!! Take this! A poor soul has just been brought in straight from a terrible car accident. God forbid you ever see anything like it in your sleep! He needs to be placed on the table immediately. Doctor Rosen has requested the second surgical team, and I need to be there, there aren’t enough nurses on duty! You must register his belongings. He’s unconscious, we don’t know his name, but his condition is dire. There’s a label inside with the time of admission. Hurry up!”

With that, Elsa darted off, leaving Meg stunned, standing in the nursing station with the package in her hands.

Spreading a disposable sheet on the table, Meg carefully opened the package full of bloodied rags. What did Elsa say? God forbid to see this in your sleep? The intern bit her lip, pulled her gloves up higher, and began laying out the items in a row.

Jacket. Worn and dirty to an obscene extent, as if its owner fell asleep in a ditch. Pockets were empty.

A tattered linen shirt – an oddly expensive piece of clothing for such a ragamuffin.

Pants… Meg frowned. Anyone would find these pants ridiculous. But she recognized this outfit. Boys from their club, who had the status of “warriors,” wore such short, rough pants just below the knees with thick gray sockings and heavy boots. A shirt, laced on the chest, a straight-cut jacket, a wide leather belt sewn with thick shoe-thread – everything as it should be, except for the chaperone cap with a shoulder cape. A reenactor?..

 No, this was not a “Knight of Heather”, their clothing was simpler. These clothes were dirty but skillfully made – only true masters sewed like this. Maggie had seen similar outfits in online stores: they were mesmerizing with their authenticity and cost insane amounts of money. However, many reenactors bought discarded costumes from theaters. Where was the guy wandering around in this attire? And where were his shoes?

The poor man’s belongings no longer seemed repulsive to Maggie. Straightening the dirty folds, she feverishly tried to figure out where the club meetings took place in the vicinity. Once she was a living directory of these gatherings, remembering all the dates, tournaments, victories, and alliances. How did she let this damn clinic ruin everything… Oh my God, so much blood…

The form had already been filled out, the clothes had been packed, and the shift was moving towards its coveted end. Meg stood by the window, staring out into the slowly fading night, waiting. For the first time, she was waiting for news from the operating room, although before she had only drearily watched the blinking electronic clocks, not even thinking about the dramas unfolding there, behind the brightly lit double doors.

No, she was not callous at all. But her unloved profession had enveloped her soul in a thin, vile mold of indifference, robbing patients of their real faces. And the people fighting for their lives on cold operating tables seemed to her not alive at all, merging into a faceless sequence of registration numbers.

But today was different. That enchanted part of Maggie’s essence, that strictly guarded fake world, had now cringed, narrowed to a nameless, maimed guy. These silly masquerade rags, spattered with such a real blood, brought both halves of Maggie’s life face to face. And she was unbearable afraid that the guy would die. Such a foolish dreamer, such an inspired escapist, like herself, would perish in a vulgar and prosaic way, crushed by a random car on a dark country road. And the real world would win… finally proving that Meg was just an ordinary spineless wimp, good for nothing, hiding in her gingerbread house of fantasies, blaming her mother for everything. Dork… where did he hung around at such a time?

Meg sobbed and looked at the clock again.

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