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The Doctor

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The monitor lady smiled nicely and said, "These kids are so lucky to get their monitors out. They are just dreadful." The doctor glanced at her and frowned slightly. The monitor lady didn't understand how painful it was to get a monitor removed; she didn’t have to experience the pain that he went through. The doctor suddenly had a flashback to when he was a child, his doctor slowly twisting and pulling his monitor out, the sharp stabs of pain shooting up from the nerves in the nape of his neck to the top of his head.

He shuddered, suddenly feeling guilty as he imagined all his patients shouting and screaming, while he continued to dig his knife into their tender flesh. This was his doing. He was harming helpless children. This was his fault. He quickly brushed the thought away. It's not my fault, people are forcing me to do this. The parents haven’t stopped me, so it must be fine. They would have stopped me if it was wrong.

He proceeded to gather the instruments needed for Ender’s procedure- all of which were speckled with blood from past monitor removals. He suddenly heard a piercing scream, so high pitched that he ducked, clutching his ears. It continued to ring in his ears until he started screaming for help. The monitor lady stuck her head in the room to see what was happening.

“Are you okay? Have you seen a bugger?” The doctor was in such a great amount of distress and fear that he didn’t respond, and continued to scream.

The monitor lady kneeled and asked in a serious voice, “Are you okay?”

“Yes,” the doctor finally managed to reply, “I will be fine. I’m just feeling a bit dizzy.” The monitor lady exited, glancing back at him as she walked through the doorway. At last, the doctor could stand up, his hand on the cold steel of the operating table for support. He proceeded to set-up the table, resetting the layout of the cuffs and straps, sanitizing the fabric, and aligning his tools in the proper positions. As he was arranging his instruments, his hand gripping on the rounded no. 10 scalpel, he suddenly saw a small child in the corner, sobbing, rocking back and forth on the tips of his toes. The child looked familiar, as if he had seen him before, but where? This boy hadn't been there a minute ago. It wasn't possible for people to teleport yet, was it? He gripped the scalpel tightly. A wave of memories washed over him in the blink of an eye- this was Almus, a boy he had operated on a few years earlier. The boy had perished under the knife- could this be him? This boy had died, how could he possibly be there?

He heard the screams again, and peered around to find the source. This time it came from the boy. His normally steady hands trembled.

He whispered, “This can’t be.” Instantaneously, he found himself in an empty room, although seconds before, he was still in the operating room. He glanced around; the boy was still sitting in the corner, yet everything else was gone. Now, the room was silent, and the boy stared blankly forward, as if looking right through him. The boy’s eyes suddenly darted towards him. He suddenly moved his lips as if to speak, but no sound came out. His eyes were pleading for help, but the doctor didn’t know what to do. He noticed a blood smear on the floor, coming from near the boy. The doctor proceeded to peer around the room, inspecting the boy from various angles.

Finally, he glanced at the back of the boy, where a monitor would normally be placed. He gasped, still in shock. “This can’t be,” he said, “th-th-that never happened.” The boy’s vocal cords were torn, shredded into small fragments that lay on the white marble ground, dripping with blood. He frantically scooped them up, attempting to reassemble them. His attempts failed, leaving his hands dripping with blood, staining the once perfect floor.

Suddenly, he heard another voice.

“You did this. You killed this boy.” He whirled around, expecting to someone, but to his dismay, nobody was there. The voice chuckled, “Remember when you ripped this helpless child’s vocal cords out? Do you remember his parents, how they sobbed and fell on their knees?” The doctor covered his face in his hand and rubbed his eyes. He hadn’t intended to kill this boy, Almus had done nothing wrong to deserve it. His face, now covered in blood, saddened. Maybe this was payback for what he had done, maybe the gods were taking their revenge.

His mind exited this scene and returned to the operating room. His hands still covered in blood, he wondered if this white room was reality or just his mind playing tricks on him.

The monitor lady approached him slowly. He was still holding his head between his hands, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

“Why have you got blood on your hands, Zelotes?” the monitor lady asked.

“I’m not sure,” the doctor replied angrily, “I just- I just don’t get what’s going on.”

“Well, Ender Wiggins will be coming in fifteen minutes, please be ready by then.”

The doctor, his brow furrowed in concentration, replied, “Okay Seraphina, I understand.”

“Ender Wiggin, Ender Wiggin, I know that name,” he muttered under his breath. Suddenly, he gasped, “Ender Wiggins is Almus’ nephew.”