Any doubts that remained after my initial questions had been swept aside. I could not have ordered a better candidate than Connor Steely if there was an online catalogue of every borderline headcase on Earth.

Hmm, that’s an interesting idea actually. Excuse me for a moment, I need to write that down.

Alright then, where was I? Ah yes, The Deal Breaker. In my twenty years of practice I had never heard response like that before - none even came close. The man was in a category all of his own.

He was perfect.

I gathered my paperwork, stood up, and moved to the door without a word. I couldn’t wait to get started; there was so much planning to do, so many documents to prepare. I had begun a schedule to follow months before but I had never completed it - seeing so many patients with no real candidates had robbed me of motivation. But…

“So can I go home now Doc? I’ve got an exper…ienced cleaner coming by tomorrow morning, to help me take care of the mess in the basement.”

I paused in the open doorway and studied his face. Connor was doing his best to appear open and trustworthy but I had my suspicions that he was more eager to carry on his experiments than he was to clean them up. I briefly wondered if there was something else due to explode soon but then decided I’d read about it in the papers if that was the case.
“I’ll need to have a quick consultation with my colleagues first,” I told him as I closed the door, barely containing my smile when his shoulders slumped and his face fell. I turned to find The Brothers Grim leaning against the wall across from me, their carefully crafted bored expressions firmly in place. The muscle-bound towers with matching shaved heads, legally known as Tobias and Dwayne Samson, liked to pretend that they didn’t enjoy their work, that they only showed up to collect their paycheques, but I knew better. I saw the look in their eyes when a patient’s wild behaviour was approaching the point that their services would be required.
“Does he stay…” Tobias began with a raised eyebrow.
“Or does he go?” finished his older brother Dwayne.
“He stays,” I replied, checking my notes for show. “Put him in Room 333 – I don’t think the restraints are necessary but I will leave that decision in your… capable hands.”
I strolled down the hall toward my office as they detached themselves from the wall and headed in to collect Connor. As I turned the corner I heard a muffled shout but I didn’t bother to look back; I knew the brothers had the situation under control.

My polished black dress shoes whispered along the plush red carpet which could only be found in the administrative wing – the rest of the building contained either stained grey tiles that were once white or worn, buttery yellow carpeting, which supposedly had a soothing affect on the patients. I’ve always thought you’d get better results from shoving baby soothers in their mouths.
I nearly ran over Dr. Dimitrijevic as she stepped out of her office, her diminutive frame weighed down by her usual assortment of textbooks and research papers. She barely saw me coming in time, dancing back into her office with surprising grace to avoid the collision. I gave the top of her curly brown hair a curt nod and continued on without slowing. I didn’t have the time or inclination to be dragged into another one of her in-depth discussions on the latest research on patient therapy. Like any of that junk really works anyway.
I stepped into my office moments later, kicking the door shut behind me. I surveyed the mess of papers and books on my desk briefly before shifting my paperwork onto my right arm. I stepped forward and swept my left arm across the pile, sending my other work fluttering and clattering to the floor. I gently placed my notes from my session with Connor on the center of my desk and eased myself into my squeaking black leather chair.
It wasn’t until I reached out to pick up my clipboard that I noticed my hands were shaking.

I pressed them flat against the chipped oak surface and took several deep breaths to release the nervous excitement coursing through my body like a child on a sugar high. Once successful, I grabbed my notes and spun my chair to look out my window and into the woods it framed. The trees, in turn, looked back expectantly, my co-conspirators in the weeks and months which would follow. I gave them a wink and a smile before looking down at the hurried scribbles resting in my lap.
“This is it,” I whispered to myself as I began to read, a lone finger running tenderly over the name at the top of my notes. “The experiment begins tonight.”

The End

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