The phone rang, and Bernard almost jumped off his chair. The iPhone showed Mark’s name, phone number, and his Facebook photo. He touched the screen to answer the call. “We are on our way. Are you ready?” Mark asked.
Bernard looked for Joan, moved a bit to the left, and saw her packing some shoes and closing the bag. “Yeah, we will be down to the lobby in ten.”
Bernard and Joan lived on a 20th floor of an apartment building. The building was right in front of the bay, across the seafront. It was a small apartment, but it fulfilled its purpose as a transitional location. They never planned for the spectacular view and gorgeous sunsets. Bernard gazed through the window; the sun was coming down, painting the sky with blue, red, and orange bands. He sighed. Joan approached Bernard, embracing him, and leaning her head on his shoulder. Time paused for a moment as a perfect moment transpired. The phone rang again; Mark had arrived.
They went down in the elevator, and went out the service door. Mark and Cindy were waiting for them. Mark opened the trunk, and Bernard placed their bags beside the cooler and the other bags. Bernard sat in the front, Mark was driving, and Joan and Cindy were on the back. “I’m glad to forget about this week,” Bernard said.
It would be a long trip; the valley was six hours away. It was 7:00 P.M. by the time they cleared the city streets, and night was quickly descending upon them. They had planned on traffic being heavy, but were pleasantly surprised that it was light for a Friday. They had no problem getting to the “highway,” which was really a two lane road on the slopes of a ridge, turning and twisting on the way up.
After a couple of hours, there weren’t too many cars on the road. Joan and Cindy, who had talked all the way, were now asleep. The music playing wasn’t too slow or too hard, just right to keep a relaxed atmosphere without making Mark sleepy. The vegetation was thick: you knew why they called it a rain forest. It was very dark now, and the moon was absent from the night sky. It had drizzled, and the road was wet. They made the turn off of the “highway” on to a secondary road – only one lane each way. It was difficult driving at night, but they preferred getting there with enough time to be able to enjoy Saturday and Sunday.
“This guy is really starting to bother me,” Mark said, referring to the car behind. It had gradually moved closer, catching up with them. It had the headlights on high, almost blinding Mark. He reached to the rear-view mirror, and flipped it to dim the reflection. “What is his problem?” Mark complained.
“Slow down on this stretch; maybe he’ll pass us,” Bernard suggested.
Mark slowed down. It seemed to work because the car behind them crossed to the incoming lane and seemed to accelerate. “Finally,” Mark said.
As he finished his remark, the other car made a sudden move, and hit their car with force. It hit them on the back side, causing them to start spinning. Mark and Bernard were thrown to the right, violently. Bernard hit his head on the side door window, breaking it. Mark pressed the brakes, which made them spin faster. Joan and Cindy, who were asleep, woke up screaming. They didn’t know where they were, or what was happening. As they spun, their car skipped on the road, all the way to the turn. The car went off to the right shoulder of the road, but as soon as the tires touched the dirt, the car overturned. They were now spinning and rotating in every direction. A couple of feet later, they arrived to the tree line, and the front of the car smashed into a tree. Everything went blank.
The other car had stopped on the shoulder, about a hundred feet away. A man stepped out of the car. He could see the smoke coming out of the wrecked car, but he couldn’t see anybody moving inside. He approached Mark’s car with a bag in his hand.
Bernard opened his eyes. He was looking down. He saw his legs and his hands. He could see broken glass all over. He also saw a lot of blood. He could feel a warm liquid flowing down his face. He raised his hand and felt his face, opening his eyes wide when he felt the deep cut. All the blood was his. He then looked to his left. Mark had smashed the windshield, and was resting over the steering wheel. He was not moving at all. The whole windshield was missing. Joan had flown from the back seat, though the windshield, over the hood, only stopping when she hit the tree. Bernard started to cry; he knew from the awkward position of her body that she was dead. He couldn’t see Cindy.
Bernard tried to move, but his whole body ached. He felt almost paralyzed. He heard someone approaching the car. “Help!” he thought or said; he couldn’t tell which.
“Don’t move. You have been in a car accident. Please don’t move, I’m a physician,” said the stranger. Bernard could now see the physician with a bag taking out a stethoscope. He began checking Mark and Joan. Then he went to the back, Bernard imagined he was examining Cindy. “Great news: two of your friends are dead, and your lady friend here in the back is almost gone!” the physician said, excited.
Bernard couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “What did you say?” Bernard asked.
“Oh, don’t worry my friend, they are in good hands,” the physician said taking out a scalpel.
“What are you doing?” Bernard tried frantically to get out of his seat, but was pinned down by the dashboard. After what seemed like an eternity, he stopped trying to move. He felt dizzy.
The physician appeared outside his window. Bernard panicked. “Easy, easy. You’re doing better than your friends, but you’re weak . . . we will enjoy this!” Bernard could see the physician standing next to Joan, working on her. He couldn’t make out what was going on. “Good! Excellent!” he could hear the physician exclaim. “This one had some excellent specimens! It is really working out well tonight.”
“Please sir, what are you doing? Please help us!” Bernard saw the physician going toward the back of the car. Suddenly he heard Cindy scream. “Oh, my God!” Bernard shouted. “What are you doing to her?” Bernard couldn’t see, but he heard a low moan and some struggling. He was in despair, helpless.
“Ah, did you enjoy her screams?” The physician moved to the front of the car, focusing his attention on Mark. He pulled him backward to the seat, so that Bernard could now see Mark’s bloody, disfigured face. The physician opened Mark’s shirt, and there were a couple of fractured ribs sticking out his chest. “What a shame, he is badly damaged – but luckily, you are in good shape. I left the best for last.”
The physician started moving towards Bernard. “What? What? What? Who are you? What are you doing?” Bernard said, frantically.
“I’m sorry I didn’t introduce myself. I’m the Physician of Last Resort. I’m here to harvest your organs!” The physician whispered gently into Bernard’s ears.
“NO! NO! Arrggh!” Bernard struggled.
The physician hit Bernard on the head. “This is a delicate procedure, you can’t move that much. Here we go.”
As the physician said those words, Bernard felt the tip of the scalpel tearing his skin. After all he had just been through, the burning pain from the scalpel was even more unbearable. Bernard yelled with all his remaining strength. He felt the scalpel piercing through his rib cage, feeling agonizing pain. Then the physician put both hands inside the hole, and ripped the rib cage apart.
Bernard blacked out for a moment, but opened his eyes again. He wished that he hadn’t.
“Welcome back, I’ve been waiting for you. You couldn’t miss it,” the physician purred, as he inserted the scalpel deeper into Bernard’s chest. Bernard felt the metal blade cutting his heart. Blood splashed on the physician’s smiling face. With his last breath, Bernard saw his heart pumping in the physician’s hand. It was then all over.
It was midnight on a dark night. The physician stored his harvest in a cooler, and then placed the cooler in the trunk of his car. He got in the car and silently drove away.
For the Indie Ink Writing Challenge this week, octoberesque challenged me with “The physician of last resort.” and I challenged Carrie with “You are going about your normal business when you suddenly find out you are a muggle. Describe the circumstances of your first encounter with the magical world“.