By Devon “Doc” Wendell
Mr. Smead, the wheezing, nervous assistant of the cutthroat Doctor Shedsleep took a quick glance at my records and poorly laminated insurance card and grunted in disgust.
A loud whistle sounded throughout the polluted little hospital. The sound pierced my ears and made me wince in fright.
“Smead, you little toad!”, a loud booming voice was heard as the whistle subsided. It was old Doc Shedsleep himself, appearing drunk and nauseas. “But, what did I?…I saw..” Smead nervously replied. Doctor Shedsleep shouted “You missed something, young Smead. This is why you stay a lowly assistant mutt!”
Smead thrust forward in relief as if coming to some great realization, grabbed me by the shirt collar and looked me sharply in the eyes.
“Oh, I see now!” said smead with an arrogant smirk.
“Tell him quickly and be done with him.” said Doc Shedlseep .
Smead studied my eyes a moment longer and coldly spoke in a low voice “Dreams are a luxury for kings; one that you can’t afford Mr. Wendell. You have no right to be here. Leave now before I’m forced to call security!”
“I’ve got some spare change. Can we make a bargain, dear Smead?” I said sounding drained. ” I only have but a single dream that’s tired, used and near death but it’s a dream nonetheless.”
Doc Shedsleep stepped forward with a sly grin “Your spare change is no good here but this dream sounds enticing. Well, Wendell, I’m feeling generous today. I’ll tell ya’ what. Sign that dream over to me and I’ll examine you but no procedures or medicines, got it?. I’ll take a long look at you, so sign right here.” Shedsleep grabbed a form from Smead’s trembling fingers and placed it on a desk next to me. I signed it quickly as a pain seized my joints.
“Where’s your office, Doc Shedsleep?” I said in a fading voice. In an instant both Smead and Shedsleep started laughing ghoulishly.
The wretched whistle returned and two security guards grabbed me by the arms and pulled my listless body towards the nearest exit.
The cold outside air suddenly slapped me across the face. I felt weaker than ever and could only hit the filthy street with a thud. I crawled to the side of the hospital and laid my head against the stone building, feeling no emotion. No rage, no joy, no sadness, no prayers in the works, just physical pain and a hollow fatigue. It was then that I turned to my left and saw an endless row of people all collapsed against the building with their eyes open, staring blankly at the incandescent cars speeding by. The cold night’s sky turned into a dull light blue, shrouding our empty gazes without mercy.
There was no exchange of words as the wind whipped across our dying faces. The only relief came when I realized that like these fellow men and women, I had nothing more to lose. Nothing more to lose today, at least. My body filled with a warm comfort that would carry me through the rest of the evening.
~Doc Wendell, January 25, 2017.