People don’t realize how far we’ve fallen. When we normalize evil, like we see every day, we eventually make wickedness unavoidable.
My girlfriend, Rosie, took me to the hospital for debilitating pains that shot up my sides, locking up my arms and back. I also had difficulty breathing.
Dr. Flackit was the first to see me. He was a zombie. Validated since the Kampfel Act of 2027, zombies were integrated into all areas of society as long as they wore a muzzle. Dr. Flackit’s muzzle looked loose enough it could fall off his face at any moment.
“I theenk your problem is neurological,” he rasped. His face very close to mine, his necrotic breath made me choke and gag. “I’m ordering a biopsy of your brain. Perhaps we will take a large section for analysisssss.”
“Wait,” I said. “I’m entitled to a second opinion.”
Dr. Flackit bared his jagged, brown teeth.
“Not because I don’t trust you,” I added. “I just like to be thorough.”
The doctor skulked away.
“All the best doctors are here,” said Rosie. “You should take their advice.”
“I want a second opinion,” I said.
She shook her head, pity oozing from her eyes.
The second doctor to see me was Dr. Cosmescu. He wore black scrubs. He had very pale skin and fangs that would make a cobra blush in the shower. Definitely a vampire.
“Your blood needs to be refreshed,” said the doctor. “Three pints should be enough to force an effective refresh rate.”
I sat bolt upright. “Three pints! Isn’t that dangerous?”
“You’ll live. And the benefits outweigh the risk.”
“I’d like to get another opinion,” I said.
Dr. Cosmescu’s eyes grew wide and smoldered red. “No doctor exceeds me. I am superior to them all.”
“I-I understand, but I have conflicting opinions, and I’d like another to resolve the disagreement.”
He swooped out of the room like a villain in a melodrama.
Rosie scoffed. “These are experts, honey. Why won’t you listen to them?”
“They seem to be driven by irrational proclivities,” I said.
“There you go, hiding behind big words again. Just let them cure you. Will you please?”
I clenched my teeth and held my ground… or my bed, as it were.
The third doctor was a grotesque fellow with many scars, but I didn’t want to judge him for that. When I asked his name he only said, ‘I am the Adam of his labors.’ Weird.
“Where did you get your training, doctor?”
His face contorted to blissful hate. “My father was a brilliant physician. He taught me much.”
“Really?” I asked. “Was he famous?”
“In my country he obtained a manner of renown,” the doctor said. “They knew him as Dr. Frankenstein.”
My blood ran cold, enough to make me double-check my IV bags.
“I see.” I wanted to hurry him along. “What’s your prognosis for me, doc?”
“I think we can help you with some replacement parts,” he said. “If we cut away your sides and replace the structure with cadaver flesh and bone, we can then animate the flesh to join yours, and you shouldn’t feel anything from them. The pain in your sides should disappear.”
I hyperventilated. With breathless voice I asked, “What about the breathing? What should we do?”
“Lungs are harder to come by. Very high demand. So we’ll prescribe you an inhaler until a cadaver comes in with an available set.” He smiled with friendly malevolence.
I smiled back and nodded. The evils of this world had become inescapable, though it so often presented as a friendly face. I had to find an alternative that would not do me harm. A doctor guided by old principles, devoid of modern corruption.
When the monster medico left, I pulled out the IV and fled, leaving my girlfriend in the bathroom. I searched for a clinic run by real people. Not by a soulless monster, bitten by the plagued undead. Not by a mutilated beast, pieced together from dozens of corpses. Not by a wicked devil, educated in the modern schools that overtly promote evil as a valid option.
I finally found a small clinic in the poorest part of town. Rosie showed up as Dr. Poundstone introduced himself and examined my torso. Rosie sniffed and snorted.
“I’m not certain what your ailment is,” said Dr. Poundstone. “But I’m going to recommend treatment with leeches. If we allow them to improve your circulation around the infected areas, it should improve the inflammation and alleviate the pain.”
“Great,” I said. “Thanks, doc.”
“Are you out of your mind?” said Rosie. “Are you a complete idiot? You had three top-notch doctors diagnose and order treatments for you, but you’re going to accept the remedies of this medieval quack?”
“I’ll take my chances,” I said.