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Doctor, Doctor | Pt. 2

An Excerpt

By Kale RossPublished 3 months ago 7 min read

Sicily | 1943

Dr. Heiko inspected the basket of medical equipment Nadine had brought him. He removed one of the boxes of bandages, tore open the corner, then dumped a handful of them out onto the table beside his scalpels. He reached back down, and pulled out the two bottles of wine.

“Is this all the alcohol you could find? No vodka, or whiskey?” He asked.

“No. Just more bottles, and barrels of wine.”

“Well then,” Heiko said, “More for us then.”

The cork was already halfway wedged, indicating that this was not a fresh bottle. But all Italian wine was great wine. It was the only aspect of Italian culture he truly appreciated. He popped the cork out of the bottle, tossed it aside, then offered it to Nadine.

Flabbergasted by the man’s manners, she just stared at him.

“More for me, then, I guess,” Heiko said as he tilted the bottle backwards in his mouth.

“Are you ready?” He asked.

Wanting to challenge his question, with the same one, she chose to stay focused on getting Ulrich back to good health. She was just as much invested in this mission as he was. Regardless of Heiko’s ignorance of their relationship, she was just as determined to please the Fuhrer.

Firmly placing both of her hands onto Ulrich’s soldiers, she leaned forward and allowed gravity to utilize her body weight to keep him restrained while Dr. Heiko performed the surgery.

The doctor donned a tight pair of black latex gloves, then dunked one of the bars into the hot water. Sloshing it back and forth with the sponge, to get the water nice and soapy. He lifted the dripping sponge, rung out the excess over the bucket, then thoroughly wiped down the blood-crusted area of Ulrich’s abdomen.

Switching to the soft cloth Nadine wrapped the bars of soap in, Dr. Heiko wiped away the remaining soap suds from Ulrich’s skin, and dried the surface area. He was hoping to use vodka to help disinfect the wound, but seeing that wine was all they had, wine is what he was forced to use.

Knowing it would sting like hell, he carefully poured a little of the white wine over the edges of the wound. Ulrich’s body writhed from the disinfectant, but quickly surrendered again to the power of the methamphetamine surging through his bloodstream.

He took a swig for confidence, then placed the bottle back into the basket. He glanced over his silver tools, picked up the six-inch scalpel - then with precision - sank the tip of the sharp blade into Ulrich’s flesh. The wound had clotted over, so in order for him to get inside, and remove the remaining bits of appendix, he needed to first cut his way through.

The deeper the doctor cut, the stronger Ulrich’s protest became. He was still unconscious, but his body was doing everything in its power to wake him so he could stop what was being done to him.

With the bloody scab removed, Dr. Heiko switched to his forceps and began removing the damaged chunks of Ulrich’s appendix - along with any other lingering pieces of shrapnel he managed to find.

With every plunge of the Forceps, Ulrich’s body tried to jolt away from the invasion, but Nadine held fast, and the drugs were too strong for the man to make any real escape from the table.

Ulrich gargled, and murmured inaudible indications of pain, but the doctor did not stop the procedure. His life was too valuable.

Ten grueling minutes passed by, and Dr. Heiko was finally removing the final piece of damaged tissue. He dropped the piece of flesh into the soapy bucket of water with the other removed pieces, then began unraveling the tiny spool of sewing string. He knotted one end around the extremely fine sewing needle, then hovered closely over Ulrich’s stomach.

Angling the needle at ninety-degrees, Dr. Heiko inserted it into the skin, brought it over the wound, inserted it again in the opposite side, then began to suture it closed.

Nadine removed her palms from Ulrich’s shoulders, and found herself breathing a little lighter. She wasn’t sure if Ulrich would fully recover, but the wound was sealed on both sides, and his ruptured appendix had been removed by the great doctor.

He would surely need time to rest, and gather his strength. He was a prime candidate for infection, and would not afford to be reckless in a moment of such vulnerability. They had lost this battle, and they needed to accept that fact in order to move on from it.

Nadine made the decision to accept the defeat when she saw Ulrich’s organs being pulled out of his gut. Her entire life has been a strangling series of traumatic events that have led her to this exact moment in time.

Each event, consuming another life of someone she’s grown to care for. She’s a chain-reaction of chaos and death. Placed on a wicked path by her heart’s darkest desire - to simply be loved by someone long enough to be able to love them in return.

Ulrich had difficulty blossoming into that person. Regardless of their history, lies, violence, and endless betrayals. Ulrich still somehow managed to find a way to fill her heart with the warmth her voids have so desperately yearned for.

By accepting their defeat, she could focus her attention on Ulrich’s journey back to good health. And during that time, she could calmly devise a new plan to get them back on track. After all, they were hunting children.

Yet even though she watched Rosalie pull her brother from the burning truck, she did not care that Corrado was still alive because she knew that her point was still made. There was nowhere the Tutino children could go without inevitably being found, and killed. Nadine had made that an inevitable point when she tossed her lighter into the pool of diesel fuel.

“Dump out the contents of this bucket. Fill it with fresh, warm water, then use another bar of soap to clean his skin, and the stitches. It is very important that they do not become infected. Once you’ve cleaned each side, wrap his entire midsection with the bandages. Use at least two rolls.”

Nadine understood her orders, and quickly carried them out. She dumped the bloody water from the bucket onto the base of an olive tree just outside the main door of the house, then brought the bucket back to the sink.

Before returning to Ulrich, she thoroughly washed out the interior of the bucket of all remaining strands of flesh and blood. Satisfied with a clean pail, she once again filled it with warm water, grabbed another sponge and dish cloth from the pantry, then returned to Ulrich’s side.

The doctor was gone, but she could hear rustling, and faint murmuring coming from one of the other rooms. She dunked the fresh sponge into the water, rung out the excess, then delicately cleaned the stitches.With all of the blood gone, save for fresh bubbles trying to seep from the stitches, she applied the dry dish cloth, and pressed down on the wound. She needed to keep it dry, and protected from the contaminants in the air.

With his abdomen dry, she unraveled the first bandage roll and began wrapping his mid-section - rolling Ulrich onto his side each time she needed to wrap the cloth beneath him. She did the same thing with the two more rolls. Adding one more than specified by the doctor for a little extra reassurance.

She checked his temperature, and realized he was heating up. She took cloth she had originally been using to keep his forehead cool to the kitchen sink, and ran it under cold water. She rang out the excess, then rested it across his red forehead.

A floorboard creaked behind her, causing her to jump in a startled semi-circle.

It was Dr. Heiko, and he appeared to be gathering his belongings.

“Are you leaving?” She asked.

“I am needed elsewhere. There aren’t many doctors left on the island.”

“He’s heating up. He needs antibiotics.”

Dr. Heiko stepped forward, hands rummaging around in the deep pockets of his newly donned overcoat. When he revealed them, they were each holding vials of small pills. The vial in his left hand had small yellow and white pills. And the bottle in his left hand had red, white, and blue multi-colored pills.

“These are antibiotics. Give him two a day until you’ve run out,” he said, handing her the vial of white and yellow pills, “These…well you know what these are,” he finished off, handing her the vial of pervitin.

She took both vials, and sunk back into the corner of the room. Dr. Heiko gathered his surgical instruments, specifically placing each tool back into their respective kits, then stuffed everything into a large, black, leather handbag.

An engine rumbled in the distance, and Dr. Heiko stepped to the door to greet it. Before he exited the home, he removed a radio from his leather bag, and placed it on the wide windowsill beside the door frame.

“Someone is going to come for you. When he does, you must do as he says. He’ll know how to help. You cannot stay here for long. The American’s are advancing, and this area will be overrun in just a few days time. This is an unfortunate burden for you both, at an extremely unfortunate time. And yet, you must find a way not to fail…and who not to fail.”

Stones crumbled beneath heavy tires indicating that the doctor’s ride had arrived outside. From her dark corner in the room, she watched as the strange doctor disappeared just as mysteriously as he had appeared in the first place.

The engine roared, and more stones began rustling beneath the rotating, rubber wheels. Nadine remained in her corner until the droning sound of the engine drifted into an ominous, afternoon silence.

Ulrich was stirring on the table next to her. The drugs were beginning to wear off. She walked into the kitchen, removed a tall glass from one of the high cabinets, and filled it with cold tap water.

She placed the glass down onto the table where the doctor laid out his tools, then she propped Ulrich’s head up enough so she could stuff a pillow beneath it. Waiting for her lover to regain enough consciousness to drink some water and take his first round of antibiotics, a single thought haunted her brain.

Who was coming?


About the Creator

Kale Ross

Author | Poet | Dog Dad | Nerd

Find my published poetry, and short story books here!

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Comments (2)

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  • Test3 months ago

    Fantastic writing. Such a captivating story.

  • Marysol Ramos3 months ago

    Part 2 did not disappoint!!! This is becoming one of my favorite reads! Nadine is so badass. Doctor Heiko is so mysterious and I’m dying to know more of him. This is so well written, easy to follow, and captivating.

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