R A Martens
R A Martens started writing stories about three years ago. Originally from Cumbria, she moved to Edinburgh at the first opportunity, and aside from a couple of years in Chiba (the Essex of Japan), has lived there ever since. Her day job, which she is lucky enough to love, involves helping people recover from stress, pain, illness and trauma. There’s enough reality in that for anyone, so she mostly likes to read (and write) stories in which reality is taken out dancing. She likes a good bit of silliness, preferably indoors.
Extract from The Women of Venus
A man goes into a hospital. The hospital is a special hospital, for men like him, who have a special problem. It is a hospital for men who are losing their feet.
Let’s just say that this hospital is on Venus, where frostbite is still a frequent problem for the unacclimatised newcomers. Venus, planet of love, planet of women, is cold. And the men, from Mars, are not coping well. There are no caves for them to go to, and they are hounded by the women of Venus, night and day. The women say, do you love me, do you love me? over and over again like chirruping, desperate starlings. It is because of this distraction that the men often forget about their thermal footwear, and lose toes and then whole feet to frostbite.
Do you love me? say the nurses at the hospital, as they wheel in the footless and helpless man for their appointments.
Yes, say the men, exhausted, I love you.
It doesn’t seem that way, say the nurses. What have you done for me lately?
I’ve only just met you my darling, say the men, and I do have a terrible headache. And no feet. Could you give me a little time to gather my thoughts?
Huh! You’re all the same! say the nurses. Me me me! ‘Ooh, I’m emotionally unavailable’, they say in mocking voices. ‘I’m consumed by pain and anguish and I need to go to my cave for a while. You just carry on taking care of the ol’ homestead and the kids, while I commune with my ancestor spirits.’
The thing about the kids is just something they have picked up from a book somewhere. None of the women of Venus have kids. The climate of Venus is an enemy of fertility.
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