Thursday, July 2, 2009


By Scott Wilson
Word Count: 383

Doctor Graham sat behind his antique rosewood desk playing thoughtfully with his thick grey moustache. The brass plaque on the door of his surgery stated he was a psychiatrist, although he stopped helping his patients ten years ago.

“Let’s go over the records, shall we?” the tall, slender gentleman sitting across the desk from Graham said.

Graham opened a thick accounting ledger and slid his finger down the page until he reached the most current entry.

“I have to total at seventy-five now,” he said.

The gentleman produced a small pocket diary from his coat pocket and licked his finger, then flicked through it casually.

“I’m sorry to say that the tally is actually still at seventy.”

“What are you talking about?”

The gentleman smiled wickedly then said, “Over the last six months five of your patients have managed to get over your abusive and degrading treatment and actually forgiven you.”

Graham shook his head and looked at his ledger again. This time there appeared to be five less entries and the total was sitting at seventy.

“The longer this takes the more I lose these bastards.”

“Don’t take it to heart,” the gentleman said. “Causing seventy people to become filled with hate and resentment is not an easy feat. If you try harder though, you may be able to fuck the worst patients up enough to kill themselves. Suicide is a guaranteed keeper for you list.”

“I can’t get another thirty souls by the end of the year!”

“That is not my concern, Mister Graham,” the gentleman said. “The deal was one hundred souls for remission of your cancer and an extension on your life.”

“But it isn’t worth it. I can’t handle it anymore. These patients have severe problems and come to me for help. I’m killing them or fucking them up so much that their life isn’t worth living.”

The gentleman slowly closed the diary, put it in his coat, and stood up.

“Three months Mister Graham, unless you wish to settle your account now?”
Graham shook his head again and stared at the ledger.

“Ten souls a month...” he mumbled as the gentleman walked out of his surgery.


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