Ray Bradbury. Fever Dream (in English, adapted for intermediate)

Рассказы Рэя Брэдбери на английском языке. Fever DreamПродолжаем публиковать рассказы Рэй Брэдбери на английском языке. Читайте захватывающую историю «Лихорадочный бред» (уровень средний — intermediate). Это рассказ о больном мальчике. Он лежал в постели и в его голову приходили разные мысли. Что это бред больного воображения или реальность, которая просто не воспринимается в нормальном состоянии…

К рассказу прилагается список слов для изучения.

Ray Bradbury. Fever Dream. Part 1

Слова, которые надо знать обязательно, прежде чем вы начнете читать этот рассказ  — Список английских слов к рассказу «Fever Dream» 
  • would stick their heads into — заглядывали в комнату (глагол would  указывает на периодичность действия)
  • feel lousy — чувствовать себя отвратительно
  • fix itself — засесть (перен. в голове)
  • shifted cell by cell— менялась клетка за клеткой
  • fascinated horror — охваченный ужасом
  • stumps — обрубки
  • feverish change — лихорадочное изменение
  • the warmth —  тепло
  • the glow — жар

They put him between fresh, clean sheets and there was always a glass of orange juice on the table under the dim pink lamp. All Charles had to do was call and Mom or Dad would stick their heads into his room to see how sick he was.
He was fifteen, Charles was. It was mid September, the beginning of autumn. He lay in the bed for three days before the terror overcame him.

His hand began to change. His right hand. He looked at it and it was hot and sweaty. It moved a bit. Then it lay on the bed, alone, changing its colour.

That afternoon the doctor came again. ‘How are you?’ asked he, smiling. ‘I know, don’t tell me: «My cold is fine, Doctor, but I feel lousy!» Ha!’ He laughed at his own joke.

But for Charles that terrible joke was becoming a reality. It fixed itself in his mind. The doctor did not know how cruel he was with his jokes. ‘Doctor,’ whispered Charles, lying flat and colourless. ‘My hand, it doesn’t belong to me any more. This morning it changed into something else. I want you to change it back. Doctor, Doctor!’

The doctor showed his teeth and touched his hand. ‘It looks fine to me, son. You just had a little fever.’

‘But it changed, Doctor, oh, Doctor,’ cried Charles, holding up his pale wild hand. ‘It did!’

The doctor looked at him. ‘I’ll give you a pink pill for that.’ He put a tablet on to Charles’s tongue. ‘Swallow.’

‘Will it make my hand change back and become me, again?’

‘Yes, yes.’

The house was silent when the doctor drove off down the road in his car under the quiet, blue September sky. A clock ticked far below in the kitchen world. Charles lay looking at his hand.

It did not change back. It was still something else.

The wind blew outside. Leaves fell against the cool window.

At four o’clock his other hand changed. It seemed almost to become a virus. It pulsed and shifted cell by cell. It beat like a warm heart. The finger-nails turned blue and then red. It took about an hour for it to change and when it was finished, it looked just like any ordinary hand. But it was not ordinary. It no longer was him any more. He lay in a fascinated horror and then fell into an exhausted sleep.

Mother brought the soup up at six. He wouldn’t touch it. ‘I haven’t any hands,’ he said, eyes shut.

‘Your hands are perfectly good,’ said Mother.

‘No,’ he wept. ‘My hands are gone. I feel like I have stumps. Oh, Mama, Mama, hold me, hold me, I’m scared!’

She had to feed him herself.

‘Mama,’ he said, ‘get the doctor, please, again, I’m so sick.’

‘The doctor’ll be here tonight at eight,’ she said, and went out.

At seven, with night dark and close around the house, Charles was sitting up in bed when he felt the thing happening to first one leg then the other. ‘Mama! Come quick!’ he screamed.

But when Mama came the thing was no longer happening. When she went downstairs, he simply lay without fighting as his legs beat and beat, hot and red, and the room filled with the warmth of his feverish change. The glow went up from his toes to his ankles and then to his knees.

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