“How much time do I have doc?” Stephan asked watching the snow fall through his reflection.
Dr. Kliddle cleared her throat, “It’s hard to say. We don’t get many people in here with half of their torso missing,” she says pausing to clear her throat again, “Frankly, I don’t know how you’re still alive. You should have bled out by now. How are you not bleeding?” She shines her flashlight on his obviously fresh but dry wound. Stephan’s left reminded her of a surfboard in South Africa, missing a chunk from a shark attack. “Tell me one more time how this happened.”
“Ok, I know it sounds crazy. But, I walked past a painting of a shark and it stretched out of the frame and bit me,” he paused trying to find a way to believe himself after repeating the story a sixth time. “I was in the Wonton Magic Shop when it happened. I felt it, fainted, and woke up here. I was certain I wouldn’t wake up again.” They looked at each other completely perplexed.
“How much does it hurt? Like if I poke you will you feel it?” Dr. Kliddle asked as she jabs two fingers into Stephan’s navel.
He squirms away as he giggles, “Stop. That tickles.”
“I think I need to call in some help,” picking up her phone off the counter, she scrolls, and dials. “Yes, hello may I speak to Dr. Frambopolus?… Yes, I’ll hold. It is a case I think he’d be interested in… Uh huh. Hello Dr. Flamboropus, how are you? Uh huh,” she nods as if he could see her through the phone. “Oh well that’s fantastical, tell the family I say hi. Now, I was calling because I have a young man here, who is missing a substantial portion of…” The door creaks twice. “his torso is just gone. But, there is no blood, and the kicker is he’s not even in any pain… Uh huh, yup… Well, that’s why I called you Dr. Fobrampulos.”
“Michelle, who are you talking to?” asked Hilary making eye contact with Dr. Kliggle via the dark window.
Now facing each other, “I’m talking to Dr. Frampopulous, Mommy. We need to figure out what’s wrong with Stephan.”
“Uh huh. You can figure out what is wrong with him in the morning. I told you two lights out a half hour ago.”
“But, Mom,” she whined, “he could die in his sleep.”
“He looks fine to me. We can check him over together in the morning. We’ll see if we can figure out the issue. But first, we all need a good night’s sleep. So stethoscope down and hop in your beds,” Hilary finished sternly.
Stephan saunters to his bed from atop his desk. Reluctantly, young Dr. Kliggle follows suit, “So we have to save him first thing in the morning.”
“We will my dear,” Hilary reassured. “But first, bed.” She tucks in Stephan, then her mini-me, kissing both foreheads before, “good night my angels,” turning out the light and closing the door.