A sick call short story
A Sick Call by Morley CallaghanEdward Morley Callaghan (February 22 1903 -- August 25 1990) was a Canadian novelist, short story writer, playwright, television and radio personality.
Of Irish parentage, Callaghan was born and raised in Toronto. He was educated at Riverdale Collegiate Institute, the University of Toronto and Osgoode Hall Law School, though he never practised law. During the 1920s he worked at the Toronto Daily Star where he became friends with fellow reporter, Ernest Hemingway, formerly of The Kansas City Star. Callaghan began writing stories that were well received and soon was recognized as one of the best short story writers of the day. In 1929 he spent some months in Paris, where he was part of the great gathering of writers in Montparnasse that included Hemingway, Ezra Pound, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and James Joyce.
He recalled this time in his 1963 memoir That Summer in Paris. In the book, he discusses the infamous boxing match between himself and Hemingway wherein Callaghan took up Hemingways challenge to a bout. While in Paris, the pair had been regular sparring partners at the American Club of Paris. Being a better boxer, Callaghan knocked Hemingway to the mat. The blame was centred on referee F. Scott Fitzgeralds lack of attention on the stop-watch as he let the boxing round go past its regulation three minutes. An infuriated Hemingway was angry at Fitzgerald. Hemingway and Fitzgerald had an often caustic relationship and Hemingway was convinced that Fitzgerald let the round go longer than normal in order to see Hemingway humiliated by Callaghan.
Callaghans novels and short stories are marked by undertones of Roman Catholicism, often focusing on individuals whose essential characteristic is a strong but often weakened sense of self. His first novels were Strange Fugitive (1928), a number of short stories, novellas and novels followed. Callaghan published little between 1937 and 1950. However, during these years, many non-fiction articles were written in various periodicals such as New World (Toronto), and National Home Monthly.
Luke Baldwins Vow, a slim novel about a boy and his dog, was originally published in a 1947 edition of Saturday Evening Post and soon became a juvenile classic read in school rooms around the world. The Loved and the Lost (1951) won the Governor Generals Award. Callaghans later works include, among others, The Many Coloured Coat (1960), A Passion in Rome (1961), A Fine and Private Place (1975), A Time for Judas (1983), Our Lady of the Snows (1985). His last novel was A Wild Old Man Down the Road (1988). Publications of short stories have appeared in The Lost and Found Stories of Morley Callaghan (1985), and in The New Yorker Stories (2001). The four-volume The Complete Stories (2003) collects for the first time 90 of his stories.
Callaghan was awarded the Royal Society of Canadas Lorne Pierce Medal in 1960. In 1982 he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada.
He married Loretto Dee, with whom he had two sons: Michael (born November 1931) and Barry (born 1937), a poet and author in his own right. Barry Callaghans memoir Barrelhouse Kings (1998), examines his career and that of his father. After outliving most of his contemporaries, Callaghan died after a brief illness in Toronto at the age of 87.
Posted by Bayley Bulletin Contributor Dec 1, Because it features a marriage outside of the Church, this story is for a more mature, discerning reader. Recommended for 11th and 12th grade students. Sometimes Father Macdowell mumbled out loud and took a deep wheezy breath as he walked up and down the room and read his office. He was a huge old priest, white-headed except for a shiny baby-pink bald spot on the top of his head, and he was a bit deaf in one ear. His florid face had many fine red interlacing vein lines.
The telephone rang the morning after Kate had the dream, one that recurred with a peculiar regularity over the last twenty-five years: She was young and thin and wearing her old brown winter coat. The weather was damp and gray with no sign of leaves on the elms yet, although she could spot a few crocuses near the roots of the old thick trees as she scurried from building to building in a vain effort to avoid his angry stare and cold voice. Why that dream? It had no basis in reality. She had never failed to visit Professor Nossiter - at least twice a week that last year, once in her official capacity as reader for his literature course, and another time, usually over the weekend, just to talk. He had never been angry at her. Nor did Kate think she had any guilt.
A young man, Alfred Higgins, is caught by his employer, Sam Carr, pilfering items from the drugstore where he works. Instead of immediately calling the police, Mr. Carr sends for Alfred's mother. The story focuses on Mrs. Higgins's psychological state, which by the end of the story turns out to be quite different from how it first appears.