Friday, December 21, 2007

Specialist Treatment

"We can't get her mouth unclamped and she's all swollen up like a hot air balloon."

The woman's uncurtaining laughter-lines revealed that she was about to crack a sick joke about her daughter's state, but the doctor had been called from his warm-bodied bed to tend to a supposed emergency and was not in the mood for small talk.

"Is she upstairs?" He fingered the stethoscope that he always kept around his neck, using it as some people worry beads.

"Yes, the dentist is with her."

"Why both of us?"

"We needed a second opinion," piped up an ironic voice from the corner of the study. The figure was barely visible in the roaring firelight - an undersized individual with eyes even darker than the rest of him. If his daughter had trawled any birthrights from the likes of him, she would feel no doubt very ill-engendered and one could scarcely have enough pity left for possible sons-in-law. "There are more bleeding medical specialists in the world than real people, I sometimes think," said this giant foetus of a man whilst he stroked a shiny human skull on a nearby desk as if he were demonstrating the point. He then held up a glass of black wine and said "Bottoms up!"

The mother pulled a long heavy-duty thermometer from her capacious apron pocket, heated it in the raging fire and reinforced her husband's instruction to the doctor to lie face down on the bare floor, so that she could insert it as far as it would go.

Upstairs, beyond the dark landings, the dentist and the daughter were conjoined mouth to mouth, one gradually absorbing more than the other was able to release with integrity...

When Earth's oceans are covered with huge slicks of blood, one wonders if there is any point in normal vampirism, thought the solidified stack of stunted shadows that called itself a man. He climbed the steep stairs towards the snorting noises in his daughter's bedroom, huge hypodermic syringe in tow. Who needed specialists, anyway?

The mother screeched something at him from the foot of the stairs.

Published 'Wicked Mystic' 1993

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