Tag Archives: doctor

There’s No ‘S’ in Human (Part four/end)

Here is the last segment of this weird and twisted story. I hope those of you who have followed it from the start have enjoyed it. If you didn’t read parts one through three, part one is a good place to get started. Thanks!

***

part four

There was blood everywhere. The boy’s first thought upon entering the room had been to try to get the it back into the doctor’s body. Maybe he could somehow get him to start up again, like turning the key in a car with a freshly-filled fuel tank. If he could find a cup, or a scoop; something to pick the blood up in… But then he’d seen that the doctor was missing a head. And, though he was still young and still had much to learn about the world, he thought that might pose a problem.

His thoughts had reached about this point when he became aware of a faint hissing sound behind his back, like air escaping from a balloon. He whipped around and saw the strangest looking monster he’d ever seen. It was one long, thin, scaly body, with two stilt-like human legs and two delicate human arms attached (by thread?) at uneven intervals leading up to a serpentine head. Part of the body was wrapped in some kind of toga, as if this creature believed itself to be some kind of Roman God. Altogether it looked very… silly.

“Excuse me, sir, but I don’t think your body was design for such attachments,” the boy informed the creature as politely as he could manage. “Just look at that section of you between the arms and the legs – it’s bending at all sorts of weird angles when you move. It’s not meant to hold that kind of weight.”

Sid turned around abruptly and reexamined himself in the mirror. He was stunning. Wasn’t he? He spun on his heel and walked out of the room, returning a minute later dragging the gym bag. He’d placed the unconscious surgeon on top of the bag, with the doctor’s head on her lap, and was pulling her like a child on a sled. When he got back to the the boy, he picked up the doctor’s head and placed it over his own. The dead eyes came to life and, after rolling around erratically for a moment, came to rest on the boy’s face.

“What are you trying to ssay to me, ssmall child?” asked Sid through the doctor’s mouth.

The boy, developing a plan, replied: “Nothing. It’s just… If you’re able to take control of human pieces so easily, why don’t you use a human torso? You could  still control everything, but you’d be much more comfortable, and bend a whole lot less.”

Sid considered it for a second. The whelp had a point. With no explanation, he exited the room once more, this time returning with a surgical needle and thread in one hand and a pair of scalpels in the other.

“Help me get thesse off,” he demanded, and handed the boy one of the scalpels.

He laid himself down on the floor and got to work cutting the stitches holding the left leg on. The boy looked uncertain for a second, then stepped up and started freeing up the right leg. They took turns on the arms: first Sid cut one off, then he allowed the boy to cut the other, since he wouldn’t have been able to do it himself. Pulling out the stitches had hurt a little, but he was numb with excitement at the prospect of working with a more complete human body. As soon as the last threads were cut, Sid retracted his head from the doctor’s neck leaving it to roll on the floor, then slithered over to the surgeon and into her mouth. He turned around somewhere inside her chest, and then peered out through her mouth.

He stood up in his new costume. It took him a while to get to his feet without the benefit of arms, but he’d gotten it eventually by placing his head against the hospital bed and using it for leverage. He looked down with the surgeon’s head at her legs. They weren’t as long as his other ones, but he felt like he could get used to them.

“Help me with the armss,” he insisted. He lay down on the floor next the the arms that had been casually tossed aside once separated from his snake body.

The boy put down his scalpel and picked up the needle and thread. His hands were a little unsure of themselves, but he got to work sewing the surgeon’s arms back on as straight as he could manage. Sid was having a great time. He could choose not to feel the prick of the needle going in and out of the woman’s body, though he could feel her heartbeat accelerate while the boy worked. He felt quite comfortable in this position, dangling down the surgeon’s esophagus. He got quite an eerie feeling from inhabiting a body that was still alive, but he quite liked the warmth, and the comforting rhythm of breaths coming and going.

In due time, the boy finished his task of reconnecting the arms. Sid stood up quickly and swung the arms around the surgeon’s body, as if loosening up them up in preparation for a long, delicate surgery. The boy had been right: a human torso made a world of difference.

“My thankss, young man,” Sid said, inclining the surgeon’s head slightly. “I shall be off now to experiencce more of what it meanss to be a human.” He took a step towards the door.

“Wait,” suggested the boy. “You don’t want to go out there looking like that. From what I can tell, you’re a boy snake. You don’t want to be seen walking around with…” He whispered the last word, since he normally wasn’t supposed to say it: “boobies.”

“Why not? Thiss body iss quite sstylish. I should like to get out of here immediately, boobiess or not.”

“But it’s better to be a man,” tried the boy. “For instance, my mom tells me that women often get paid less than men for doing the same work.”

“I don’t intend to get a job,” countered Sid. Then, after some thought: “But I ssupposse you’re right. I’m ssure thingss will be eassier to exxplain if I sstick to the gender I know.”

He retrieved the needle and thread and stepped over to the doctor’s body. He knelt down on the surgeon’s knees in the doctor’s blood and got to work reattaching the doctor’s legs. He worked quickly, then got started on the head, dipping his needle into the neck in one spot and arcing it out in another over and over again. When he was finished, he let the surgeon’s body slump over as he crawled from her mouth. As he slid off of her, she rolled gently and groaned almost imperceptibly.

She’s coming around! Thought the boy excitedly. Maybe the same thing will work for the doctor.

Sid had now entered the doctor’s body and was peeping out from the mouth. He sat up, bending the doctor’s neck from side to side and kicking the doctor’s feet to make sure everything was working. Satisfied, he leaned forward, as if to stand.

“Many thankss to you for all of your help,” Sid hissed. “Now, I really musst get going.”

Before Sid had a chance to close the doctor’s mouth, the boy shot his hand inside and pulled him out. The doctor’s body slumped forward, knocking the boy backwards so that he released his hold of Sid and tumbled to the ground. The doctor fell on top of the boy, pinning him in place. It hadn’t worked. The doctor had not been brought back.

The surgeon’s eyes were fluttering open weakly now. Sid, slightly dazed after being dropped by the boy, made his way back over to the doctor. It was really just a minor inconvenience, like being thrown out of your car by a car jacker who then changed his mind and let you get back in. However, before he had a chance to climb into the doctor’s mouth…

The boy felt a stir. A very slight vibration, almost too small to notice. Then the doctor pushed himself up. He straightened up so that he was on his knees. The boy clambered out from under him and stood up, his smile gleaming at the doctor.

“Doctor, I’m so glad you’re OK. This snake here was…”

The doctor turned his face towards the boy. His eyes were glazed over and his lower lip hung slack, a ribbon of drool making its way down to his lab coat. The boy managed to shriek for about half a second before the doctor’s hands closed around his throat. Obviously, this was not the doctor as he had been before. Death—even a short death—can have catastrophic consequences on the brain, and it seemed like the doctor’s was as jumbled as a stir fry as a result of his time spent coming all to pieces to satisfy Sid’s curiosity.

The boy found that he was running out of air. His mouth was toiling futilely trying to gasp in a small breath of life-giving oxygen, but he couldn’t get anything past the doctor’s hands. Just as he thought he would black out, he saw the snake crawl up the doctor’s body to his shoulder, and from there directly into his mouth.

The change was instantaneous. The doctor released his hold on the boy’s neck and stood up fully. He laughed hard. The surgeon sat up, holding her head where she had hit it back in the store room. She looked into the face of the laughing doctor-thing and felt a little shiver.

“Lookss like the doctor issn’t in anymore, eh?” Sid gloated. “M’lady, I thank you for letting me try out your body,” he said to the surgeon. “It wass very lovely, but it jusst wassn’t the one for me.

“And you,” he addressed the boy. “I shan’t kill you, desspite how much I want to know what you tasste like. Eating human children sseemss very unprofesssional for a human, and ssincce that iss what I am now, I will leave you alone. But I jusst hope you’ve learned a lessson on what happenss when you sstick your nosse where it doessn’t belong.”

And he strode out of the room. Out of the building. Down the street and to the park. He jumped in the fountain and splashed around laughing in pure joy at the new freedom that he’d uncovered for himself. Sid felt sure that this is what he was intended for: living the carefree life of a very blood-soaked doctor, on a very warm and sunny afternoon.

Back in the room, the surgeon stood up and helped the boy to his feet. He looked as if he was about to cry, and she really couldn’t blame him. She picked him up and, as she carried him back to his own room, she thought to herself:

Snakes are scary fucking creatures…

end

There’s No ‘S’ in Human (Part three)

I hope you’re all fans of weirdness, because this story has it in buckets. Be sure to start with part one if you are just joining us on this most bizarre journey.

***

part three

The surgeon’s hand grasped the sharp end of the needle firmly as it emerged from Sid’s scaly skin. It paused for a second as Sid steeled his nerves, then pulled the rest of the curved surgical needle through, followed by a neat line of thread. Just a few more stitches and then… yes. The first leg was attached.

Sid shuddered with anticipation. He gingerly bent the leg at the knee. It stayed put. He smiled and flicked his tongue excitedly. Since he’d need both legs in place before he could hope to try standing, he eagerly got to work re-threading the needle so that he could start on the second leg.

While Sid had found the legs quite unusable before he’d gotten the idea to attach them to his body, he was getting some wonderful use out of the surgeon’s right arm, which he’d wedged against the shelf next to the woman’s unconscious body. He was pressing his own body against it in order to control the arm’s movements. Since he wasn’t trying to go anywhere, this setup worked quite nicely. Though it has slipped around a little at first, making threading the needle nigh on impossible, he’d jammed it more securely in place using the doctor’s head, and he hadn’t had any issues since.

Seven stitches left. Six stitches left. Five stitches left. It hurt like hell to keep plunging that needle into his own flesh and pulling it back out, only to plunge it in and pull it out once more, but Sid knew that the end result would be worth the trouble. Four stitches left, three stitches left, two stitches left. Sid was working faster now, as he neared the end of his trial. Soon he would know what it felt like to run and leap. Soon he would be able to kick a ball and twiddle his toes. Soon he could cross his legs knowingly and explain to the other snakes exactly what they were missing out on as a result of their ancestor’s digression way back in the Garden of Eden.

One stitch left. Soon, he would conquer God’s will.

He finished the last stitch and placed the needle gently to the side. He hardly breathed as he practiced flexing this second leg. Then, before he could really take the time to appreciate the significance what he was doing: he was standing. He took a few steps. He tried jumping, and almost fell back to earth as he landed a little off-balance, but he was able to right himself by jerking his long, snaking neck away from the direction of the fall. This was fantastic!

Now that he’d had a chance to break in his legs, he couldn’t stop thinking about how nice it had felt controlling the surgeon’s arm. While walking had been his primary goal at the start of this venture, he found that he’d quite like to be able to pick things up as well.

Sid ambled back over the the arm that was still crammed between the doctor’s head and the shelf. He lay in place and threaded another needle. Before he started sewing, however, he realized that one arm would not be enough. Sure, he might be able to get the front on, no problem; how would he reach the back? He looked over at the surgeon, still prone next to the gym bag in the middle of the floor. He’d only taken the one arm because, not having plans to kill her, he’d thought she might appreciate still having the other when she awoke. But that couldn’t be helped.

He stood up and walked over to her, then pressed the heel of his foot down on her remaining shoulder. He ground it around and stomped down a few times, and was eventually able to separate it from the torso, like the other one. He used the arm that was already in place to sew on the freshly-severed arm, then took the needle in his new hand and sewed the first arm on. He was beginning to feel more comfortable with the feeling of suturing himself, and barely even flinched as he finished attaching his fourth limb.

Sid stood proudly and swung his arms back and forth.  He clapped his surgeon hands and tapped his doctor feet. He hissed out a tune that was currently popular in the coolest of snake circles and danced all around the supply closet. He’d never felt so happy–so free–in his entire life as a reptile. He wanted to jump over the moon and sail around the world. He wanted to box a world champion and cook a delicious steak. He wanted to feel and be everything that it meant to be human.

But first he wanted a good look at himself.

Knowing full well that a snake with arms and legs must look a fair sight different from a regular human, he wrapped himself in a linen sheet that he found on one of the shelves, then made his way back across the hall. There was a mirror in the room that he’d woken up in.

Standing in front of the mirror, he couldn’t suppress a grin. With his lanky legs and dainty arms, he knew for sure that he would be able to run a marathon or reach all the way to the bottom of a pickle jar. He turned around to catch a glimpse of his new look from behind and froze.

Standing next to Sid’s hospital bed, looking down at the gory remains of the doctor (which looked like they wouldn’t be out of place raised up on cinder blocks like a car stripped for parts), was the boy from next door.

end of part three

(to part four/end)

There’s No ‘S’ in Human (Part two)

This is proving to be quite a dark story. Make sure to check out part one first if you are just joining us. And bear with me: this is going somewhere!

***

part two

The surgeon was rather a dainty young lady, currently looking forward to going home after just finishing off a long day with a six-hour surgery. She stepped into the locker room and shed her scrubs, took a quick shower, then got dressed and began the long walk down the hallway to get to the hospital’s main door.

As she was walking, she noticed something that looked like the leg of an octopus disappearing around a door into a supply closet off the side of the main corridor. She decided she hadn’t really seen that, and that the long work day must be getting to her, but she decided to peek in just to be sure nothing was wrong. After all, the door was not usually left ajar. She flicked on the light, and her breath caught in her throat.

In the center of the floor there was a gym bag that appeared to be oozing blood. The surgeon took a step towards it, and it writhed lazily in response. She took another step forward and released the door, which swung closed on its own. She glanced back over her shoulder, but determined that this mystery had to be solved before she left, if only so that she could sleep that night without any nightmarish explanations for the bleeding bag infecting her dreams. She leaned over and unzipped the bag, and looked square into the eyes of one of the hospital’s doctors.

Sid had peeked out of his room when he’d seen the surgeon walk past, and he’d watched her enter a door labelled “Locker Room”. He’d known she probably wouldn’t be in there long, so he’d gotten to work on his new plan immediately. First, he’d snaked into a neighboring room to find something in which he could carry his new legs. He’d found a gym bag full of snacks and toys, obviously belonging to the young human boy asleep in the room’s bed. Sid had resisted the urge to investigate how similar human child tasted to human adult, and had instead emptied out the gym bag of its contents before dragging it back into his own room.

He’d stuffed the doctor’s old legs into his new bag. He’d had to bend them forcefully at the knees and really cram them in, but in the end they’d fit rather nicely. Sid had been just about to leave the room with his prized possessions when he had been hit by another brilliant thought. He would need some way to talk to the surgeon if he hoped to get her to help him attach his legs to his body. Sid had slunk back over to the doctor’s corpse (called that, because it was no longer gasping for air), and removed the head. He’d put that in the bag as well and gone off on his way to bring his spare parts to see the surgeon.

Partway down the hallway, he’d seen the door to the locker room swing open, and a figure in street clothes had stepped out. Sid hadn’t been able to tell if this was the same human that he’d seen go in, so he’d decided to beat a strategic retreat into a closet off to the side of the hallway, from where he could monitor the situation. He’d kept an eye on the human as she strode towards the door behind which Sid was hiding with his precious doctor pieces. At the last second before the woman, who Sid by that time was quite sure was the surgeon, stepped through the door, Sid had decided to get into place.

“Hello, ssurgeon,” hissed the doctor. No, it wasn’t the doctor. It was just his head, shoved into a bag with what seemed to be his legs.

“Hi.”

“If you pleasse, I would very much appreciate it if you could ssuture thesse legss to me. It’ss ssuch an inconveniencce when they jusst roll away from my body.”

“What are you doing with all these pieces separated from your body in the first place?” asked the nurse, quite reasonably.

“Well, the doctor wassn’t ussing them, sso I thought I might give hiss legss a try,” sibilated the doctor’s head.

The surgeon didn’t know how to respond. She saw something whipping around in the bag beneath the head.

“Hang on a second.” She picked up the head and saw a snake curled up in the middle of the gym bag. It looked quite ridiculous with a bandage wrapped around its head, partially covering one eye. However, the bandage was soaked quite heavily in blood from the doctor’s neck, into which the snake had apparently put its own head, giving it a slightly more sinister appearance. The snake flicked its tongue at the surgeon impatiently, then stared intently at the head she held in her hand.

“Sorry,” said the surgeon, returning the doctor’s head to the gym bag. “So who are you? And how did the doctor come to part with these… parts?”

“I’m Ssid,” said Sid. “The doctor gave up hiss life sso that I could know what it feelss like to be human. What it feelss like to walk around without having to crawl on my belly. Now, will you help me to attach thesse legss?”

“I’m sorry, I’m off duty,” explained the surgeon. “Besides, I’m pretty sure everything you’re doing in here is a crime against nature, and I’d rather not have a hand in that. So goodbye.”

As she turned to leave, she felt a shot of pain go through her heel. She looked down and saw the snake, Sid, sinking his teeth into her skin. She hoped to God he wasn’t poisonous. As she was about to lift her foot to shake him of, he readjusted his bite, slicing quite tidily through her Achilles tendon. She heard a snap, and instantly lost the ability to balance on that foot. She came down heavily, smacking her head on a shelf on the way down.

Sid made sure she was out cold, before he climbed up the same shelf to fetch a needle and some surgical thread. He’d have to do the stitching himself, but at least now he had an experienced set of hands to use to attach those legs.

Oh yes, he thought smugly as he slunk back down towards the surgeon. You’ll have a hand in this, my dear.

end of part two

(to part three)

There’s No ‘S’ in Human (Part one)

Here is the first piece that I’ve written exclusively to be posted to my blog. It’s a little gory, and it’s only the first segment in what I see as maybe a four- or five-part story, but I quite like it. Let me know what you think!

***

part one

Sid woke up on a hospital bed, with a bandage wrapped loosely around his head, partially covering one eye. This in itself didn’t really give Sid reason to pause; he clearly remembered the moment when a runaway quad bike had nailed him square between the eyes. He was glad not to be dead and all. What really wrinkled his brow was that he was in a people hospital. For human people. And Sid was a snake.

He was sure of this fact. He had vivid memories of waking up every morning and being a snake. Every time he could recall seeing his reflection in a puddle of rainwater, the number of limbs he could count on his long, whip-like torso was zero. Plus, if heredity had much to do with it, both of his parents were snakes. So why was he in a people’s hospital?

And then it dawned on him. Maybe nobody had realized that he was a snake.

As this rumination bubbled through his serpentine brain, it precipitated other thoughts. How could a human mistake a snake for one of its own kind? How long could he benefit from the medical attention afforded to him by this oversight before he was found out and sent to a veterinarian instead? What would it feel like if he actually were a human?

This last thought lingered for a second longer than the others. In fact, it was still at the top of his mind when the doctor strode into the room on his long, lanky legs.

I wonder what it would be like to have a pair of those, Sid thought to himself. Legs.

Perhaps he was just curious by nature, or perhaps the concoction of medications that the doctors had him on served to lower his inhibitions, but at the precise moment that the doctor reached the side of Sid’s bed, Sid launched himself at the doctor’s throat and severed the doctor’s jugular with his fangs.

I’d quite like to try out those legs, Sid decided. A snake’s teeth are sharp, but they’re no good at tearing through flesh, as it is generally the custom for them to swallow food whole. Now, Sid was no boa constrictor, but he decided that the easiest way to remove the doctor’s legs was to wrap himself around them one at a time and squeeze until they popped off.

Sid waited for the doctor to finish writhing in a pool of his own blood on the floor before he started on this task. When the doctor had bled out sufficiently that his struggles were little more than a regretful twitch, Sid coiled his slender body around the doctor’s right thigh. That first one wasn’t too hard to get off, but by the time Sid had wrapped himself tightly around the left leg, he had used up most of his energy and couldn’t seem to manage the task no matter how hard he squeezed.

He disentangled himself from the doctor and slithered around a little bit to loosen up. He lapped his forked tongue into the pool of blood and found he quite liked the taste of human: something which he had never had the opportunity to eat in the wild. He lapped up a little more to restore some strength, then got back to work on the left leg. This time, it posed no problems and popped off just as easily as the first.

Now Sid was ready to experience life as a bipedal creature. He maneuvered the legs so that they lay at right angles to one another, with a gap in the middle about the width of his body. He positioned himself between his brand new appendages and concentrated with all his might on moving them. However, try as he might, he could only bend the knees a little bit before both legs would roll away from his body.

What I really need, Sid concluded after a bevy of failed attempts, is some way to attach these kickers to my body. I’m sure there must be someone in this place who can affix me to these beauties.

No sooner had these thoughts passed through his mind than he saw a surgeon hurrying past the open door to the room. Sid narrowed his eyes slyly and flicked his tongue.

Perfect.

end of part one

(to part two)

BDSMD

As noted in the ‘Stories’ page description, some of the stories posted here will not be “hot-off-the-press” of my brain, but rather stories that I have previously written for whatever reason. This is one such story, which I wrote for a creative writing class during my senior year of college. I was very proud of it at the time, and I figure that it deserves to be read, rather than languishing in obscurity on the hard drive of my computer.

***

Sadie was a sadist.

She hadn’t always been. She used to just be a doctor. But come to think of it, maybe sadism was the reason that she went into the medical profession in the first place. Hadn’t her residency in the Severe Burns Unit (notorious for the constant groaning of the patients whose wounds refused to grant a moment’s rest) been the best time of her life? She would go home at the end of the day, lie on her bed, shut her eyes and touch herself, imagining her pleasured moans mingling with the pained groans of the burned men and women at the hospital. It hadn’t felt like she was delighting in their misfortune. It just made her feel more alive.

Nothing in her childhood had prepared her for her development into a sadist. She wore pigtails and bright dresses until she was nine, and spent most of her time playing with Barbie dolls. If her parents had paid her a little more mind, they may have noticed that her dolls’ heads tended to fall off far more frequently than those of her friends’ dolls. But her dad worked long hours at the local bottling plant and her mother ran a hair salon. They had neither the time nor the attention span to notice these early warning signs in their young daughter. Aside from the dolls, her childhood was quite typical. Her Goth phase may have lingered a little longer than most, but she got over it and turned into, by all accounts, an exceedingly lovely young woman.

But then there was a series of incidents that made her suspect that she might be more different from her peers than she’d suspected. It began in the spring of her sixth year as a fully-practicing MD. She had repeatedly requested to be moved to the Burns Unit or at the very least to the ER, where she felt she could make a difference and could enjoy the satisfaction of helping people who were in real pain. However, the hospital administration insisted on keeping her on the post-surgical floor. Sure, the patients would often cringe when she went to check their stitches, and there were multiple occasions where people would wake up, still slightly under the influence of anesthesia, screaming because they couldn’t remember where they were or why they were missing pieces of their body. But her work lacked the urgency that had so delighted her during her residency. That was when she decided to raise the stakes on her own.

She started by playing little psychological pranks on her patients: whispered insinuations in their sleeping ears that their nurses were trying to kill them; red dye on her lapel to make them think she was bringing diseased blood into their rooms; a Backstreet Boys CD played on repeat for hours at a time; ‘accidental’ delivery of bad news to the wrong room. Each time she saw the fear in their eyes or their nervously-fidgeting fingers, it made her heart race a little faster. She hoped her flushed cheeks would be mistaken for embarrassed blushing.

She never physically interfered with her patients (unless you count surreptitiously turning up the thermostat on a hot day) until the day she was mugged. Well, it was a failed mugging, really. A mugging gone horribly wrong. Sadie was on her way to catch the bus to work that morning, when a man had stepped out of an alley and blocked the sidewalk. She didn’t look up, but walked around him assuming he was just an oblivious asshole. Then he grabbed her arm and spun her around so that she could see the knife in his other hand.

Scarcely a word had passed his lips before she drove her knee up hard into his groin. He cried out and released his grip on her arm. As he doubled over, she sent a solid punch between his eyes and took off running across the street. She was still running a few seconds later, frantically searching for safety, when she heard the screech of tires followed by a dull thump. She turned around and saw her attacker lying in the street in front of a car that had convincingly ended any hopes the man may have harbored of pursuit. Sadie didn’t wait around to give a statement. She sprinted straight to the next bus stop and made it to work less than ten minutes late.

Later that day, she was called in to check on a new patient – a man who had just undergone surgery to correct damage done to him by a car. He was currently in a medicated slumber so Sadie was the only one to react when she went into the room and recognized the man as her would-be mugger. She performed the check-up as professionally as possible for the sake of the nurses present (with maybe a bit more prodding than was strictly necessary), and finished her rounds.

When it came time for shift change, she sneaked back into his room with a bottle of hydrogen peroxide. She stood over him for a minute and took in his injuries. He had several broken bones: fingers, a leg, some ribs and fractures in his skull. He was severely scraped up on his right cheek where he’d landed on the road surface after the collision. As mad as Sadie was at this man, she was equally intrigued. She splashed some hydrogen peroxide on his cheek and watched it bubble fervidly. Though his sleeping drugs didn’t allow him to awaken, the man’s brow furrowed with an obviously pained expression. Her own face twisted into a smile. This man wasn’t a threat to her. He was her plaything.

She dragged a chair over to his bedside and laid her head on his chest, then took her hand and pressed down on his broken ribcage. As she increased the pressure, she could feel his breath become quicker and shallower. Her own breath sped up in pursuit. Their heart rates increased as one. She felt moisture accumulating between her legs and slid her hand down his pants to see if his body was thinking the same thing. It wasn’t. But that didn’t matter – she couldn’t stop now. The next shift must have been just about ready to start making rounds.

As one of her hands ventured inside her, she grabbed onto the man’s hand with the other and squeezed. She could feel the broken bones in his fingers rubbing against each other in unnatural ways. From deep within his heavy sleep world, the pain elicited a groan of dissatisfaction. She joined in with her own moans of pleasure and was instantly mentally transported back to the Burns Unit. She finished, wiped the hydrogen peroxide off of the man’s face, caught the bus back home and slept peacefully with dreams of her life-sized toy dancing through her head.

That was the tipping point. After that she took every available opportunity to slip into the rooms of patients who met two criteria: that they were deeply unconscious and in a lot of pain. She pushed and prodded their fractures and bruises, poured salt into their raw wounds, placed wet rags over their noses and mouths, and got off while doing so. And she was happy again. Why shouldn’t she be? She wasn’t actually hurting anyone, after all. Not permanently. And things may have carried on in this manner indefinitely if she hadn’t met a certain man.

 —

Mason was a masochist.

Not in his everyday life, mind you. Nobody at his church or at his office would have suspected as much. Neither would he have for that matter, if he hadn’t learned it about himself at a young age. Back when the usual response to conflict was to pinch the offender (sometime in elementary school), he’d come to the conclusion that he actually kind of liked being pinched. Though this had initially prompted him to act out against his peers with the hopes of a sharp reprimand, he had soon returned to his usual meek self after trouble with his parents and teachers.

It wasn’t until his early teens that he again began exploring this aspect of himself. He fell off his bike after school one day and had to limp the rest of the way home, leading the bike alongside him, as blood dripped from a scrape on his knee. His mother handed him an alcohol swab when he got in the door and instructed him to wipe the injury down well, while she went off to wash the blood out of his socks and shorts before the stains set. He sat on the toilet lid and braced himself as he opened the little packet that contained the swab. When he laid the alcohol-drenched cloth on his knee, it stung like hell. He rubbed it around softly to remove the dirt from the wound. As he did so he gritted his teeth. As intense as the pain was in his knee, he couldn’t stop. It made him feel good in other places. When his mother came back from starting the laundry, she found him rubbing a second swab all over the acne on his bare chest.

He personally never saw anything wrong with his love of pain. However, due to the religious propriety that dominated his neighborhood, he learned to hide this interest from the world. In private, he might clip clothespins onto the loose skin of his hands or listen to Michael Bolton cassettes, but in public Mason was a hard-working student, an obedient son and in every way a conventional human being.

He graduated high school, went to college, got a job, dated and got married without anyone suspecting his little secret. Once, a few years into his marriage, he’d asked his wife to spank him while they made love. She had obliged and he had enjoyed it immensely, but he could tell that it had made her uncomfortable. He didn’t ask her for any such thing again. He still didn’t feel embarrassed or ashamed of his fetish. He just felt alone.

Then one day, about fifteen years into his marriage, he stumbled across an article online about sexual deviance. He recognized at once that the article was speaking to his personal situation. The author outlined all kinds of behaviors that had, at some point or another, been viewed as immoral, inhuman or downright evil. She even designated a whole paragraph to some of the ways that masochistic people had developed to appease their urges. Though he had long since stopped sneaking away to satisfy his ‘darker’ desires, he resolved to try as many of the acts mentioned in the article as he could.

He got off to a good start. He burned his hand pouring some coffee. He bruised his shins tripping on the stairs.  But when his wife walked in on him in their bedroom one Thursday whipping his bare back with a belt, the game was up. He explained himself and how he had repressed his desires for so many years and begged her to understand. But she couldn’t help being the person her parents had raised her to be, and so she left him before the week was up.

That’s when Mason started trying more risky things. He administered electrical shocks to his erogenous zones. He stuck heated sewing pins into his skin. But the next thing he tried went terribly awry. As an introduction to the realm of autoerotic asphyxiation, he was sitting on his bed with a clothesline tied around his neck. He’d read that more people have died from improper practice of this particular technique than any other, and so had cleverly rigged it up so that when he passed out, his body would topple and the rope would be pulled off by the headboard of the bed, to which it was attached. His setup worked perfectly, but he’d overlooked the fact that, when he fell over unconscious, he wouldn’t be able to control where his body landed.

He must have taken a head dive right onto his bedside table, because he woke up two hours later in a pool of his own blood, with a large gash over his eye. He was lucky that he had woken up at all – he could just have easily have bled out there and nobody would have ever been the wiser. His hands slipped several times on the blood-soaked carpeting as he propped his body back up. He had lost too much blood to drive himself to the hospital, so he called an ambulance. He didn’t tell them the whole story, but rather said that he’d tripped in the dark after turning out the lights before going to bed. He figured they’d buy it, except maybe for the marks that were no doubt still visible around his neck.

No matter. He could deal with that later. At that moment he just wanted to go back to sleep. He lay down on his bed and passed out. He didn’t wake up during the whole ambulance ride to the hospital, and was still sleeping peacefully in his bed in the Intensive Care Unit when a woman doctor slipped in to pay him a visit during the shift change.

 —

Sadie had been at it for weeks now – slinking into patients’ rooms for some quick abuse before her bus ride home. She had even gotten up the nerve to venture to different parts of the hospital to sample their fare. On this particular night, she was roaming the ICU.

She’d just found a room with a patient who had knocked himself out tripping in his own bedroom. He’d bled so much onto his floor that he’d been asleep since before the EMTs arrived to pick him up. If certainly sounded like a promising situation.

She sidled through the door cautiously. She wasn’t used to trying this with patients whose deep sleep wasn’t a result of medication. She snapped on a pair of rubber gloves, tiptoed over to his bed and looked at his face. Not a bad-looking face. The bandage above his eye looked intriguing. She lifted it up and saw three beautiful sutures keeping his brow from splitting open. She gingerly touched the raw flesh with her finger, then began to apply more and more pressure. The patients’ eyes screwed up and he grunted a little with the pain. Sadie’s face was just starting to flush with excitement when it abruptly lost all color. The patient had opened his eyes.

 —

He smiled weakly at her.

“Are you the one who will dominate my heart?”

Sadie paused. Then she returned Mason’s smile.

“I am.”