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The patients wish

The white-haired doctor with the blood-stained coat and pants smiled maliciously as he brought the razor to his waiting patient's face. "Now please answer me

honestly this time, Mr. Beckett," he said. "I have been in this profession for over thirteen years, and I take pleasure in receiving input from clients. It helps me to

know what hurts and what does not. Kind of keeps me ahead of the competition, I guess you could say."

His patient nodded solemn acquiescence, shutting his eyes hard and biting his lip. He knew what was going to happen next. He desperately wanted to disbelieve,

but he knew.

The doctor began his incision. He sliced the skin beneath the eyebrow smoothly and evenly with the razor as his patient screamed, stopping just short of shearing it

completely off. The rectangular patch of hair dangled freely by a thread of skin. He contemplated the hair-coated piece of flesh, scratching his chin, as if unsure

whether or not he should rip it the rest of the way off or just leave it dangling there. Blood spouted up and out of the patient's wound like a geyser, dousing the man's

forehead and eye with the crimson fluid.

The doctor yanked off what was left of the eyebrow and discarded it in a nearby wastebasket.

"Hmm," the doctor said. He considered his moaning patient for a moment, putting away the razor and withdrawing a tailor's needle from the tray of assorted

instruments sitting beside him. His hand hovered teasingly above his patient's trembling mouth. Then the needle came down, its tip piercing the upper lip slowly,

passing through the sensitive layers of skin and gum only to stop when the needle came in contact with the hard and impenetrable roots of the patient's teeth. The

doctor withdrew the needle and tossed it into the "used" pile of instruments that sat next to the "soon to be used." "Well?" he asked. "Which hurt worse, the needle

or the razor?" He waited patiently for an answer.

The patient uttered something incomprehensible. "What was that?" the doctor asked, noting delirium. He had been operating for over two hours now, and the man

was still alive. Amazing. "Please speak up, Mr. Beckett--I can't hear you." He pinched his patient's upper lip harshly; two little streamlets of blood rushed out. Jack

Beckett screamed.

"The razor, the razor!" Jack cried in agony. The pump inside his chest flared up again, beating, beating, beating . . . threatening to explode every time the doctor

administered stark and terrible pain. Bright red blood flowed freely from his wounds like water from a broken shower head. "Please, please . . ." he moaned

numbly, "the pain . . . please kill me and stop the pain . . ."

The doctor smiled, enjoying his victim's--patient's--cry for mercy. "Ah, but the fun has just begun," he said jovially. His patient's toes on his right foot were all gone,

amputated, and one of his ears sat in a pool of blood on the operating table, torn completely free from his head. Now his eyebrow was gone, and his lip a bleeding,

puffy, black and blue mess. Just begun, indeed. "You have committed a most heinous crime, Mr. Beckett, and the State wants to see you suffer. If I quit now, our

audience--my fans--would be most displeased." He motioned toward the camera and the cameraman who sat quietly filming their Session, and grinned. It wasn't a

small grin, but a large one, the kind that only game show hosts are capable of achieving, showing off each and every one of those pearly whites, or, in the doctor's

case, coffee-stained yellows, as his lips pulled back in pseudo-aesthetic fashion. The doctor felt good today. It seemed torturing patients was the only thing that

made him feel good anymore. The drugs and the women weren't working; they refused to ward off the pangs of loneliness and depression as they once had.

Torture, however, was a different story. Watching grown men cry for the doctor's mercy always made the pain go away. . . .

The doctor turned to his instruments, his friends, and withdrew a pair of scissors; they gleamed feverishly in the pale illumination of the small white operating room as

he inspected the razor-sharp blades. "Now this time I want your answer immediately after I ask the question, not a bunch of gibberish. You aren't an idiot, Mr.

Beckett, so please do not speak like one. Is that understood?" Jack nodded dumbly. "Good. I have worked in the field of torture for many years, and believe me, I

know what will kill you and what will not. If you think the pain you have experienced thus far has been excruciating, I have news for you: It gets much, much worse."

He opened the scissors in his right hand and carefully inserted one of its blades into Jack's right nostril. The sharpened metal slipped smoothly up his nose, making

him shiver.

Jack tried to jerk his head away, the pain in his nose searing bright and hot. But the thick, unbreakable straps that held his arms, legs, hands, feet and head to the

operating table refused to budge. At the doctor's behest, the scissor blade inched its way up further and further against Jack's will. He heard an audible pop as the

blade pierced the membrane of his sinus cavity and broke through the bone of his skull. The doctor squeezed the scissors together. They cut through his flesh with a

loud snip, and thousands upon thousands of nerve endings lit up like red hot suns.

Jack flailed within the straps of the operating table, his grinding scream causing even the doctor to wince noticeably. He looked slant-wise down at his nose and

immediately discovered that he would never have trouble blowing it ever again. His nostril had been reduced to nothing more than two bloody flaps of skin.

"I find it fortunate to have found an area so sensitive!" the doctor proclaimed, gratified, placing the red-coated scissors on the tray next to the needle and razor. "I do

believe that is the loudest you have screamed so far, Mr. Beckett. Congratulations!"

Tears issued from Jack's eyes. "Please, please!" he wailed.

The doctor pinched what was left of his nose. The pain Jack felt was so huge and so agonizing that he wasn't even able to scream this time. "Quiet, you," the doctor

commanded. "No speaking out of turn. It's rude. Now. How did that feel?"

"It hurt like fucking hell!" Jack bellowed. "What do you think? I scream for my fucking health?!"

The doctor's face soured. "Now, now, vulgarity does not become us. Not even you, Mr. Beckett. Rapists may be the scum of the earth, but that is no excuse to be

profane. I shall have to teach you a lesson." He got up from his seat beside the operating table and walked calmly over to the sink. The cameraman followed every

step, showing the home audience what the doctor had in store. "Hmmm," the doctor said, scratching the prickly white hairs of his chin. "What shall it be, what shall it

be. Ah, I know!" He opened a cabinet beneath the sink and withdrew a box of syringes. Then he proceeded back to his seat beside his waiting patient.

"What the hell are you--" Jack blurted out uncontrollably, shutting his mouth as fast as he could once he realized he was speaking out of turn. He hoped the doctor

hadn't heard him. He wanted as little pain during his Session as was humanly possible. The fact that this man could torture him in any way he chose spawned a terror

within Jack he had never experienced before. Had they been alone in a back alley or some private, secret place where Jack was in control, however, it would have

been a different story. Jack would have smiled as he snapped old man's arms with his bare hands, maybe even raped him before he bashed his head in, just to hear

him scream.

But they were not alone, and he was not free to do as he pleased. He was here, on television, being tortured. And the doctor was definitely in.

If the doctor had noticed Jack's outburst, he neglected to acknowledge it. He just sat beside his patient, digging around in the box until he found what he was

looking for. It was a syringe employing a needle at least six inches in length, the kind used in hospitals to inject a dead man's heart full of adrenaline to get it beating

once again. Jack's own heart was beating so hard he thought it would collapse. If only it would, he wished. If only it would.

The doctor motioned his assistant over, and the young man with blond hair and steel-rimmed glasses picked up a propane torch and ignited it. The doctor held the

syringe's needle over the flame until it turned a deep shade of blue, smiling as he did. "Oh, you're going to wish you hadn't said that nasty word, Mr. Beckett, you're

going to wish. And believe me, begging will get you nowhere. Not now, and not ever."

Jack tried to resist, but was no match for the measly old doctor. All the doctor had to do was open Jack's left eyelid with his thumb and bring the needle into

position. The look on the doctor's face was serious and concerned. Not concerned for Jack, of course, but concerned as to where he would insert the needle. He

wanted to hit the bull's-eye, the pupil, but Jack was doing his best to make sure that didn't happen. "Keep your eye still!" the doctor snapped, lowering the glowing

needle to what was left of Jack's nostril, threatening to dismember it further. Jack quickly obeyed. "Good boy." The syringe went back to hover above his eye just a

moment longer, then blinding white-hot light flashed brilliantly across his vision as the needle struck the pupil, instantaneously depressurizing his eye. Spurts of thick,

gooey liquid erupted from the punctured wound.

Jack screamed again, but somehow it was not as piercing as it once had been. He was losing his energy, his drive. Jack had once been told that people gradually

build up a tolerance for drugs and liquor, but he had never thought it possible that it applied to pain as well. Only two hours of torture so far . . . a hundred and

twenty minutes of pure, unadulterated misery. And the pain would get worse, much worse as the doctor proceeded with Jack's slow but determined extermination.

At least Jack felt comforted to know that at least his tolerance for pain was increasing.

"Not so much gusto that time, Mr. Beckett. Am I getting too soft for you, is that the problem? Well, that can be easily remedied." He discarded the syringe and told

the assistant to set the torch on the floor and leave. Then he sifted through his "unused" pile and withdrew a scalpel, a bottle of clear fluid, and a bowl.

Where the hell does this guy get all this stuff--the Torture Supply Outlet? Jack thought.

The doctor pulled another tray up to the operating table and set the bowl down on it, uncapping the bottle and pouring some of its contents inside. "Now then, give

me your hand," he said, then chuckled humorlessly. "Oh, I see that I already have it. My mistake. Those straps holding you down are made to withstand the weight

of ten horses, Mr. Beckett. You cannot break them, but I'm sure that you already know this. Now, tell me truthfully, how much does this hurt?" He held down

Jack's middle finger and with the scalpel sliced it open like an orange, peeling the two flaps of skin back carefully with his fingers to expose the pink flesh beneath.

Then he picked up the bowl, brought it over, and doused the finger with liquid.

Jack screamed like he had never screamed before. Pain? He thought he had been building up a tolerance for pain? His finger felt like the Boy Scouts had just built a

bonfire around it and set it alight with a thousand cans of lighter fluid, gasoline even. He looked down at his hand through his good eye and saw what was causing all

the commotion down there: The liquid on his wound was some kind of acid, stinging his exposed flesh like hell while it ate through his finger and hand. He tried to

stop himself from saying what would come out next, but he just couldn't help it. The pain was too unbearable.

"You son of a living whore!" he screamed, trying to break the cords that bound him to the table without success. "I'll break every bone in your body into little tiny

pieces for this, you bastard! I'll kill you, I'll squish you and rape you and make you feel dirty and worthless, and then I'll kill you, I'll fucking kill you!"

The doctor reeled backward, knocking the bowl of acid over and spilling some on his leg and shoe. A gurgling scream issued from the doctor's throat as he danced

around the room like an Indian in a fire pit, trying desperately to get his pants and shoe off before the acid reached his skin. He was partially successful. He got his

shoe and one pant leg off just in the nick of time, but because the fabric was thin, the acid ate through the remaining pant leg and burned him before he could remove

it.

When the doctor returned five minutes later from his dressing room with a new pair of clean white pants, he was furious. Jack may have been granted a five minute

reprieve from his agony, but he knew that what was in store for him now would make all the doctor's prior Sessions with other patients seem like child's play, even

mercy.

"You thought that was funny, pretty boy, didn't you?" the doctor said, pacing back and forth across the miniature room. "I'll bet you got off on seeing me in my

underwear, all naked and screaming, didn't you?"

"Uh-uh," Jack replied quickly, the pain in his hand still unbearable as his skin and bones continued their bubbly meltdown.

The doctor stopped and raised his hand above Jack's nose, as if ready to pinch it. "Don't you lie to me, you pervert! Don't you lie to me!"

"I mean, yes."

"What? I can't hear you!" The doctor scraped the cartilage inside Jack's severed nostril with the fingernail of his thumb.

"YES! YES!" Jack screamed. "Anything you say, anything you freaking say! Please . . . just please stop . . . the pain!"

"Oh, I'll stop all right, Mr. Beckett, I'll stop. But it won't be until I'm good and ready. In all my years of working for the State executing Capital Punishment, I have

never had a patient do what you did to me. Never. And I'm going to make you pay for that mistake, Mr. Beckett. I'm going to make you effing pay."

The doctor walked over to the sink and snatched up a few items. One of these was a hatchet, and Jack winced as the good ol' doc brought its thick gleaming blade

into view. "You rapists are all alike," he said, his hands setting the hatchet down on the tray. He then began tying a handkerchief gingerly around Jack's right leg just

above the knee. "You all have inferiority complexes, that's what you have. You feel inadequate, even to yourself, so you go out at night and hide in the bushes until a

luscious piece of woman happens to pass you by. Then you pounce. Like the effing inadequate weak and perverted people rapists are, you pounce, grabbing her

from behind and pulling her into the bushes, pulling her into your miserable world of depravity and sick- mindedness. Then you tear off her clothes and tell her not to

say a word or you'll kill her, strangle her and leave her body there to rot until some child finds it, when all the while you know you'd never do such a thing because

you're too scared to, because you're weak, Mr. Beckett, and you don't have the effing guts. And so you frighten her to make yourself feel like a man, and then you

rape her to feel even more like one, always trying to erase that inherent sense of inadequacy you feel through control over another person's body. So you rape her

and make her feel as dirty and disgusting as you yourself are, bringing her down along with you into the hell you live in each and every day of your life. But you got

caught, Mr. Beckett, didn't you? You got effing caught; and now you're here with me, and I'm going to make sure you're paid back for every ounce of pain you

gave that woman you raped. Every ounce of inadequacy you instilled into her." He tied the handkerchief as tightly as he could, testing the knot with one hard tug.

Jack eyed the handkerchief nervously as it hugged the contours of his right leg just above the knee. The doctor picked up the hatchet and smiled wickedly as he

tested the blade. "No! No!" Jack cried, realizing much to his horror just what the good ol' doc had planned. "Please, I didn't mean to--it was an accident--I'll be

good from now on--IpromiseIpromiseIpromise! NNNNOOOOOOOO!"

With a flash of glimmering light, up came the hatchet and then down, burying itself deep in Jack's flesh just above the knee. Bright red liquid spurted out in all

directions. Blood spattered the doctor's face. He wiped it purposefully away and levered the hatchet out of Jack's leg, his face serious and malign. Despite the

handkerchief tourniquet, blood poured out of the yawning maw of the wound and spilled over the table and floor.

Jack issued a scream so piercing and so huge that the glass walls of the operating room quivered in their metal frames.

The doctor held the hatchet high and brought it down again, this time shattering the bone. His patient's lower leg twitched convulsively under the blow. But the

hatchet did not cut completely through. He smiled and withdrew his bloody tool, calmly regarding his handiwork. Then looked up at his screaming patient and said,

"Oh, it hurts, doesn't it, Mr. Beckett? It hurts like hell on a hot summer day. But remember: It could be worse. If it were up to me, I would have crushed your

testicles slowly with my bare hands, enjoying the sweet music of your agonized screams. That would have been something extraordinary. But those damned Human

Rights Activists won't let me because of their little `cruel and unusual punishment' Act, forbidding us doctors from touching our patient's genitals, even dirty little

sexual offenders like yourself. Then it would have been a different story, Mr. Beckett; you'd have been able to sing `The Star Spangled Banner' in ultra soprano by

the time I got through with you. So you're lucky, very effing lucky. However, I made sure that what you are experiencing right now is quite painful to make up for

what you did to me, quite painful indeed. So tell me, does it hurt as bad as if I had crushed your balls, Mr. Beckett? Does heavy metal shearing through your flesh

and bone come even remotely close?" He paused, waiting for an answer, then slammed his fist down hard on the party severed leg, arousing another ear-piercing

scream from his trembling patient.

"YES IT FREAKING DOES!"

The doctor grinned triumphantly. "Good." And then lifted the hatchet a final time, embedding it deep into the wood of the operating table as it cut cleanly through the

remaining bone and sinew of Jack's leg. He removed his instrument and set it aside.

Jack just laid there, his agonized moans punctuating the eerie silence of the operating room as the doctor took a step back to admire his handiwork. If only the pain

would end, Jack thought, as he tried unsuccessfully to reach out with his mind and bring his pounding heart to a screeching halt. If only he could finally atone for his

sins so the agonizing pain would end . . .

The doctor shook his head, observing the thick, gooey blood that covered the table and floor. "Shouldn't have wasted so much. Next time I'll have to use a better

tourniquet. Hankies aren't what they used to be. But for now . . ." He reached down and grabbed the propane torch, turned the nozzle on full blast, and ignited it

with a lighter he fished out of his pants pocket. Fire splashed over Jack's raw and bleeding stump as the doctor aimed the blue flame. Flesh bubbled and sizzled

beneath the searing heat; veins and arteries melted shut to keep precious blood from flowing. The handkerchief caught fire instantly, burning Jack's leg four inches

above what was left of his knee. The room suddenly smelled like a Donner Party barbecue, but instead of some rotting corpse, it was Jack's leg that was being

roasted like a hot dog on a stick.

The pain in Jack's leg lit up like a thousand supernovas as the torch licked hungrily at his flesh. Jack screamed out so many obscenities that he was certain the doctor

would fry his face and kill him right then and there. But, unfortunately, the doctor kept to his work diligently. If he had heard, he did not show it. If only the doctor

would kill him, Jack thought. If only the pain would end . . .

Slowly, like a gift from heaven, darkness encroached his vision, and the world began to slide away into blissful nothingness.

The doctor finished the cauterization and sat the torch aside. He grinned. "Now then. What would you like me to do next, Mr. Beckett? Tear out the muscles in

your arms? Crush the foot on your other leg? Gouge out what's left of your eyes? What, Mr. Beckett? I'm all ears."

When his patient did not respond, the doctor bent forward to examine him. He noticed immediately that Jack's skin was pale and clammy, his breathing shallow,

extremely labored. He peered into Jack's good eye. A dull, lackluster pupil stared back at him, dilated beyond the norm.

"Shit," the doctor muttered beneath his breath. "The bastard's gone into shock." He ran his twisted fingers nervously through his long white stringy hair, trying to

figure out what to do. He couldn't lose his patient. Not now. Not after he had humiliated him before all those millions of people. He had to make the bastard suffer

some more before he let him die . . . he had to! "Harold!" he snapped. "Get over here!"

His assistant faithfully appeared by his side. "What is it, Doctor?" he asked urgently.

"Get me a blanket. Now. The patient's in shock, and I refuse to let him die yet!" The assistant ran off as ordered. The doctor proceeded to loosen Jack's straps so

that his blood would circulate more freely. "You're not going to get out of it that easily, Mr. Beckett," he murmured. "I won't let you effing die, I won't!"

When the assistant returned with the blanket, the doctor snatched it from him and draped it over the patient. Carefully, he tucked it beneath Jack's limp body and

raised his remaining leg to further facilitate the circulation of blood. He leaned forward and placed an ear over his patient's open mouth.

Jack was no longer breathing.

"No!" the doctor screamed, as if struck with sudden pain. "You can't do this to me, you can't effing do this! You're my patient, goddammit, do you hear me? You

can't die! I haven't given you permission to!" He slammed his fist down hard on Jack's chest, hoping that somehow, someway, God would start his heart pumping

once again so that the torture could go on indefinitely . . . so that the good feelings would never end. . . .

But despite the doctor's best efforts, Jack Beckett got his wish.

Source: Essay UK - http://www.essay.uk.com/coursework/the-patients-wish.php



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