Preface - The Fools
This city is a place of both flowers and ravens.
One of them is said to bring pain, the other comfort. But you? You understand none. Why would you, when you don’t need them? You’re not lost, you don’t need guidance; you know precisely what you want.
You got the job because you needed the money. You want the money so your mother would stop nagging at you. You say you want to help because that’s what people want to hear. But what you do, in the end, is wearing your black mask and walking into the little, clean rooms at the clinic, looking at the patients in the eye and asking them why. You were always good at talking to people, weren’t you? At convincing, and smiling, making others open up. And they are dying to share how sad they are, after all, so you have it easy.
They have flowers taking root in their lungs because they can’t recover from the death of their children. They have flowers blooming at the bottom of their throats because their dearest friend now hates them. They cough small pink petals, fragrant and sweet, or torn and stained with blood, because the one they want doesn’t love them back.
Love lost. Love forlorn. Love unrequited. And you listen, but you never care that much. You’re just another step, a gentler point in the middle: the strong ones get over it, the weak make up their minds and sign the papers so the actual doctors can cut their chest open and take the swarm of flowers out.
One way or another, it always ends the same.
They’re fools, and you’re the cowing bird pretending to tell them what they want to hear.
The following patient has been referred for the second, experimental phase of the Chronic Flower Coughing Syndrome (CFCS) evaluation and treatment.
Patient ID: Subject #04 (Second Phase)
Primary care supervisor: Dr. Kim Junmyeon.
Date of Scheduled Exam: Wednesday, June 3rd, 2038.
Disease evaluation report:
CFCS evaluation specialist: Please fax or mail this form to the Primary Care supervisor listed above upon completion of the patient visit.
Report status: Final
Result: Presence of stems of Prunus sanguinea in its initial stages in the lungs of the patient.
Pulmonary examination findings: Starting signs of reduced airflow in the lungs. Patient can breathe in normally, but partial obstruction narrows the tubes during expiration, making it hard for him to breathe out.
Usual symptoms as follows:
[x] Chronic cough
[x] Spitting or coughing flower petals ( Prunus sanguinea )
[ ] Traces of blood when coughing
[ ] Shortness of breath during light physical activity
[ ] Air hunger or shortness of breath in rest period
[ ] Weight loss
Recommended follow-up: 2 weeks
Additional comments/Treatment plan: The disease remains stable in a moderate phase: normal lifestyle advised and extraction surgery not yet suggested.