Isambard Kingdom Brunel

Brunel in a biographical micro fiction

Having enjoyed researching Isambard Kingdom Brunel for The People’s Republic of Love, I thought I’d venture briefly into micro fiction, just to capture this fleeting yet fascinating episode in his life (a true story).


In the process of entertaining the children with a magic trick that made it appear as though I was consuming a gold sovereign, I had, in error, actually swallowed the coin. It was lodged in my trachea, and I was aghast to hear that it posed a very real danger to my life.

Much to my surprise, the doctors could propose no effective treatment. Feeling rather foolish about the whole thing, and since I had created this problem, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Thus I had myself strapped to a board and mechanism which would allow me to be rotated at great speed. I spun like the needle of a broken compass, the centrifugal forces doing their best to pull my stomach up through my throat. But I felt that sharpness in my windpipe shift, and moments later the sovereign was shaken free, upwards into my mouth until, with great relish, I spat it onto the floor.

Never has gold shone so brightly.

hand holding coin
Photo by ZSun Fu on Unsplash

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