Fiction From the Iron Lung

Hello! Thanks for dropping in. I’ve uploaded an audio recording of a short fiction piece that I wrote called Olio. It’s based around the concept of an iron lung – no, not the Radiohead song – and polio, and it kind of just evolved from there. This recording was done at the 2013 Dublin Zine Fair and originally appeared in issue 2 of ESC zine.

From, “What America Looked Like: Polio Children Paralyzed in Iron Lungs.” (click to read the article)

Olio appeared in the first issue of ESC zine back when we founded it in 2011. You can buy a copy of that soon-to-be limited edition first issue over here on our online shop. Read along with the text, below 🙂

What do you think? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading.

As ever,



Even with the cello music, she could not bear to look at the photographs of polio victims that were stickytaped onto the walls of her recovery room. The space was dark, artificially lit, the windows boarded over. It was thought by some that sunlight would hasten her transformation.

She closed her eyes, ignoring the pump and grind of the machine that encased her, straining to divert all of her attention to the sound of the music that was drifting up from downstairs. Downstairs, where the living were, the windows would be open onto the lawn, and there would be conversation, the clack of teacups, badminton perhaps. Maybe she was imagining the badminton part. She couldn’t quite remember what the thing [shuttlecock?] looked like anyway.

She opened her eyes, turning them to the ceiling, her gaze instantly skittering away from the poster of a child with legs deformed into a bird’s. She concentrated on a corner of the room, the crush of the machine filling her mind now, her lungs opening and closing.

Like shells.

From, “What America Looked Like: Polio Children Paralyzed in Iron Lungs.” (click here to read the article)

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