Just What the Doctor Ordered, a work of flash fiction

Posted: October 18, 2017 in Uncategorized

Hello faithful readers,

Some time that has elapsed since my last post, but I have been working on some exciting projects!

These include:

a graphically enhanced novelette

a follow-up (in spirit at least) to my hit novelette, Not Only the Dea

some outline work on a new hardcore horror screenplay.

Between projects I love to produce some “one-offs” or random short stories when I am in the editing process on a longer work. I decided to share one with you all and have several more if you guys show me some love by sharing this post!

Either way, I hope you enjoy Just What the Doctor Ordered, a 700 word piece of FLASH FICTION.

Just What the Doctor Ordered

by Jim T. Gammill

“The tests came back negative, Mr. Stevens,” Dr. Korrigan said, his clipboard angled to protect its secrets.

“That’s impossible,” Stevens replied, “No pauses? Anything?”

Dr. Korrigan offered Stevens a condescending glance over his glasses.

“Most people would be happy to not have sleep apnea, Mr. Stevens,” Korrigan began. He gave the clipboard another look, “your vitals are fine. Levels are nearly perfect.”

Stevens wiped cold sweat from his brow.

“I just want to know why this keeps happening,” Stevens started as he shook his head and massaged one of the dark circles beneath his eyes, “why they keep coming!”

The condescending glance softened when Korrigan raised his bushy eyebrows.

“Why who keeps coming?” Korrigan asked, interested.

“Never mind,” Stevens protested.

Korrigan smiled.

Stevens sensed a welcoming softness in Korrigan’s demeanor. A hint of humanity.

“Well,” Stevens relented, “sometimes it’s a woman and sometimes just a man in a hat.”

“And when do they come?” Korrigan asked, his pen scratching incessantly on the clipboard.

“In the middle of the night.”

Korrigan nodded.

“Have you been taking any prescription drugs?”

Stevens shook his head.

“Any,” Korrigan started as he examined Stevens, “substance abuse?”

“No,” Stevens snapped, “you said yourself, my levels are perfect!”

“One can never be too certain,” Korrigan droned as he scribbled something else, “I’m calling in a prescription for you.”

“What is it?”

“Not to sound too cliché, Mr. Stevens, but I believe it’s just what the doctor ordered.”

Stevens left the office in a daze, he wasn’t sure why he felt the way he did, but something wasn’t right. He opened the door more quickly than he had meant to and heard something thud on the hard laminate floor of the office.

He turned to see what had fallen and was surprised to see that it wasn’t a pamphlet or a cup full of tongue depressors, but something unexpected and out of place. Stevens caught a brief glimpse of a wide brimmed hat on the floor, but before he could think anymore of the thing Dr. Korrigan quickly moved across the room and slammed the office door.

Stevens barely remembered his trip to the pharmacy or the drive home.

Later, Stevens sat alone in his apartment. He ate a sandwich and drank a beer that had grown warm. Sometime between sitting down to eat and the present moment, he had lost himself. Lost time. Like insomniacs tend to do.

“But, if you act now, we’ll double your order!” the television blared.

Stevens searched for the remote and hit the power button. Again, time had escaped him. He sat in the darkness of the room, picked up his prescription bottle from the table, and knocked an oblong pill into his palm.

He paused for an instant and then smirked.

“If I act now, I can double my order,” Stevens snickered as he shook out another pill.

The warm beer tasted terrible, but Stevens could feel himself relax the second it hit his throat. Groggily, he made his way to his bedroom.

Hours later his eyelids began to flutter.

Stevens felt like his body was in water.

Not sinking.

Not floating.

Just there.

A feeling that had become familiar.

He prepared himself.

Opened his eyes.

The woman was there. Her skeletal face half hidden in shadow. She leaned over Stevens and breathed in his odor like the sweetest of air. The wetness of her tongue made him cringe as she dragged it along his cheek.

Stevens tried to move his arms. Nothing.

He had become accustomed to this terror. This succubus.

From the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of the man in the hat. Stevens could feel his heart begin to pound.

He tried to scream. To murmur. Anything.

“The patient is ready for delivery,” a familiar voice proclaimed.

Stevens’ eyes searched desperately for the source of the voice and saw the hat man’s face as light filled his room. It was Dr. Korrigan, but his presence tonight was not one of benevolence.

“Take him.”

Numerous shadows surrounded Stevens. They looked like short men with large heads and the last things he felt were their slender hands sliding beneath him and lifting him from his bed.

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