“Nurse, are you ready? Switch on the music, please. Let’s try something up-beat for this operation.”
“ Doctor, are you certain of the procedure? It’s radical, unpredictable, and the risk is great. Sam, I mean Doctor, I wouldn’t presume to question your judgement, but our, well ...um...our relationship has become closer lately and ... um ...”
“I’ve come to rely on your friendship, true, but trust me. I’ve considered alternatives and believe in this course of action. Professor James, an authority on this matter, included his research in a chapter of a widely respected book and ...”
“I’ve read that book, Doctor. The subject is fascinating”
“Indeed. I’ve poured over the pages. I’m convinced surgery will stop the flow of deadly poison spreading throughout the body. Need I remind you, Professor James’s brother is regarded the greatest physician ever!”
“You’re right, Doctor. I’m ready to proceed.”
“Scalpel. Doctor, damage is extensive, will we be able to stop it in time? Already the gossip sprays over the up-do’s at the Cut & Curl and pours into the coffee at Pop’s Diner. I’m afraid we’re too late. You do know Mr. Green left his wife yesterday.”
“I heard. Twenty-five years of marriage, only to be told the child he’s raised isn’t his own. What could jolt him more than his wife’s confession of an affair with Fred? My gosh, the man was his best friend! Half the neighborhood decided it was their business to make sure he heard the rumor. Nurse, our little town has taken on an ugly personality lately. I agree, we may be too late.”
“ I heard Mrs. Green slept with Fred after he’d served time for stealing his cousin’s
identity. Fred was released and returned home to find his fiancé had run off with the priest from St. Mary’s.”
“ The priest, you say? St. Mary’s that used to be on 5th Street?
“The same. Mrs. Green baked a brown sugar crisp, took it to Fred’s house, and made a welcome home call. Humph, that call got out of hand! Next thing she knew she was three months pregnant and Fred was back in prison for burning down St. Mary’s.”
“So that’s what happened! And the baby?”
“She convinced Mr. Green it was his child. They lived a happy life until the whispers began. If the patient had been admitted sooner,we could have saved the Green’s marriage.”
“That’s true, preventatives could have been used at an earlier stage, but it took our patient a long time to accept her sickness. Mr. James compares it in his book as the bit that is put into the horse’s mouth, or the rudder a captain uses to steer his ship. It must be tamed. The only way to help the patient now is surgical removal.”
“ Doctor, I’ve thought back. I’m certain the trouble started when our patient’s evil twin sister showed up in town with the same disease. I may be wrong, but I’ll bet her twin’s visit was an attempt to transmit our patient with this cankerous illness.”
“Ah .. it begins to make sense! Twin sister went to church; used it to praise; then used it at home to curse. It was like a spark that became a fire among the parts of the body until the whole was corrupted.”
“ They say our patient began to lose control at Woman’s Bible Study. Her talk became loose. The ladies carried it home to their families. The town became infected. Doctor, will we cure it?”
“ No, but we’ll prevent it from spreading further. Professor James refers to it as a restless evil, full of deadly poison. Although removal will keep the disease from oozing vile words to the outside, the patient will have to deal with inner pollution. She’ll require months of spiritual therapy. I’m ready to close now, nurse.”
“All right, Sam ... uh, I mean, Doctor. Oh, Sam, I can’t go on like this. I need to tell you! I love you and don’t care if you’re married! I know your wife is a quadriplegic and blind in one eye. Though your loyalty is brave, it only presses my desire! You need someone who can love you. I ... I adore you, Sam.”
“Shhhh ... don’t be reckless, Nurse, ... watch your tongue ”
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