Welcome to Popular Ink's INDELIBLE KITCHEN.

Now get the hell out!

Really, we would love to have you stay but we would feel rude about that as we have left. As in gone, defunct, kaput. We aren't here anymore. Sometimes, when it's late and we are worried about dying, we do believe in reincarnation. So, maybe we will live again. We'll let you know if that happens.


Installment #2 of "Shutdown" by Jeff Crouch

This is part of an ongoing story. Click here to read the first installment.

John Largent was going to have a busy night, and he walked over to one of his favorite doctors and asked for a prescription to help him with his diet.

Dr. Johnson was the doctor John Largent would go to first, if only he could find him, but the doctor he found was Dr. Zemackis.

Dr. Zemackis was busy doing his job, trying to get water to his patients and reassure them about their well being. It was sure to be a stressful evening.

John Largent would have to wait to get his prescription; Dr. Zemackis had a no-nonsense look in his eyes.

Meanwhile, Dr. Johnson was still in his office trying to figure out the best way to keep his secrets guarded.

A patient, dismissed earlier that afternoon, had begun to go door to door in her apartment building, quizzing people about their experiences at the hospital. Incredibly, she found that one out of three people she talked to had been to the hospital.

The information she got was alarming, not because people had much bad to say about the hospital, not overwhelmingly anyway, but because the information she got was altogether contradictory.

Susan James had just begun her adventure in the disconcerting.

Dr. Johnson knew better than to let the shutdown worry him. His favorite movies had always been about prison escape, and he had always had a neurotic fascination with such TV shows as Gilligan's Island and Hogan's Heroes.

A car in the parking lot burst into flames, and the flash against the window momentarily drew Dr. Johnson away from his paperwork.

Down the hall, Dr. Ward realized that his car had exploded. His trunk was full of oxygen tanks, and the blaze was miraculous. It immediately ignited the two cars next to his corvette.

Dr. Johnson signed the piece of paper he was looking at and put it in his case. The analysis made for the patient was, indeed, completely bogus, and he knew it. He had initiated another irrelevant treatment plan with suppressed glee, but he refrained from finalizing the case on the computer.

Dr. Zemackis had asked John Largent to collect water for the patients, and John Largent knew he had a clean water facility available in the hidden hospital, but he was as yet unwilling to expose the secret facility.

Instead, John Largent got on the phone to Becky Crown.

"Becky," he said, "the doctors are worried about provisions for the patients. The reporters are here or will be soon. I need you to start issuing requests for bottled water, food, blankets, and whatnot. Be sure to tell people where to bring them. Tell them Jim's Hardware has already donated $500 worth of inflatable mattresses."

Becky paused for a moment and said, "But that's only about six mattresses, John."

"Actually, it’s nine," said John.

Becky checked her messages and began to make herself ready for a long night at work.

Tim Irons, the IT Director, had managed to keep the computer system on line, but something seemed to him terribly wrong.

Dr. Ivory had approached Dr. Johnson twenty-five years ago about running a hospital where people were consistently misdiagnosed and treated for maladies they never had, and Dr. Johnson had been more than willing to cooperate.

In the inner circles of management, Dr. Ivory was known as the Recruiter, and her dedication to her work was nothing short of absolute.

During the shutdown, Dr. Ivory should have been in Cozumel enjoying a bonus package from a pharmaceutical company, but she had greater secrets to guard than Dr. Johnson.

Even before she had heard Dr. Johnson was a fan of Hogan's Heroes, Dr. Ivory made her presence known on the hospital's racquetball courts.

Shortly after Dr. Johnson began his work at the hospital, his first wife, Dr. June, had run off with her tennis instructor. He was never sure why, but then, he never really understood the workings of management.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

what a soap opera. why is the hospital shutting down?