BEAGLES DON’T FLY
By T.A. Saunders
“He was found on top of a garbage truck. He’s lucky, really. That jump could’ve killed him.”
“Lucky? He’s an idiot. What’s that he’s muttering?”
“Something about beagles. Been going on about it, since being brought to the E.R.”
Doctor Chaise Michaels really didn’t know what to make of her patient. After pumping his stomach free of the mixed cocktail of prescription drugs, then having his broken arm and broken shin set, as well as the numerous abrasions, she couldn’t help but to feel he’d just be back here in a few more months, as the result of something very similar. Some people just couldn’t be fixed, unless they truly desired change. Or could they?
“With your permission, I’d like to have him ‘evaluated,’ perhaps find some means to help Aaron.” Chaise was being vague with her patient’s grandfather. Aaron really was the best subject for her research, but explaining it to the angry old coot was going to take longer than she really cared to entertain.
“Evaluated?” Aaron’s grandfather, Henry Thorpe repeated, with a raise in the timber of his sandpaper-rough voice. “What do you need to evaluate him for? He’s an idiot. You know, the other day, I caught him soaking tampons in vodka? Who does that? An idiot does that, that’s who. There’s your evaluation.”
“Mister Thorpe, “ Chaise replied, a bit flustered with the prospect of just how to explain the motivation of soaking tampons in vodka, tactfully attempted to switch the subject matter to a more clinical topic. “I believe Aaron needs a deep psychological evaluation, to determine what’s driving him to make these clearly poor decisions.”
“Eh.” Henry didn’t have much use for doctors, or evaluations. Surviving the Korean War and Vietnam had been quite enough of an education on doctors and their evaluations, for him to have no taste whatsoever for the process, or its details. Still, he eyed the woman, his hardened ice blue gaze critical of any signs of hidden meaning or, more importantly…”How much is this going to cost? If it’s between this putz and the new Ford truck I’m eyeing, it’ll be the Ford!”
The doctor couldn’t help to find a sardonic smile for the old fellow’s commentary. It was this sort of thinking she reasoned, that probably put Aaron where he is now; the sense of worthlessness that drives somebody to taking drugs, jumping off buildings, and worse. This is why her research into memory alteration was so important. Making people see themselves and past events differently could take a broken person, like Aaron, and perhaps allow him a chance to be a productive person. Somebody he could be proud of, somebody even his cantankerous grandfather could be proud of.
“The treatment will be free of cost,” Chaise replied while brushing back a stray lock of chocolate brown hair from her glasses. “This sort of thing is covered under my research grant. He will have to be transferred, of course, once he’s well enough to be moved. As his legal guardian, you would have to sign all the necessary paperwork.”
“Fine, fine.” Henry responded, with a dismissive flick of his thin hand. “Give me whatever paperwork you need me to sign. I’m missing ‘The Price is Right,’ on account of the idiot here.”
“Yes of course,” Chaise replied, while opening the door for Mister Thorpe to exit Aaron’s room. Once the old man had departed, the dark-haired doctor turned back to her patient, with a soft, nurturing smile forming on her petal pink lips, as she touched his brow, with her thumb.
“How you will see the world differently, once I’ve finished with you.” She whispered, before leaving the room herself. Doctor Michaels was pleased, indeed.