"Ow, you're hurting me. Ow, ow, ow. How can you be so cruel?"
"Because you asked for it." With those needling words Bad Blood plucked out his patient's main conceit, strand by agonizing strand.
"This was never part of the deal," protested our one illustrious Baron Von Brain, ruing the putrid provisions of the pact he'd placed us under. If only he'd heeded my warning.
Some claim he had no choice but to act swiftly, in order to combat the bellicose blight stalking our streets at night. Slippery as a Caduceus snake and with a tongue twice as forked, it randomly left its fatal mark on anyone it chose: rich or poor, young or old, male or female. Some died within weeks, some within months, with others it took years. Needless to say, the mounting death toll saw our village head grasping for any stubble he could find that promised a cure for the deadly disease.
His so-called wise eyes (and ears) strongly urged him to contact an out-of-town witch doctor (aka Bad Blood) who claimed to be THE way to ideal health, THE truth to set us all free from pain, and THE life of our ailing white blood cells.
"He sounds absolutely brilliant!" exclaimed Von Brain, swooning over their depiction of this as yet un-encountered stranger.
"Yes, he is!" they cried in one accord. "He is!"
But Von Brain's chief officer Sam Stomach wasn't swallowing it. "First let's hear Nora Nose's view," he begged. (Meaning me)
"As long as she concurs with my insightful psychics," stipulated his superior.
Oh the subtlety with which he slung that noose! Deftly I dodged it, sinuses seething with sarcasm. "Old Sewage Sweat sounds like quite the savior. Got to love his toxic wine."
Von Brain's cheeks flushed crimson. "How often must I insist upon your brutal honesty, sans insults!?"
"Okay, so I smell a rat. Is it a crime to disagree with the majority?"
Apparently so, for Von Brain immediately threw me in the torture chamber - the one that told me more than I cared to know about this contract between him and Bad Blood.
"It's very simple really. Every member of our body - excepting myself, of course - shall drink his witch's brew, down to the very dregs. He in turn gives his firm 'yes, no, maybe' that he shall try to destroy the cancer ravaging our land. Oh, and by the way, this document, which cost our arm a leg of blood (an unbeatable price), is completely binding."
And blinding, thought I, knowing that what affected one member of the body eventually trickled up towards the head - as it did with this unwilling hair removal, which I hoped might change Von Brain's mind.
Sadly that was not to be. For instead of showing mercy, he forced me into that very "hot seat" so recently occupied by himself.
There I met Black Blood in person. He greeted me with a sly reptilian grin.
"I understand you find me utterly repulsive, a slimy, lowlife scum worthy of your vilest disdain. Perhaps a full dose of my famous chemotherapy might persuade you to speak better of me."
His visage was so intimidating that for one terrifying moment I was tempted to do just that. But seeing Sam standing in the room shaking as if he would throw up reminded me of the mess such denial would put me in, and left me only one option.
"I will not recant."
Furious at my opposition, Black Blood jabbed two clear hoses up my nostrils and cranked the tombstone tank. I steeled my mucus membranes like flint against the vapors, resisting his every attempt to coerce me.
An hour later I was still sitting there, totally happy and at rest while my persecutor stood there dumbfounded, scratching his pimply scalp and wondering why I hadn't fallen down dead.
"Why didn't it work? The agreement was binding, signed in blood and unbreakable!"
"Must be the power of my freeing agreement," I figured. "I made it with His Majesty on High, who paid for my complete healing with His pure and sinless blood. It cleansed me of all cancer clogging my heart and soul."
"Tell me more of His Majesty," said Bad Blood.
Right then we bowed our heads and I led him in a prayer for salvation.
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