Recap of Chapter Three-Robert Harris is missing and his doctor, Ethan Poppy, a woman with a personality disorder who sleeps in a coffin, is devastated. Doctor Michael Louis is his usual grouchy self and Hiram, the in-house attorney continues to entertain staff with his outlandish, crazy antics. In Chapter Four, Robert’s wife , Ginger is on a rampage creating havoc for the medical chief, Doctor Carl Beebe and his colleagues, after she learns of her husband’s disappearance.
Wednesday, the next morning, Ethan was trying desperately to unlock the heavy steel door on the admissions unit, and the lock refused to budge. She grimaced and grunted, feeling frustrated as she jiggle the key in the lock. After a while, she finally gave up and banged on the door. Sally Roberts heard the noise and came to her aid. She made a face when she peered out the door window and saw it was Ethan.
“Doctor Poppy I have been looking for you,” she said as she promptly unlocked the door. She shoved it opened, and Doctor Poppy waddled in. “Thanks,” she said barely smiling. “For some reason, my key is not working this morning.”
Sally lit into her. “There’s more to worry about than your key!”
“Ethan’s violet eyes became watery. “What do you mean?!”
“Didn’t you hear?” Sally asked her eyes big like a peacock’s.
Ethan looks at her dumbly. “Hear what?”
“Robert Harris is missing,” Sally informed her. “He never returned to the hospital last night.”
Ethan’s face dropped. “What do you mean he didn’t return?!”
“The man is not here,” Sally firmly said. “We searched for hours, and we never found him!”
“Did you call his wife?” Ethan asked trying to be helpful. “Maybe he went home!”
“I certainly did,” Sally snapped outwardly irritated. “And I called you too, and there was no answer.”
“I’m so sorry,” Ethan said, feeling guilty. “I was feeling so bad about Billy…..”
Sally cuts her off. “There is no time for excuses! His wife is on the way to talk to you, so you better get your story straight!”
“Oh my,” Ethan shrieked. “I must see Doctor Beebe right away,” she said. She took off leaving Sally at the door. Sally shook her head. “Poor woman,” she said. “She has no idea what she’s in for!”
Rachel and Betty Jo stood outside Cathy Ray’s office and knocked on the door. The doorknob rattled for a brief minute, and then the door flew open. “Oh!” Cathy said looking surprised. “What are you two up to?” She asked.
“Can we come in?” Rachel asked.
“Sure,” Cathy said as she gestured for them to enter her office. The two women bounced in and pulled up a couple of chairs and sat down. Cathy parked herself behind her desk and swiveled three times around in her chair. “I love this chair,” she said with a naughty grin on her face. “What’s up?! Why the visit?!”
“We want to know how you are doing,” Betty Jo explained forcing a smile. Cathy’s grin faded immediately. “No, you don’t,” she said sounding annoyed. “Just tell me what’s going on.”
“You don’t know?” Betty Jo said looking at her side-eyed.
“Know what?!” Cathy snapped tensing up.
“Well, your patient, Robert Harris is missing,” Rachel informed her. “We thought you knew!”
Cathy cringed. “It’s news to me,” she said feeling ambushed. “So, you are telling me this because you think it’s my fault, right?!”
“Girl, get over yourself,” Betty Jo hissed glaring at her. “Stop thinking everything that happens is your fault!”
“I second that,” Rachel quipped staring her down. The women fell silent for a moment. Then Rachel calmly said. “Cathy do you want to know what happened?”
“I guess so,” Cathy said with her face full of apology.
“Well…..” Rachel began. “Doctor Poppy gave Robert a two hour pass, and he never returned to the hospital.” she explained.
Cathy threw her hands up. “I told you the woman thinks like a paper doll,” she smarted off. “Why would she do that?! He can’t be trusted. The man tried to cut his dick off a couple of weeks ago!”
“Maybe she thought he was getting better,” Rachel said looking introspective. “I do see what you mean. Her decision-making is looking a little suspect.”
“Now she’s gotten rid of two patients,” Cathy exaggerated as she folded her arms across her chest. “I wonder who she’s planning to get rid of next!”
Betty Jo twisted her face up. “Oh, stop it,” she said. “You act like the woman is a monster!”
“Maybe she is, and we don’t know it,” Cathy speculated. “She is a dangerous person!”
“Now, now, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” Rachel said. “The police will find Robert Harris, and he will be just fine.”
“You better hope so for her sake,” Cathy warned. “You better hope so.”
When Ethan arrived at Doctor Beebe’s office, an entourage was there waiting for her. Thomas Marshall, the police chief, Sally Roberts, Beth Jones and Doctor Beebe. Sick with dread and worry, she fought back the tears as she found a seat and sat down. “Good morning,” she mumbled. “I guess you heard.”
“Yes,” Carl said with a gloomy face. “Tell us what happened.”
“He was doing so well,” she began. “I thought he was ready for ground privileges. He gave no indication he would be a flight risk.”
“Did he say where he was going?” Thomas yawned, tired from being up all night on a case. Ethan shrugged her shoulders and carefully recapped her conversation with Robert. “He told me he had to go to the library,” she said giving Thomas direct eye contact. “He stated he needed an engineering book of sort……For his job.”
Beth busted out laughing. “He lied to you, honey! He was fired months ago for missing too many days at work!”
“Oh, my goodness,” Ethan groaned. She cradled her head in her hands, now embarrassed.
“Oh, my goodness is right,” Beth said rolling her eyes.
Thomas arched both eyebrows. “Doctor, you weren’t aware of this?”
“No,” Ethan said blinking her eyes in a dignified manner. Thomas glanced urgently at Doctor Beebe. Beads of sweat broke out on the doctor’s forehead, and worry had settled deep in his features. He turned to face Sally. “Do you know if Robert has any, um…..favorite hangouts?” He stammered.
“No,” Sally said shaking her head. “His wife might know. I understand she is on the way here and she is mighty upset!”
Ethan sank deeper in despair. Wishing she could just disappear. She swallowed hard as tears welled in her eyes. “You better brace yourselves,” Doctor Beebe warned, his face grave. “She’s worse than a pistol going off on a fourth of July holiday when angry!”
No sooner than the words escape his lips, screaming and cursing was heard in the hallway. The screaming grew louder and louder, and then the door swung opened and slammed against the wall. The room shook like an earthquake, and Ginger Harris stood in the doorway, frowning with her hands on her hips. Carl grabbed the phone and called security.
“Where in the hell is my husband?!” She shouted with her eyes fiery and hot.
“You, lady need to calm the hell down. You’re at a fifteen, and I need you like at a five!” Thomas warned her with his hand on his weapon.
“The hell I will,” she shouted, her face beet red. “Tell me where my husband is?!”
She stood there glaring at him with her thick arms folded across her chest. Ginger Harris was something to behold. She was stocky with light brown eyes, and she wore a buzz haircut with orange lipstick painted on her lips. Her orange checkered plaid shirt was tucked into her green overalls, and her spiked black high heel shoes were covered with dust. Her fiery gaze fell on Ethan Poppy. “Are you Doctor Poppy?!” She demanded.
“Yes,” she said her voice barely audible.
“Speak up,” Ginger hissed. “I can’t hear you!”
“Yes, I’m Robert’s doctor,” Ethan repeated her voice a little louder but weak.
Ginger wagged her finger in the doctor’s face. “Where’s my husband, woman?!”
“I don’t know,” Ethan said scooting back in her chair. She began to cry, and Ginger glared at the doctor. “Crying isn’t going to help you chick,” she shouted. Suddenly two security guards stormed into the room. “Need help?!” One guard asked as he sized up the hostile scene. Carl gestured for him to wait. The guards parked themselves against the wall with their eyes fixated on Ginger Harris.
“Aren’t you supposed to be looking after him?” She yelled, turning around to check out the guards.
“Mrs. Harris, please sit down so we can explain what happened,” Carl calmly urged her.
“Stop telling me to sit down,” Ginger screamed now facing the medical chief. “I will not sit down until I get some answers!”
“Mrs. Harris, let me explain,” Ethan interrupted, her voice soft.
“Alright,” Ginger said calming down a little. “Get on with it!”
Ethan cleared her throat. “Humph….I gave your husband a pass to go to the library yesterday morning,” she explained.
“Huh, huh,” Ginger said with her eyes blazing and fixated on the doctor.
“He seemed alright. He promised to obey the rules and come back on time,” she said. Ginger threw her hands on her hips. “Let me get this straight! You mean to tell me you let my crazy husband off the unit….out of your sight,” she yelled in her face. “Have you forgotten this is the same man who tried to cut his dick off two weeks ago?! Doctor, my husband is ill! You should not allow him to leave this hospital!”
“I’m sorry……” Ethan said. She fell silent and lowered her head. Tears dropped in her lap. Ginger frowned and looked at Doctor Beebe. “I have one question to ask you. Is she a doctor or a freaking crybaby?!”
“Mrs. Harris……..” he said. Ginger waved him off in a dismissive manner. “One thing I know for sure. If anything happens to my husband, I’m suing you and this here crybaby!”
Thomas tired of her insults, stepped in. “Okay, that’s enough,” he said. “Go home and get some rest. I will call you with updates.”
“NO!” She shouted. “First I’m going to whip this cry baby’s butt before I go anywhere!”
When she lunged at the doctor, the security guards pounced on her and yanked her off the floor. They dragged her to the door screaming. “If anything happens to my husband, I will sue you! Do you hear me Doctor Crybaby? I’m going to sue you!”
The guards carried her out, and Sally got up and shut the door. She shook her head and sighed. “Boy, that woman is something else,” she said. Ethan, unable to hold herself together, broke down sobbing. Sally rushed to her side and rubbed her back.
“I told you she’s a pistol,” Carl said with his face filled with exhaustion. He glanced over at Thomas looking worried again. “What’s next?”
“We will keep looking for Mister Harris. I will keep you advised of any updates,” Thomas said with a strain on his face. “In the meantime, try not to worry.”
“That’s easy for you to say,” Ethan sniffled.
“Don’t worry, we will find him, dear,” Sally said trying to be positive.
“Sally is right,” Thomas butted in. “We will find him, I promise!”
Three Sheets In The Wind available on Amazon.com later this month! Chapter Five will be posted on this blog Sunday, March 11, 2018. Comments Are Welcome! Thanks For Reading!
Categories: Short Stories