Note: Doctor Louis, now back at work, interviews an unusual patient. He soon discovers the patient harbors an interesting scary past.
Nurses and social workers gathered in the conference room for the morning report. Doctor Louis, still wearing his wool hat, sat at the head of the conference table scowling. When Rachel entered the room, she couldn’t help to notice the tension in the air. She glanced over at Doctor Louis, and she immediately realized why. His brooding, intimidating presence had already set the tone. Everyone was in a somber mood, and whispering among one another. A definite change from what she was used to. Rachel inhaled deeply, settling in a chair in a distant corner. She wanted to be invisible, unnoticed. She wasn’t interested in anyone calling on her and asking her questions.
Standing in the doorway wearing dark sunglasses was a tall, dark-skinned man with a colossal-looking afro. Dressed in an army jacket, blue jeans, and combat boots, the man glanced around the room as he strolled in. He took a seat next to Doctor Louis, and the two men shook hands. Rachel’s eyes were big like saucers. Who is this cat? How does he know Doctor Louis?
Rachel carefully checked him out, studying his face. He had high cheekbones, and his smooth ebony complexion was flawless. Mmmmmm……this dude is a bonafide hunk! But why the sunglasses? Are the lights too bright in the room? What is his deal? Damn, I just don’t get it!
“Greetings Everyone!” Doctor Louis’s voice boomed like thunder as he peered over his eyeglasses, glancing around the table. “I know everyone is so glad to see me back!”
Chuckles broke out around the room. The man with the colossal-looking afro didn’t crack a smile. Doctor Louis parted his lips into his crooked grin. He turned, facing the man with the colossal-looking afro. “My friends, this here is Doctor Everett James. He’s covering for Doctor Benny while he’s out for a couple of days.”
So this is Doctor James! Rachel mused. He’s the same man I saw in the parking lot with Doctor Benny the other day. A doctor dressed like that? Go figured!
As Doctor Louis carried on, Rachel sat back and observed Doctor James more closely. She wished he would take off his sunglasses so she could see his eyes. When he finally spoke, his deep voice rumbled like a small earthquake, and when he smiled, straight white teeth emerged. “Good Morning, everyone! As Doctor Louis has informed you, I’ll be covering for Doctor Benny. There is no reason to change your routine on my account, just carry on as usual.”
So he’s flexible. How refreshing! To keep from staring at the handsome doctor, Rachel kept her eyes on Doctor Louis as he reviewed patient details on his list. Some of the information provoked laughter among the staff. Doctor Louis told the team about a patient who heard Chinese voices pointing out he was caucasian and only spoke and understood English. He informed staff about another patient who feared his brain was hijacked by green aliens. Police brought him in after the neighbors complained he was shooting at dogs and squirrels in their yards with his little Beebe gun. There was one patient, Rachel, found most amusing as Doctor Louis read his information. This man was found in Seattle, downtown, standing on third avenue mooning pedestrians as they walked by. Doctor Louis made a particular point of telling staff this man had tattoos and pimples on his butt. The team howled with mirthless laughter.
As Doctor Louis finished up his report, Rachel got an inkling she was being observed. She looked up, and Doctor James was staring right at her. He smiled, and Rachel looked away, suddenly embarrassed. When the meeting was over, Rachel bolted from her seat and went for the door. Doctor Louis stopped her. “Miss Thomas,” he called out.
Panicky, Rachel spun around and looked at Doctor Louis with big eyes. “Yes, sir,” she replied.
“Do you mind meeting me in my office at ten-thirty to interview these new patients?”
Rachel glanced at her watch and saw she had an hour to play with. “Sure, no problem, I’ll meet you at ten-thirty.” And without hesitation, Rachel dashed out the door. She hurried over to the admissions unit and sat in a spot at the end of the nursing station. The nursing station and the patient dining area opened into one big forum. It was designed this way so the nurses could keep watch over the patients.
Heavy gray smoke hung stagnant in the air. Patients paced back and forth, puffing on their cigarettes. Dying inside while inhaling the suffocating smoke, Rachel coughed repeatedly. Despite her discomfort, Rachel remained in her seat. Weeks behind in her charting, she had to catch up, so she soldiered on fighting with the smoke around her. Suddenly a deep voice rumbled from behind, and Rachel lurched forward. Her heart jumped in her chest as she turned to see who it was. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you,” Doctor James declared.
“Um…I didn’t realize you were here.” Rachel melted when she saw he was without his sunglasses. He had mesmerizing oval-shaped dark brown eyes she found sexy. He stared at her, and she stared back, covering her mouth as she coughed. Rachel waved cigarette smoke away from her face. “I’m allergic,” she informed him.
“Cigarette smoke can be a pain in the ass if you’re not a smoker,” he calmly said.
“It’s nauseating, and I hate it. It ends up in your clothes, your hair…well anyway, I don’t mean to burden you with my issues,” Rachel apologized.
“Not a problem, by the way, I don’t believe we officially met, my name is Everett James,” he grinned.
“Um…my name is Rachel Thomas,” she stammered, feeling uneasy again.
Doctor James smiled. “Glad to meet you. I certainly look forward to working with such a lovely lady.”
Rachel felt her cheeks getting hot, and her heart fluttered in her chest. Embarrassed and pleased at the same time by his compliment, she found herself drawn to him. She glanced at her watch. It was ten-thirty. Time to meet with Doctor Louis. “Listen, it’s nice to meet you, but I got to go. I need to get some fresh air, and besides, Doctor Louis is waiting on me,” she said.
“Right, you and he have some interesting patients to interview.”
“Yep, see you around,” Rachel waved as she dashed out of the nursing station. On her way to Doctor Louis’s office, she fell out laughing to herself. I think I better keep my distance. I can get into some serious trouble with that man!
Only five minutes late, Rachel knocked on Doctor Louis’s door. She braced herself, anticipating his anger, but when he opened the door, he greeted her with his warm crooked smile. “Great, you’re here. I was just getting started.”
He whirled around and returned to his desk. Rachel walked in and shut the door. Sitting in front of her, was a puny little man with icy blue eyes and a stringy blond ponytail. He dangled his legs over the armrest of his chair, and Rachel noticed he had black smudges on his overalls. When she walked by him, a musky smell assaulted her nostrils. She frowned, wrinkling up her nose. Sally smiled, keeping her lips tight, trying not to laugh out loud as Rachel hurried over and joined her on the sofa.
For several minutes, no one spoke. Doctor Louis’s loud wheezing broke up the silence. He repeatedly coughed, clearing his throat. A square ashtray overflowing with cigarette butts sat on his desk. Plagued with a bad smoker’s cough, Doctor Louis had no intention of giving up his hazardous vice. Minutes passed before Doctor Louis finished reviewing the chart. As he closed the record, he looked over at Sally and Rachel.“Ladies, this here is Bobby Pickett. They found him downtown on third avenue mooning pedestrians. The nurses believe he suffers from amnesia because when they questioned him about the incident, he couldn’t remember.”
“Hi Bobby, my name is Rachel Thomas, your social worker.” Rachel smiled. Bobby just stared at her.
“I’m Sally Dobbins, the head nurse on the unit,” Sally said.
Bobby nodded his head, but he still doesn’t say a word. Annoyed, Doctor Louis snapped at him. “Does the cat got your tongue, son?”
“No, sir,” Bobby made a face and looked up at the ceiling.
“I’m going to ask you some questions, and I want you to answer to the best of your ability.”
“If you insist,” Bobby flippantly answered, glancing around the room.
Doctor Louis let out a harsh breath. “Tell us where you came from?”
“New York,” Bobby replied.
“How long have you been here in Washington State?” Doctor Louis leaned forward and folded his arms on the desk.
“A few days…maybe a week,” Bobby’s icy blue eyes drifted to his lap.
“What made you decide to come here?”
“I needed a change in scenery.”
Doctor Louis rolled his eyes and fell back in his chair. “So let me get this straight,” Doctor Louis clarified. “You traveled three thousand miles across the country for a change in scenery? Are you kidding me? How did you get here?” Doctor Louis had an inkling Bobby wasn’t being truthful.
“I hitchhiked,” Bobby flippantly said.
“You hitchhiked?” Doctor Louis rolled his eyes heavenward again. “So you were dropped off on third avenue downtown and decided to pull down your pants to show people on the street your pimply, tattooed behind, interesting.”
Unable to hold back, Rachel and Sally fell out laughing. Bobby winked at them with a smirk on his face.
“So you think what you did was funny.”
“Hell, it was fucking hilarious!” Bobby joked.
Doctor Louis frowned, shifting position in his seat. Convinced Bobby was lying and hiding something, Doctor Louis pressed on. “I reviewed your chart. You told the admissions nurse you’ve never been diagnosed with a mental illness. Is that true?”
“I don’t believe you.”
“Why not?” Bobby challenged.
“People who pull down their pants on the street in front of thousands of people aren’t exactly what I call sane,” Doctor Louis deadpanned.
Bobby grinned, wickedly showing two jagged front teeth. “I never said I was sane.”
“Apparently not,” Doctor Louis agreed. He peppered Bobby with more questions scaring the man. “Have you ever heard voices, had racing thoughts, or felt suicidal or killed anyone?”
“Whoa, slow down, doc! I’m not crazy!”
Doctor Louis laughed. “Son, I think you’re crazy as hell!”
Bobby glared at the doctor. “You’re the crazy one!”
“You have crazy looking eyes, and you look spooky in that wool hat.”
“You think you’re tough and scary, don’t you?”
Bobby straightened up and slid his legs off the armrest. “Old man, I’m tougher and scarier than you think.”
Chuckling out loud, Doctor Louis said. “So, you hitchhiked across the country for a change in scenery? I’m sorry son, I just don’t believe that garbage!”
Rachel and Sally exchanged glances trying not to bust out laughing. Sally looked down and furiously scribbled on her notepad.
“Who cares what you think, old man!” Bobby hissed as he folded his arms across his chest. “You don’t know what I’ve been through.”
“Oh, you been through something? Tell me about it,” the doctor said.
Bobby looked away. Refusing to look at the doctor. However, Doctor Louis refused to put up with Bobby’s antics. “Look at me, son…I said, look at me!”
Bobby widened his icy blue eyes, and he provocatively stared at the doctor. “Old geezer, Are you satisfied? See, I’m looking at you!”
“You’re running from something, aren’t you? Who are you hiding from?” Doctor Louis knew something was up.
“Doc, all you’re doing is fishing for information, and harrassing me.”
Doctor Louis shrugged his shoulders and flatly said. “Son, your story just doesn’t add up.”
“Well, you’re wrong, old man!” Agitated, Bobby tapped his fingers hard on the chair armrest. Doctor Louis took note. “What’s wrong son? You seemed a little upset.”
“What do you want from me?”
“I want you to tell me the truth? The plain truth,” Doctor Louis said.
“I don’t have anything else to say to you.”
“Very well then, you can go back to the unit.” Doctor Louis rosed to his feet and walked to the door. When he opened it, he turned to face Bobby. “You can go now.”
Bobby stood up. “How long will I have to be here?”
“I’ll let you know in a few hours.”
As soon as Bobby walked out, Doctor Louis slammed the door. “He’s a lying, and he’s hiding something!”
Rachel arched an eyebrow getting concerned. “What do you think is going on with him?”
“He’s hotter than a loaded pistol. He’s running from the law,” Doctor Louis said matter flatly. “There’s no rhyme or reason why he’s here. Call the sheriff and see if this asshole has any outstanding warrants,” he demanded.
Rachel hopped off the sofa and ran to the door. “I’ll get right on it!” She opened the door and ran out. Still scribbling notes on her pad, Sally spoke with angst in her voice. “Michael Louis, I hope you’re right about all of this.”
“Don’t worry, Missus Dobbins, I’m never wrong about these things.”
Meanwhile, back in her office, Rachel tapped her fingers on the desk. On hold with the phone receiver pressed to her ear, classical music played in the background. Several minutes went by before Rachel heard a hoarse , gritty female voice on the line. “This is Sheriff Beatrice, how can I help you?”
“This is Rachel Thomas, a social worker from Salter’s Point Regional, I need an emergency background check on a patient we have here in the hospital,” she pointedly requested.
“The name ma’am?”
“His name is Bobby Pickett.” Rachel heard a click and classical music played in her ear again. Frustrated to be on hold again, Rachel inhaled sharply. Five minutes later, she heard Sheriff Beatrice’s gritty voice again. “Hello. Are you still there?”
“I’m here,” Rachel said.
“It looks like you’ve got a convicted serial killer in your midst. Bobby Pickett is really John Pimple Butt Lewis. He escaped two weeks ago from the federal prison in New York, and the FBI has been looking for him ever since. You say he’s still there?”
“Yes, Ma’am!” Rachel responded with big eyes. “A serial killer? Who did he kill?”
“Prostitutes,” the sheriff said. “A helluva lot of prostitutes. He had mommy issues. His momma was a prostitute. He killed her too.”
Rachel gasped. She fell back in her seat, flabbergasted. “What should we do?”
“Keep him there. I’ll send the FBI over.” A dial tone blared in her ear. The sheriff had hung up.
“Unbelievable! Doctor Louis was right!” Rachel stood up and hurried to the door. Jamie crossed her mind, and she stopped in her tracks. “Let me give her a quick call to see how she’s doing.”
Rachel returned to her desk and dialed Jamie’s phone number. The phone rang and rang, but Jamie never answered. Rachel hung up, worried. “I hope she’s okay.”
She left her office and went next door. Rachel knocked and entered Doctor Louis’s office at the same time. He looked up at her and growled. “So, little lady, what did you find out?”
Rachel stood in front of him with her notes in her hand. “Doctor Louis, Bobby Pickett’s real name is John Pimple Butt Lewis.”
Sally snickered out loud. “Gurl, you’ve got to be kidding me?”
“No, that’s what the sheriff told me.”
“So, do you suppose he got his name from the pimples and tattoos on his pasty butt?” Doctor Louis loved being sarcastic.
Rachel giggled. “Now, sir, I wouldn’t know.”
“With a name like John Pimple Butt Lewis…One would think his momma was high on crack when she decided to give him that name,” Doctor Louis joked.
Rachel and Sally giggled hysterically. “You were right,” Rachel said barely getting her words out from giggling too hard. “Two weeks ago, John escaped from a prison in New York. He’s a convicted serial killer serving time for killing prostitutes, including his own mother.”
Sally’s eyes were huge, like hockey pocks. “Oh my god! Are they coming to get him?”
“Yes, Sally, they are.”
Doctor Louis reached for his phone. “I’m notifying security, but whatever you do, don’t tip pimple butt off,” he warned them.
“While we’re waiting, do you want to interview another patient?” Rachel was worried she wouldn’t get off on time. They still had six patients to interview before her shift was over at four-thirty.
“No, not right now, let’s take care of pimple butt first,” he said. Security came on the line, and Doctor Louis demanded. “I need two officers on the unit right now…”
Rachel dropped her shoulders, disappointed to learn she will be leaving work late. She headed to the door, leaving the doctor to his phone call. “I’ll see you two later.” As she opened the door and walked out.
An hour later, six men about six feet and four inches tall dressed in black suits and wearing dark sunglasses swarmed into the admissions unit like a pack of bees. Unnervingly quiet, the men scoured the area searching for their prized prisoner. Nurses stood around, looking helpless with their mouths hanging open. Wondering who these men were in black suits and sunglasses. John Pimple Butt Lewis emerged from his room, walking down the hall. When he saw six FBI agents coming his way, he took off like a jack rabbit sprinting down the hall toward the exit. One agent saw him and yelled. “There he is!”
John hoofed down the hall like a man on speed. Up ahead, someone left the unit door ajar, and John, an award winning high school sprinter, knew he could make it out the door if he increased his speed. As soon as he quickened his pace, a black suit came out of nowhere and shoved his butt on the floor. John slid across the cold, laminated-tiled floor and slammed into a cement wall. His whole world went black, and a few minutes later, John woke up. He was bounded in handcuffs, looking at the floor, and his head and body ached. Blood trickled down his face as two FBI agents jerked him up and stood him on his feet. Red-faced with his forehead throbbing with pain, Bobby sneered at the two agents. They pinned his arms firmly against his back and shoved him forward down the hall. One agent shouted. “Walk, man, walk! I said walk!”
John trudged along with two agents dragging him toward the exit. The other four agents followed from behind. Staff stared at John with their mouths hung open while patients clapped, cheered, and whistled. Still sitting in Doctor Louis’s office, Sally heard the noise and rushed to the door. She swung it open and stood in the doorway with her mouth sag open. Shocked to see six FBI agents escorting John Pimple Butt Lewis down the hall. The unusual entourage took up the entire hallway as they passed through.”Oh, my god, they got him,” Sally gasped with one hand over her lips. And before she was able to blinked another eye, the FBI agents had carried John Pimple Butt Lewis out the door. As Always Thank you For Reading!
Categories: Short Stories