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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Outlandish (05/19/11)

TITLE: That Crazy Doctor
By Fern Brown


That Crazy Doctor

"That is just outlandish, Mom!" Mariah voiced as they exited the office of the ear, nose and throat specialist. “I’m sorry I wasted your day.”

"What is outlandish, Riah?"

"Oh, you know. Bizarre...incredible…out of the ordinary..., unheard of!"

"Not the definition, Riah.” Mom corrected. “I mean, what are you incredibly upset about?"

"They charged me one thousand dollars and did nothing for me. I simply cannot believe I’ve barely been talking above a whisper for the last two months, and all they did was...absolutely nothing!” Gritting her teeth, she continued. “I took the entire day off work, lost a day’s wages and they did nothing for me." Her thoughts were fully engaged about the non-treatment of her disorder.

Body and mouth navigating together in high gear, Mariah's nose pointed upwards, increasing air supply, enabling her to fume and huff about her visit with the specialist. "He barely said a word - almost like he's the one having trouble talking. If I had a job like his, I guess it wouldn't be such a big deal. But my job demands that I be able to speak - all day long!"

Mom inhaled and opened her mouth to interject a thought but Mariah didn’t pause for a breath. Never mind that she had been unable to speak with customers for weeks on end. “I am aggravated about the cost. It’s absurd. If he had offered a prescription to help it wouldn’t be so hard to swallow.” She laughed in spite of her frustration at the unintended pun. “I mean the bill would be more understandable.”

Mariah was on a roll. Voicing her thoughts had been minimal for weeks. At the rate her mouth was moving, in no time she would recover her allotted words for each of those days and dip into some other woman’s daily account as well.

Mom waited. Should she add her two cents worth?

Not yet.

“If the doctor got paid for each word he said, he probably earned fifty dollars a word. That in itself is outlandish.”

Stopping short and turning around, she said, “I’d like to go tell him exactly what I think…”

Grabbing Mariah’s arm, Mom was able to add, “That is not a good idea. Your boss is paying the full amount of the visit. Why are you so upset?”

“It’s just the principle of the matter.”

Using her fob, Mom unlocked the car doors. While seat belting themselves in, Mom asked, “Exactly what did the doctor say and do? You couldn’t have been in that little room more than ten minutes.”

“And nine minutes of that ten, I was totally alone. He used a tongue depressor to check my throat and his goofy, little forehead light to check my ears and nose. Looking down at my file he said, ‘You overcompensated for the pain you had from your recent sore throat and earache. That caused you to lose your voice.’ Then he left the room, mumbling something about checking out at the front desk. I think he checked out long before he saw me.”

Mom laughed. Mariah wasn’t intending to be funny. “Anyway, Mom, thanks for taking time out of your schedule to accommodate me. Even if it was in vain.”

Mom laughed harder. Through chuckles, she managed to say, “I’d say his outlandish treatment of your malady worked wonders. You weren’t able to squeak out more than a whisper when you went in there. Now listen to you.”

“Why?” Mariah’s eyebrows lifted in surprise.

“Repeat what I say.” mom suggested, laboriously trying to hide her humor.

Obediently Mariah parroted her mother’s statement. “I am so frustrated I no longer compensate for anything.”

“What?” What are you trying to tell me, Mom?” she was baffled.

“You have been talking non-stop since we left that building. Your lovely voice is back.”

Gasping, one hand flying to her chest, she asked, “Do you think he did that on purpose? That’s…”

“Allow me,” mom interrupted, laughing. “That’s outlandish.”

KJV Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Goergen05/28/11
Comical read…a one thousand dollar bill for one minute of looking and telling me I did it, with no further treatment would bring my voice back too I think ...maybe your story has invented a new cure laryngitis! LOL LOL LOL
Lisa Fowler05/28/11
You pulled me in quickly and drug me all the way to the end. Excellent writing.
Noel Mitaxa 05/29/11
A very animated story, with strong characters and credible dialogue. Yet, while I also enjoy the truth of Romans 8:28, I felt that this text was tacked on. Maybe your dialogue could have included a subtle lead-in like: "I've prayed so much about what to do, but he didn't do anything for me!" Otherwise, a great snapshot of life.