Harriot, the Doctor

"Harriot, have you had any history of injury?" The doctor was already putting away his pen when Harriot answered him.

"Well, I have this scar on my right arm from a skiing accident. That was about four years ago."

The doctor placed his folder back on the desk and turned to look at the boy. He had the strangest feeling of familiarity with the child. It wasn't what he said, but the way he said it. The voice was thin and high. He imagined an upward slope at the end of each sentence. It was repressed and tense. He remembered the brief moment between the boys first words and his recognition of the voice. In that thin slice of time, the doctor heard himself answering the question. The space around him was a void with that voice being the sun. Then he looked at the boy's arm.

Harriot firmly clasped his fingers around the arm with a scar. But, the scar was not to be found. The only thing Harriot held in his hand was a smooth plane of skin. The doctor instinctively looked down at his own arm and found the missing scar. He was biking on a nearby mountain when his hand jerked forward and he lost control of the bike. The damage was minor; a few cuts across his torso, an abrasion on his ankle, and a few bruises all over his body. The only lasting damage was the gash in his right arm.

"Now Harriot, its wrong to lie about something like that. I won't be able to find out whats wrong with you if I don't know the truth." The doctor stared into Harriot's eyes, looking for a sign of shame all the while knowing there was none to be found; it appeared that the child was indifferent to any emotion.

"Oh, I wouldn't lie. My wife wouldn't like that, she hates when I lie to her."

The doctor took off his wedding ring and put it in his pants pocket. His finger looked as if it never felt the imprint of a ring on it before. He rubbed his hand over it.

"Sometimes I'll tell her I got called in, but that's just an excuse to go see a prostitute."

"That's enough."

"She caught me once; I was at the cheap motel a couple miles from here when she walked into the clinic looking for me. When she found out, I had to rent out that room for the rest of the month."

The doctor lost the gift of speech. He just stood in the middle of the room, his eyes bulging like a toad's. He never told anyone about that incident. This child wasn't a sun; he was a void, sucking up all information around him. No, that wasn't quite right. He was a tornado, repelling the information back outwards. He picked his folder back up and opened the door. Harriot's parents were eagerly waiting for him. They greeted the doctor with questions about their child. He left them unanswered, walking down the hallway in a listless fashion. he refused to see their child ever again.

The End

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