“I hung up on him twice and enjoyed it. I know he’s afflicted. Dirty Pedo. First time I laid eyes on him, Charlene; I sensed it. Mama always said I had the sight and no Charlene, I can’t tell what you’re gonna fix for dinner tonight! Could you please be quiet? Come on now, this isn’t funny. Do you wanna know or not? Hold on a minute,” Rita said.
She pushed the hold button and ran her hands through strands of thinning, shoulder length hair, dyed black with white peeking through like teeth. Phone still in her hand, she looked up to guess who? Mr. Diseased, Pedo himself. Rita scooted her chair clear across to the other side of the desk and hoped maybe the heat from her stare would incinerate him. She’d call the janitor and watch with glee while he swept the dangerous disease into a dust pan ridding the world of this evil forevermore.
‘’You’re not on the schedule, Mr… she coughs, um, Peterson.’’
“The doctor is in,” said Angela, the head nurse, a kind smile etched on her face. “Come with me. How’re you doing?”
Her voice faded as she shut the examination room door. How the heck does Angela think he feels? He’s got a sickness and no cure. Ugh! Rita rolled forward to her desk, tiny feet pat the hardwood like a seasoned tap dancer.
She scowled as she looked over the waiting room of the diseased, and prayed to whoever harvested the power to keep her from getting tainted. Her facial mask lowered, Rita resumed her conversation with Charlene. She breathed another prayer and made the sign of the cross. Religion never interested her. Lots of religious crack pots cross themselves. It couldn’t hurt.
“Hey Charlene, listen, he whom I will not name walked in and…”
“Rita, please come to the back room for a moment?”
Crap, she didn’t want to go into the halls of infestation. What could Dr. Kendall want? He never dealt with her. Everything about Rita was tiny, her height, 4'10, eyes, tiny black hamsterish, her mouth crooked and wide like the jokers was the only thing about her that was big, fitting, though.
“Have a seat, Rita, this won’t take long. Would you say I was a fair boss?” He asked, green eyes twinkling, as if a secret to share.
That’s what Rita thought. So, she grinned and answered “Yes, quite.”
Ready to give an ear — to whatever, only she’d have the privilege of. The doctor leaned over his desk.
“It appears you, Ms. Walker, have an incurable disease. “
“How so?” She mumbled from behind her mask.
He chucked, “Quidnunc. Ever heard of it?”
“What?” Her largemouth opened, the garish coral lipstick followed the lines there and her dingy, fence-like-teeth showcased the same orangish peach color.
“Oh, yeah,” he said, eyes wide and lit like lanterns, “this disease is most common. There’s no cure.”
Rita placed her well-manicured hand across her lack of chest, tore the mask off and whispered,” “Will I die?”
“What you have is Quidnunc. Referred to as diarrhea of the mouth the disease has no place in my office. You’re discharged, Ms. Walker. Security will escort you off the premises. Good luck in getting rid of your… affliction,” he said.
Rita held her handbag to her chest and turned to see Mr. P. himself, arms crossed, standing next to the good doctor, a malicious grin on his insidious lips. Could the doctor be kidding with her? No, he turned and walk away, but Mr. Pedo Peterson remained.
He mouthed, “See ya — soon,” and lifted his large hand and there it was, the mark left on all the victims — the children.
Rita understood what he said she’d taken sign language in college, then a short time ago a refresher course. Pedo Peterson threatened her, unmistakable. Her minute body jerked away from the guard, she bolted, and prayed to anyone with ears to hear as well as eyes to get this on tape.
As she sprinted, some contents of her purse sprang free. The echo of coins plummeted to the concrete…maybe a dollar or two, but her affliction wanted her to get out of there.
She didn’t realize the bills that fell obscured her driver’s license. Rita wasn’t aware Mr. Pedo picked up her I.D., memorize her details, return to the doctor’s office and handed the card to Angela. The cure for Rita’s disease, yes, soon he would ameliorate, tiny Ms. Walker. He was precisely what the doctor ordered.
© 2022, Nedra Russell
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