Walker, Texas Kitty (walkertxkitty) wrote in little_details,
Walker, Texas Kitty

A Son's Reaction to Mom's Questions and Position of a Sick Man

Scene: This is written in first person and takes place in modern day suburban Texas. The main character is a Texas Ranger in charge of their forensics lab and he's been working a high profile case. He's getting too close to the answers so the perpetrators have infiltrated the lab and convinced two college students to poison him. It's a long term poisoning (we're using oleander honey and datura ground into the coffee) and this scene takes place the first time they've tried it. He's not quite sure what's going on, just knows that he feels off for no apparent reason. He has his intern with him, an observant young man who is very familiar with his boss' habits and sure to notice something is wrong. They decide to visit the Ranger's mother and get some feedback from her about the case and while he's there the full effect of the poisoning reaches its peak.

The problem is, my co-writer and I are both females. We really don't have much insight as to how a man would react to his mother's probing questions or the concern of his young intern, who views him as a big brother/father figure. The two poisons we've chosen leave the victim with GI symptoms which gradually worsen, a headache, visual disturbances, and irritability. At this point in time, our Ranger would likely attribute it to a recent fight he's been in or to working under the fluorescent lights too long and missing meals but he's not sure how long he can keep up the charade of being fine and he doesn't want to worry either of them.

At some point during the meal he excuses himself. We don't want to go into detail there, either, but when he doesn't reappear his worried mother goes to check on him (or would she even do that? She's a Southern lady, born and bred, so maybe that's taboo even in this day and age? Would she send the intern after him and if so, how's that kid going to react?). In what position would she find him? Again, we don't know. I know, as a female that I get down on the floor or hang over the sink or bathtub. Is that typical for a man also, or would he just be standing there kind of lost looking?

There wasn't any real way to research this. Our guy friends wouldn't talk about it and the girls didn't know. I tried looking through different fictional books to see how it's handled but other female writers seem just as clueless and the male ones pulled the standard "suck it up/that would never happen/fade to black" routine. We can't go that way because what happens here builds up to a more dramatic happening later.
Tags: usa: texas, ~medicine: poisoning

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