When Tom next woke, he tried to reach for the glass of ice chips, but
it was, apparently, an impossible task. When he tried to lift his arm,
it felt like dead weight. He couldn’t believe how weak, how lethargic,
A few minutes later, or maybe it was hours, Dr. Anders entered
briskly. She wore a clean and freshly pressed white lab coat. Her
movements were efficient. She was cool, competent, and dispassionate.
In other words, words the common man might use, she was a bitch.
She glanced at Tom’s sleeping body, checked the bag of clear fluid
hanging on an IV stand, then began to read the various monitors,
making notes on the clipboard she was carrying. Tom woke.
“Where am I?” he asked then, his voice scratchy. “Who are you?”
“You’re in a—health clinic. I’m Dr. Anders. You—”
“What happ—” he broke off when he managed to focus on her. He
recognized her. “I remember you! Last night…”
He had watched her approach from across the room. She was trim,
“Hi,” she had said to him. “Mind if I join you?”
“No, not at all,” he replied, charmed. And charming.
She sat on the empty stool beside him at the bar.
“What’ll you have?” Tom signaled to Ty, the bartender. He was a neat
man, a clean towel always over his shoulder.
“A cosmopolitan, please.”
Ty nodded, and a moment later put the rubied concoction in front of her.
“So,” Tom started the old dance, “you work around here?”
“Wait a minute,” he said, continuing to struggle as his memory
returned in bits and pieces. “You said you were a nurse—”
“No,” she spoke carefully, “I said I worked at a clinic. You assumed I
was a nurse. Do you know why?” she added, an edge in her voice.
But he didn’t really hear the question.
“Did we—?” He frowned. No, that wouldn’t explain why he was there.
“We had a drink,” he tried again, grappling with his inability to
remember, and then with the implications of his inability to remember.
To remember even a thought he’d had a few hours, or was it days, ago.
“Did you put—” He tried, again, to wrap his head around the
possibility of having been slipped the so-called date rape drug and—
“No,” she said. Then added, “Not exactly.”
Her amendment didn’t register.
“How did I get here?” he asked. Then corrected, “How did you get me here?”
“Oh, don’t sound so surprised,” she said, with a little disdain. “Do
you think it’s so impossible?”
He had a confused flash then, of leaning heavily on her and being
helped into a car.
“You drugged me!”
Again, such surprise. She didn’t respond.
His realized then that his side hurt. “What did you—”
But he couldn’t even raise his hand to lift the covers and look. Had
they taken a kidney? Was she part of some illegal organ transplant
operation? He looked in vain at his body, completely covered by the
bedding, then tried to take an internal inventory.
“What did you take from me?” he asked, his anxiety turning to panic.
“Calm down,” she said. “We didn’t take anything. On the contrary, we gave you—”
He struggled to raise himself from the bed, and only then realized
that his wrists were cuffed to the bedrails. He freaked. As anyone
would upon discovering they’re a prisoner, held hostage.
He had no idea.
“What the hell—why am I— What the hell are you doing to me?” he screamed.
“Just relax, Tom,” Dr. Anders calmly injected a sedative into his IV
line. He slumped into unconsciousness once again. “It’ll be okay,” she
added, the barest suggestion of sarcasm in her voice.
When Tom woke again, he was more quickly aware of his situation.
“Nurse! Someone!!” He struggled against the cuffs. “Help!!” He could
see they were just Velcro straps, but he wrestled with them in vain.
He leaned forward then, thinking maybe he could grab one of the ends
with his teeth. Oh, shit, big mistake. Hurt like hell. He fell back
against the pillows. What in god’s name had they done to him?
An allegorical horror story.
A psychological/philosophical thriller.
A must-read for every man.