Written by Carter Pierce
Guy Harmon wasted little time at the doctor’s office. He instructed Garret Thatcher to “rip and tear and get it over with,” resulting in blood getting basically everywhere it could go on the plastic sheet.
The grey shirt he’d worn underneath his trench coat was shredded beyond recognition and crusty with dry, black blood from the original wounds. It went in the trash immediately. Thatcher said he’d get him a new one. Guy said that would be just fine. The trench coat itself was still in decent condition. It was soaking in a plastic basin at the side of the room to loosen the blood stuck to it.
Guy lay on his back on the disposable plastic sheet, which was spread over the operating table to keep it clean. He could feel the stainless-steel surface. Like ice on his skin. Uncomfortable. But not as uncomfortable as the long tweezers and needle nosed pliers and the scalpel that kept digging into his chest.
Thatcher dug out the plastic shrapnel piece by piece, quick, efficient, not sparing any pain. Just the way Guy liked it. He had work to do, and being comfortable didn’t fit his schedule.
Dr. Thatcher made small talk as he worked. Probably force of habit. Maybe a nervous tendency when working with people who refused pain meds. “Did you hear about the plane crash yesterday?”
Guy was glad of the distraction. “Yeah. It was on the news. Were there any local repercussions?”
“Well,” the doctor replied, not seeming taken aback at the odd question, “There’s a friend of mine who lives down the street. Henry Foster. He told me he lost a business venture because one of his partners died in the crash. But that’s about it.”
Guy’s eyes narrowed slightly. But he kept his thoughts to himself. “Sorry to hear it.”
“Me too,” Thatcher replied.
“There’s something in my shoulder, I believe,” Guy commented rather blandly a few minutes later as the doctor removed another shard from his midsection. “I’d appreciate it if you could deal with that one next. It’s bothering me like you wouldn’t believe.”
“It’s rather large,” Thatcher told him. “Would you like me to apply a numbing agent?”
Guy Harmon glanced at his shoulder. The wound was clean, thanks to a preliminary alcohol swab. He could see the raw rim of flesh and white skin peeling back from the ragged tear. He shrugged his good shoulder. “Get it over with. Forget the pain; I can handle it.”
Dr. Thatcher sighed, shaking his head, and took a deep breath. “Very well, sir.” A moment later the pliers were at work, pushing around the buried edge of plastic, prodding nerves and tendons out of the way. The metal point scraped bone, shooting jolts down the entire length of Guy’s arm.
Guy gritted his teeth.
Thatcher did too. Then he pulled.
It didn’t come out.
Guy was tired of wasting time. He grabbed the pliers and yanked. The muscles in his opposite arm bulged, his forearm showing its sinews as he gripped the pliers. There was a sucking and a pulsing and a ripping of flesh.
Then the object gave way. A piece of sharp plastic the size of a watch face dislodged and jerked out into the sunlight. The pliers, covered in slick blood, fell to the floor. Blood gushed from the open wound.
Thatcher scrambled to bandage it up, tying cotton strips tightly around it and knotting them several times.
“Great work,” Guy said. “Feels better already.”
“I’m surprised you didn’t pass out. You must be one tough guy.”
“Part of my job. Are you finished?”
“Almost,” Thatcher replied. “There are a few small pieces in your chest still.” He picked up a new pair of sterile pliers from his rolling work table, and went to work. He was finished ten minutes later.
Guy stood up, checking the finished bindings. They were already soaked in blood, but they were secure. They’d keep him together until he healed up. That was all he needed.
“Nicely done, doctor,” he said. “You deserve some time off.”
Thatcher smiled modestly. “Thank you. And . . . about the payment . . .”
“Don’t worry about it,” Guy told him. “I’ve already arranged for a special vacation for you. My treat.” He laid a hand on the doctor’s shoulder. “Thank you again.”
Dr. Thatcher didn’t realize what was going on. He wasn’t a fighter. And Guy didn’t telegraph his next move at all. Suddenly there was a thick, meaty hand on either side of his head, and then everything went dark.
“Hope you have a wonderful time in paradise,” Guy murmured quietly as he picked up his trench coat and exited the office. He didn’t look at the other people in the lobby. He didn’t feel sorry that they’d have no treatment that day.
His mind was on one thing: finding Molchalin and finishing him. He had a good idea where to start. The doctor had given him just what he needed, in more than one way.
And for those of you who are interested, a short splurb on my personal life . . . Splurb? I don’t think that’s right. Speil might be. Blurb? Suburb? Whatever it is, here’s what’s been going on.
You probably noticed that once I got to the exciting climax I stopped. Cliffhanger! A good thing, sometimes. Until it drags on for months and months and months. There are a few reasons it took me so long to write this next post.
First, I will be completely honest, I had writers’ block. A little bit. I guess it happens to everybody. I never really stopped thinking about the story, though, knowing I should write more. Eventually things kicked into gear . . . this morning. While I was in another state.
Secondly, I’ve been busy. Cliche, yes. I can’t offer a detailed list of what excuses I have for skipping blog day. Just random stuff that piled up.
Thirdly, I have been working on another book. Something that’s been in the works for years, and has only recently come to a head. I’ll announce it on here when it’s ready. I hope you all like it.
Fourth, my family went on vacation. Yay! We saw the Ark Encounter in Kentucky, as well as the Creation Museum. If you don’t know about them, definitely check them both out. They’re awesome. This morning we flew back, Cleveland to LAX.
Fun trip. It was very long.
Good news! I’ve been working on the book Infiltration a little bit. I’ll perhaps start another series when this one is over, exploring some new plot threads that fit in. Can’t wait to share it with you all.
Late happy Thanksgiving!
Copyright by Carter Pierce 2022 All Rights Reserved