Mr. Linden Murray: to his physician, a repulsive hell-spawn of the accursed ground they share. To allow such a man to live was the highest form of mercy, but healing the ailments that corrupt his slow-beating heart...mercy, that is all.
Philip did not see himself any higher a man than the former, which was highly dignifying as he watched a demon suffer every day as the heavens poured holy water onto it. Relinquishing any disrespect of the man was the effect of a strong heart. Or rather, a heart of cowardice. Nonetheless, Philip remained on Isola Mortali to prolong Mr. Murray’s fleeting existence.
And still, the charming aristocrat continued to speak without repercussion. How he even knew about Philip’s and Ms. Muster’s relationship is beyond comprehension, as the two would lay in private as Linden would scream at the birds that flocked his windows. The thought of a screaming Mr. Murray excited Philip, which may have been his incentive to keep the man breathing.
Philip believed he had done too much for the pretentious bastard. Resolving his cataracts allowed him to see “clearly” once again, if the man ever did. Philip thought of it as a punishment, especially now, as his guests approached his island. The old man will have to look into the eyes of every single guest whom he has angered appropriately, including his doctor.
Philip exited the demon’s lair, and isolated himself on the west wing on the Murray villa. Besides his quarters, it was the only place he could find solace from Mr. Murray. In the center of the lab was a table, and on it, tiny red biles. All of Mr. Murray’s blood samples of the past month were strewn about. The doctor logged every single meal the old man ate, sampling his blood with each.
To the right of the test tubes were psychologic reports. Twice a week, Philip would survey his sanity, which has been improving every time. As much as it annoyed him, the doctor was pleased that he accomplished so much.
Someone knocked on the lab door. “Who is it?” asked the doctor.
“The only one you ever allow in here,” the person answered, proceeding to open the door.
“Hello, Helen,” Philip smiled.
“I thought you said he was getting better. Bat shit crazy doesn’t mean better.”
“Helen, he is getting better. He has not lost consciousness for a week now. His syncope is practically nonexistent now.”
“That miracle drug does wonders then,” snickered Helen, carefully scrutinizing the MRI results.
“The flowers are indigenous to this island. Flos mortis. In Italian, fiori mortali. And, while it is true that the taste of its petals will mean certain death, I managed to separate the toxins and learned of the flower’s medicinal properties.”
“What part of toxins is medicinal?” inquired Helen.
A glint of pride sparkled in the doctor’s eyes, “That is what was so fascinating about it. The chemicals within the plant are only toxic when they are together. But alone, many of them are valued in the medical community, with the ability to cure even syncope and deteriorate cataracts.”
The doctor frowned and turned away, punching the table to the side of him, “Why am I wasting these panacea on that...man? If I can even call him that at this point.”
Helen giggled, “Well, it would be unbearably boring without you here.”
“I still loathe that man. Nothing will change that.” Philip approached Helen, “But you...you are the only reason I have not left to receive my Nobel Prize.”
Philip and Helen turned out the lights to the lab, and walked to the doctor's room.